Thing 22: Mobile Things

smartphone-431230_1280Considering the fact that I’m a product of the mobile generation, I was a particularly late bloomer. This was due largely to the fact that I was banished for an entire four year period from owning a mobile device. Before you pity me I can only highlight at this point that this was wholly accountable to my own stupidity.

When smart phones became available at a reasonable price on contract I went straight to the shop and emerged with a shiny new phone which I had no idea how to use. Within the space of a week I had gone out into town and had come back phoneless – I won’t go into detail but all I’ll say is that the truth of what actually happened versus the embellished story I used to explain the situation to my parents were somewhat at odds with each other. In the latter I’d featured as the downtrodden victim of a facetious criminal who had targeted me with nothing but malicious intent whereas the former (more realistic) version featured a pair of high-heels, a shiny, alcohol laced floor and a spread eagled Jordan Murphy whose inebriated brain could only focus on one operational task at a time, the consequences of which led to a considerably extended window of time for fellow dance-floor inhabitants to seize as yet, unclaimed scattered handbag items.

As if this story were not terrible enough, after waiting painstakingly for the two year contract I had signed to end so that I could finally be on par with my, by this time, much more technologically advanced peers, I walked into the shop, re-emerged with said desired smartphone and repeated the same process all over again. Four years after the beginning of this woeful tale began, I experienced a “third-time-lucky” situation and you’ll be glad to hear that my wiser and much more sensible self has had the self-awareness and organisation to be able to hold onto my smartphone!

By the time I finally had such a device, apps were already a well-established phenomenon and it has taken me until now to fully feel comfortable with and actually enjoy using them. I have in fact crossed to the other side and can now say “I couldn’t live without my I-phone”.

Some of the apps I’ve found really useful, aside from the obvious social networking sites and other tools we’ve covered in this course are Evernote and Google keep which are great for personal organisation, facilitating what I essentially consider my own personal database of files which can be accessed anywhere on any device. Though an internet enabled sign-in is required on PCs, the app on my phone allows me to access documents without the internet. Evernote allows users to create “Notebooks” in which any type of file is stored. For instance I have a travel notebook in which I keep a tube map, train timetable, any ticket booking confirmations and also quick notes I’ve jotted down about how to get somewhere. I have a recipe notebook, a work notebook and a “Tickets and confirmations” notebook. The free version has been more than adequate so far for my personal requirements as I only use it for current documents and delete any I no longer need. I suppose it’s nice to know your files are saved in an additional place which is easily accessible that requires no internet connection.

A very useful feature was the provision of an email address for my evernote account which could be used to email documents to although this is limited and I have now reached my capacity. All in all though a very useful app.

I also love functional apps such as mobile banking and the BBC weather app because, well, I have to live up to the British stereotype of constantly checking the weather despite the fact that one can be pretty safe in the knowledge of grey, cold, wet.

I will also check out the GUM app and see what happens with my copy of John Green’s novel which I’m fairly certain is sitting on my bookshelf.


Image courtesy of Pixabay


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