Without a Smart Phone – Week 2

I have spent the last two weeks without my iPhone – something I have carried around with me for over 5 years. I have to say it is has been interesting and sometimes frustrating, but overall – not nearly as bad as I thought.

Here are some of my thoughts about not having a smart phone with me at all times:

The actual phone: I do miss having this. I am often calling people while doing passive activities (walking, etc) to get caught up with people. I just need to plan better to take a break and use the home phone. As for people trying to call me… “can you pick up…where are you…how long until…” I realized that you can live without everyone knowing the exacts. Just relax – life will happen.

Mobile web/email: Did I really need to have it? Just relax and enjoy some time away.

Texting: I was never a huge fan. Live in the moment and when I am with you – talk to me, not message someone else. Focus! I have enjoyed not worrying about it. If I need to actually contact someone – I like more active conversation anyways (vs passive).

Camera: I do miss taking photos.

Games: Who are we kidding. With a first generation iPhone games were never really in the picture.

Meeting with people: It just takes planning.

Driving directions: They are possible to get without a phone. It just takes planning.

Overall – do not be fooled, I am excited for the iPhone 5 and will be purchasing it. In the end though – there are some definite trade-offs. Instead of relying on your phone – you CAN rely on yourself (directions, planning, etc). We all did it 5 years ago, and while it is fun looking up places, people, events – it also takes you away from some of the unknown which can be much more relaxing/rewarding. Put down the phone and look out the window – there is so much to experience right here, right now, with the people right next to you.

Media Mondays: Chipolte Chipotle Ordering iPhone App

Last week I did some browsing and found something really awesome (for the Chipotle fans out there) – an iPhone app that will find the nearest Chipotle(s) then allow you to place an order using the iPhone app.

The application is call Chipotle Ordering and is a free download. No more waiting in line or carrying a paper filled with Amy’s weird requests. I am super excited with this look forward to quick and easy Chipotle visits.

Media Mondays: The Price is Right iPhone App

One of my favorite games

One of my favorite games

I have been a Price is Right fan since I can remember. I watched it every day I was home sick from school, in the summers, at Penn State while eating lunch at the Hub, and now any chance I get either online or while Amy religiously watches it during the summers. When I saw there was a Price is Right game for the iPhone – I downloaded it and have been enjoying it ever since.

The graphics are pretty good, and the actual game is spot on to the actual game. I enjoy every aspect of the game, and Evan is a professional wheel spinner. The only downfall to this game is that it drains my battery pretty fast, but it is something worth while when you are looking for a nice break away from work.

If you are a Price is Right fan – check this out for sure. It is worth the $2.99 you will pay for it!

Random Fridays: May 29, 2009

This past week has been absolutely crazy. Hectic work days, a baby shower at my house, a car accident (with Amy’s $51k loaner) – not her fault, crazy deadlines, etc. I will be happy when I can just sit back and relax this evening (before the weekend chaos).

Through all of this craziness – I have to say I have been enjoying playing some online Scrabble using <a href="http://www.eamobile.com/Web/iphone-game/scrabble" target="_blank" EA's Scrabble for the iPhone with Doug using Facebook to link us together. The game can take an hour or a few days, depending on when we have time, but it is nice to just stop everything now and again and take a turn playing Scrabble. Now all I need is to find a chess game like this and Ken and I will be set!

Hurray for the weekend!

Google Voice

A few years ago – Doug pointed me to an interesting service called “Grand Central”. This service was supposed to take care of the issue of several phone number changes. By using Grand Central – you could use one number for life and forward calls from that number to your home, cell phone, or any other phone depending on caller, time of day, etc. This also means – you can have someone call your Grand Central phone number and it could potentially ring all your other lines until you pick up (great for traveling or people who always use the excuse “you should have called my cell phone instead of my home phone, etc”).

We both signed up for accounts – but soon after I ended up not using it because of some reason or another. Almost a year and a half ago – Google bought it and finally – has released it under the name “Google Voice“. I look forward to trying this out because of the added features (voicemail transcription, conference calling, new UI, etc) and increased reliability (and coolness).

*This also takes care of my never remembering what phone number I have registered for my Dominick’s card 😉

Jappler Recommends: Vonange

I use Vonage for my home phone, and used to use it as my business phone but decided to go with a ATT with my business line since I thought I wanted to keep a traditional phone line in the house. After my last ATT bill, their hideous ATT business web site (where you are forced to use IE 7 and they use an untrusted SSL certificate) I have had enough. Vonage for all lines as of July. Why? Vonage is fantastic.
I like Vonage becasuse:

  • They have a great, easy to use web site which works with any browser
  • When I get a voicemail – I can get an audio file of the voicemail in my email notification that I have a voicemail
  • The billing includes unlimited and is always $24.99 a month (for crappier services at ATT I pay over $100 a month)
  • I can keep my same phone number
  • When the electricity is out and/or my internet connection is down Vonage routes all incoming calls to my cell phone.

If you have been considering making the switch for a traditional land line to something else – I would definitely recommend Vonage.

Followup: Bluetooth Cordless Phone

I recently posted about the bluetooth cordless phone I ordered. Yesterday I got everything set up and to my surprise – both my iPhone and Amy’s Sony Ericsson something or other phone both paired without any problems and everything works quite nicely! I would definitely recommend this phone (or type of phone) to anyone who gets a lot of calls on their cell and home phones. Not to mention, the UI of this Panasonic phone (KX-TH111) is great!

A Week or So Later with the iPhone.

I have had my iPhone for over a week now and am still really excited about it. After going on a week long car trip – I have to say I really enjoyed having the camera in the phone to take quick pictures (something I did not have with my BlackBerry 8700c), I organized my overcrowded personal email inbox somewhere in the middle of Ohio while Amy was driving, sent some of my pictures that I took of my son Evan to his grandparents while we were on the road, mapped our route with turn by turn directions, and amazed my grandparents with the amazing UI. I am still very excited about my iPhone!

My iPhone

iPhone I finally did it, I had to…I bought an iPhone and I have loved every minute of owning it. I had an appointment the second day I owned it and the person I met with wanted to “zoom the pictures like the commercials”. I also now have the ability to carry around tons of pictures and movies of my son, as well as some of my favorite Curb Your Enthusiasm so I can watch my favorite show while waiting instead of reading some lame magazine. Sure, the camera is not great, but it beats mine on my old Blackberry (there was none) – and the user interface is absolutely fabulous. Automatically detecting when I flip the iPhone over to change my view with music, pictures, etc is wonderful. It has a great weight and I am quite excited about it! Sure I miss hearing the Price is Right theme song when Amy calls, but I cannot imagine it will be too long before we can easily switch ring tones. Great work Apple!