Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Question of the Week - There's an App for That

Well, I did it. I got an iPhone. For years I had been balking at the idea of "smart phones." I didn't need a phone that was smart. I need one that would make phone calls. And maybe take pictures. Okay, I liked the texting ability too (though not while driving). But that was IT. That was all I needed. When I was off the clock, I wanted to be disconnected from the world! Unlike all those people (*cough*Londo*cough*) who couldn't get away from work, I was happy to say that I wasn't on the computer so couldn't get my email.

But then these "smart" phones started having more and more cool stuff. And the designs were getting really usable. Touch screens? Very cool. Connect to the internet and look up information whenever you want, settling arguments and resolving brain farts in an instant? That'd be pretty nice. Ability to take high-quality pics and load them directly to Facebook? Keep talking. Being able to tweet from where I was with funny thoughts that my fellow tweeps might appreciate? I'm getting there. A calendar that I can take with me and send invites to my hubby's calendar from whichever doctor's office I'm in? Um, well, that DOES sound convenient. Games and entertainment for myself the kids while we are waiting in some line? I could really use that. The ability to pick up my Nook book and continue reading it no matter where I am? SOLD!

Really what did it for me is when I realized that this little pieces of technology were not "smart" phones. They are barely even phones. These things are Pocket Computers! So let's phrase the question this way: caramama, do you want a computer that fits in your pocket? HECK YEAH, I DO!

And that is exactly what it is. It's a pocket computer like on all the sci-fi shows that take place in the future. But... THE FUTURE IS NOW!!!

Londo and I had been talking about upgrading our phones because mine was totally outdated (and not smart at all) and his crackberry blackberry kept crashing. Plus we had these credits towards new phones that we needed to take advantage of. We put it off for a few months mostly because of money, but also because I was researching which Pocket Computer would best meet my needs (turns out, any of them!).

Finally, I was about to go to the beach for a week without hubby and kids, thanks to my torn meniscus. I wanted to be able to be in touch with them regularly. And I knew I'd need surgery when I got back. With little movement possible while on vacation and laid up in bed after the surgery, a Pocket Computer would sure come in handy! And we finally made time to go to the store before I headed to the beach.

And thus began my love affair with Polly, my Pocket Computer (get it? Polly Pocket? Pocket Computer? Well, I find it amusing). Oh, the apps I can download! The music I can listen to! The calls that work good enough to get by. I love it more than I even thought I would!

I know that many of you out there have had a new-fangled Pocket Computer for a while now. Londo, for example, keeps chuckling at my amazement that it does this or that, since his smart phone has been able to do that for years, yet I would hear none of it before. And others out there do not have one of their own, but surely have seens these devices do some pretty awesome things. But I am new to this world, and I am happy to discover more and more.

So this week's Question of the Week is:

What is your favorite app for smart phones/pocket computers? Feel free to tell me about more than one!

Of course I love the Facebook app and the Twitter app. But oh how I love the Pandora app! Right there on my Pocket Computer! And the Nook app makes me so happy and has been so useful that I want to cry tears of joy! Games, notes, calendars, alarm clocks--they are all cool. But my favorite apps so far are the following:
1. iPeriod - This is a period tracker app, which not only accurately predicted my last period and ovulation, but also allows me to track all the symptoms which I've suspected are related to my cycle AND forcasts my period/fertile days 12 months ahead. When I told Londo about this app, he immediately requested that I download it to his Pocket Computer, and I set it up with a 7 day notification to be sure he was aware of my PMSing!
2. Money Journal - We have been working incredibly hard at paying off our debts, and it's been critical that I budget my money by getting out only a certain amount of cash each month, and that I keep track of exactly what I'm spending my money on. For example, I've had a lot of doctor's appointments lately, and that comes out of my overall budget. Thankfully, I've not been driving so I haven't had to pay for gas in a while, which is where I'm making up for the doctor co-pays! This app was easy to set up and it's always with me on my Pocket Computer, so I don't forget about the coffee and dessert I splurged on which is why I have only $10 left in my purse. I track by categories, and I was able to set categories for the kids' expenses I take care of too. I now know ahead of time how much I have left and where I need the money to go, thanks to this app.
3. CardStar - I scanned in all those bonus cards I use, and don't use, into this app. Now I don't have to clutter my purse with them or dig around to find them when in the store! It's really handy!

Yeah, it's a Pocket Computer. It's not the games and contact lists or even email that gets me all excited about having it. These little "smart" phones are what the Palms were, except more and better. This little personal assistant I carry with me helps me keep track of my life, entertain my kids and keep in touch with work my husband. I seriously am in loooooooove with it and keep it by my side always.

What about you guys? What apps float your boat? What do you use the most or have lusted over when you've seen it elsewhere? Are you all with me in loving these Pocket Computers? Do you believe the future is now?!? Or are you still carving out messages in stone?

7 comments:

mom2boy said...

Loooove my phone. Like I drank the kool-aid love it. Google maps is useful because I don't have a GPS for my car and I just like the little blue tracking ball.

Talking Rex the Dinosaur - hilarious kids app that is also great fun at parties when we've all had a teensy bit too much wine.

Lisa F. said...

my husband just got an iPhone after his 20 year old dinosaur of a phone was on the brink. it's SO cool! looking forward to upgrading to one. we're even texting a little, although it's excruciating on my phone which doesn't have a keyboard! I like Google Maps too (and the blue tracking ball!) and Facebook too.

Katie said...

GoodRead is the pdf reader I have.

My phone is somewhat intelligent - it has a keyboard and online capability, but the screen is too small and the interface too clunky, so I just use it as a messaging phone. In the ~3 months I've had my iTouch, tho, I have become SO ready to convert! Next tax return... *plots*

hush said...

I have an Android, and I love the free RingDroid app that allows you to record various sounds and turn them into ringtones. I recorded a scene from "True Blood" where Lafayette is calling Tara and leaves her a voice message that begins "Ring ring, hookah. Ring ring..." that I think it the funniest thing ever - now it's my ringtone, and it was free! Woot!

My DH downloaded some Toy Story and Cars puzzles for DS to do - it has been worth it's weight in gold at places like restaurants and hair salons wherever DS needs to sit still for more than 10 minutes.

Charisse said...

Love, love, love my transit app, iCommute SF, my TextLater app that sends me scheduled texts so I can remember things, Twitter for iPhone - many of my friends love InstaGram too; Grocery Gadget is an actually syncable grocery list, that one's indispensable. The OpenTable and Amazon apps are more useful to have as apps than you might expect, and Fiat Lux (flashlight app) comes in very handy.

There's an ever-changing bunch of games for Mouse...and the video stuff is pretty darn cool too - I sometimes use that for work.

I agree with you, pocket computers are awesome!

Becoming Mommy said...

I have one of the droids, but I drank the Kool-aid because I had to pre-order before they even came out. LOL
I have a few faves:
CarrMatey-it will lock in a gps site when you park your car and help you find it again later as well as time your meter for you.
Pandora-'nuff said
Bank of America- I can do banking on the go when I have to.
Pixelpipe-it will take all the photos on my phones memory and send them to any photo site I want so everything is backed up.
Layar-if you are in a strange town just take a photo of the block and it'll tell you what is in each storefront. Doesn't seem like a big deal till you need: a bathroom, ATM, lunch, etc.
Scan2PDF Mobile-it's nice to have a scanner in your pocket.

Burgh Baby said...

Welcome to the party! ;-)

I use:
Instagram
RunKeeper
MapQuest (works as a GPS)

And Alexis loves:
MonsterMash
Close My Eyes
Talking Tom
all of the Dr Seuss books
PBS Kids Photo Factory
Matching Zoo