I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of the cell phone commercials that spout the convenience benefits of the latest super-duper-smart-phone. It often seems that in our search for making life easier through our tech tools, we don’t truly simplify anything, we just do it differently and confuse the novelty of the experience with convenience. However, as I was randomly reflecting on the topic this past fourth of July holiday, I realized I had to give some credit where it was due. My life truly is more convenient because of my phone, if for no other reason than my phone has decreased the number of gadgets I need on a daily basis. I’m more than moderately anti-stuff and anti-clutter, so something that replaces multiple items has got to be good, right?
I realized my phone is actually a pretty multi-talented workhorse. Here’s what it has successfully MADE OBSOLETE:
- Alarm Clock – I currently have three different alarms programmed into my phone to wake my at appropriate times. I don’t think I have purchased an alarm clock since highschool.
- Normal Clock – I did actually purchase a wall clock in the past year, purely because I liked how it would look on my wall. I still like how it looks on my wall, but it doesn’t have batteries in it, and probably never will. (Consequently, it is always 5 o’clock in my bedroom.) Along the same line is the wrist watch. I rarely wear one for utility’s sake, although they remain a fashion staple.
- Digital Camera – There are two of these at my ready disposal, yet I don’t remember the last time I used one. The quality of the camera on my phone is about equal at this point. Any disparity in quality is made up for by the convenience factor.
- Calculator – Unless I’m doing some heavy calculating, I can’t see the need for a separate calculator.
- Address Book – Haven’t had one of these since highschool either. My current electronic version is much more up to date, comprehensive, and a million times more useful and used.
- Radio – Pandora, 8tracks, iheartradio, lastfm…. need I say more? (I will, however, be investing in some new speakers.)
- GPS – Google Maps, anyone?
- Land-line Phone – This one is somewhat obvious, but still deserves a mention. I haven’t had a land-line in my residence since I lived my college dorm. There is one in my office but I think I have used it less than 25 times this year. In the age of mobile working, there’s an equal chance that me and my laptop are in my office or in my living room or in a coffee shop. People can always catch me on my cell, so that’s what they call.
- Thermostat – Why would I look at a mercury bead when I can push and button and see the temp PLUS a forecast?
- Pad of Paper/Scrap Paper/Pen [in the Purse] – I take notes on my “Notes” app. There have been times when I miss not having a pen, so I try to keep one of those handy, but the little notepad that used to always be around is gone.
- Calendar – I think my parents still have one of these hanging on the wall in their kitchen…
- Personal Trainer – Nike Training, Insanity videos, Nike Boom, Interval Timer, You Tube, you’re all so much more affordable! And you make house calls!
- Bookshelf – Okay, not quite there yet. But I do see myself buying e-books more than hard copies recently. I don’t really read them on my phone though so maybe this belongs on an ipad list…
- Flashlight – I LOVE THIS APP. It has increased the functionality of my dark closet tenfold.
- Phonebook – Seriously, when’s the last time you used the doorstop also known as the yellow pages?
- Games – When I’m looking for something to play, I go to the App Store, not the game aisle in Target. (Yes, exceptions apply here, I’m saying in general)
- Coupon Book – Okay, honestly, I never had one of these. But I do have a Groupon app which I have used at more that 5 restaurants. Regardless, I am much more likely to use a phone-coupon than any other form of coupon. Extremem Coupon-ers aside, who wants to keep track of little pieces of wrinkled paper with expiration dates?
- Song Naming Device – Isn’t it nice to not have to carry one of those around with you anymore???? Just kidding. But I do like my Shazam app, for the 3 times I’ve used it…
- Zip Drive – Between emailing docs to myself, dropbox, and docs to go, I usually only use zip drives as back-up or for large files
- Concert/Event/Plane Tickets – Scanning my phone is so much cooler than digging through my pockets for the darn ticket I printed off
This is a pretty long list. I’m guessing if you made one, or if I thought about this more, the list of products that have become obsolete in the last few years would turn into quite the sizable document. Obviously there are implications when stuff like this happens. Sounds like a good topic to explore further, outside of my lunch hour-blog-window. Stay tuned 😉
On the flip-side, there is one thing that I have NOT kicked to the curb, despite trying a few different apps designed for that purpose:
- Post it Notes – There’s still always at least two somewhere on my desk.
Always, Your Dedicated List-Maker,
Fourth of July Bonus: What happens when 18 minutes worth of fireworks all go off at once?! Oops…
My phone died died last Wednesday, and the best Verizon could do for me was offer a new one via manufacturer’s warrantee (5 days to ship) and offer a hardly consoling “I’m sure you have a friend who has an old smartphone to tide you over until the new one arrives…”
Suffice to say, I don’t and I was late for work. Almost twice.
I miss my alarm clock…
Ouch… five days without a phone?
I guess the real question for you is: did you buy an alarm clock so you’re better prepared in the future?
Just used my Iphone flashlight this morning in my closet…starting to sound familiar. And what’s your take on the GPS? Android’s GPS was WAY better than the Iphone’s. Not enough to keep me loyal though.
The GPS is “good enough” for me. As in, it’s a little cumbersome but good enough to keep me from buying a separate device. I hear there are other apps that are better than Google Maps too, but I haven’t put in the time to try ’em out. I never experienced Android so I can’t really compare there either. Their GPS commercials make it look pretty slick though. Thanks for reading 😉