Monday, December 14, 2015

My phone, then and now (or: Maybe coverage is the new coverage?)

(August? Really?  This must be a record gap even for the new, unhurried Field Notes.  Oh well ... it's been busy)

Re-reading through the blog, I ran across a short post on wireless carriers' advertising having shifted from coverage to bandwidth.  Most old posts seem to hold up well, but this one seemed remarkably out of date:
  • With 4G building out, coverage is very much an issue -- at least in ads
  • At the time I was using a "feature phone", mainly as an alarm clock and ... as a phone.  I finally took the plunge with a proper smart phone a while back.  I use it as ... 
    • An alarm clock
    • A phone
    • A GPS
    • A way to check email
    • A camera (but I also used the old feature phone as that)
    • A way to browse news stories, check sports scores, weather etc.
    • A way to text -- it's noticeably easier to text with autocomplete, though not miraculously so
    • A way to schedule appointments and to check my schedule and reminders
    • A way to look up stuff quickly on the web
    • A few other random applications
It's interesting that even feature phones had several of those -- phone, clock, text, camera, calendar -- and probably more or less the right set of them to get the most out of the limited bandwidth and CPU.  The newer iterations are generally better (auto backup of photos to the cloud comes to mind), but not mind-blowingly, night-and-day better.

My attitude at the time was "Meh ... I'm usually near my laptop and it has a bigger screen"  While I find I use my phone quite a bit during the day, I'm still near my laptop most of the time, and I'd only really miss the phone for really "mobile" applications, like
  • phone
  • GPS
  • camera
  • receiving texts anywhere
  • checking email everywhere
Oh ... and as an alarm clock.

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