Smart phone worth it

2010 August 14
by Karen

So in late July I ordered a HTC Droid Incredible to replace my old Motorola Krazr cell phone. I’ve wanted a smart phone for a while and while the idea of an iPhone is appealing the idea of AT&T as my cell carrier is not. I’d tested out the Motorola Droid and HTC Droid Eris back in January and liked HTC’s tech better. Since then I’ve been biding my time trying to decide if I was going to get a phone or not. After six months of waiting, I decided enough was enough and purchased the Incredible.

After three weeks, I’m very happy. The main things I wanted to use it for work fabulous. Email, address book and calendar are slick. Since I put all my contacts into Gmail before I got the phone, I literally signed the phone into my Google Account and presto all my contacts. My Google Calendar and Gmail were just as easy. Setting it up to talk to OCLC’s Exchange server just took a few minutes of the OCLC Help Desk’s time.

I easily plugged the phone into the rental car and played music off it on my trip to upstate NY. When I neglected to bring the hotel’s address for the IDS conference, Google Maps put me on the right road in less than 2 minutes. Notes were super easy to take with GoogleDocs and I was able Tweet the conference on Twitter. On that trip I honestly didn’t need my laptop.

I also like that I can check my bank account from the phone. Plus the application for Toodledo, which I use to manage my To dos is great. Getting voicemail from GoogleVoice is also WAY easier that before. I’ve also use the web browser to look at my LibraryThing account when I’m at the used bookstore or want to recommend a book to someone and can’t remember the title. Last.fm is pretty awesome too. When I get sick of the music on the phone, I can use Last.fm to stream other music.

A few things I haven’t gotten/found a app for in the Android market yet.

  • Grocery list application
  • A better way/application to load and read PDF files
  • ereader application to read non-B&N ebooks, particularly ones without DRM but also I’m curious if I can read Overdrive book on the Android phone. Unless someone knows how to load and read these with the Nook app

Things I know that don’t exist

  • HuluPlus app or even Hulu app. The website sort of works but you can’t watch videos.
  • Netflix app like the one for the iPad
  • Box.net app – I use Box for storing my files. I have a Dropbox account but have been using Box for a while and like it. The fact they don’t have an app is annoying and combined with a couple other things may cause me to switch permanently to Dropbox.

Also I’m very interested in QR codes. I saw one on a restaurant door yesterday and was curious where it led to but didn’t know how to read it with the phone. Do I need a particular app or what? I’m also disappointed with the crippled version of Skype that I can use to call people but it uses my cell minutes and I can’t use it via wi-fi. That’s just plain stupid.

I’m sure I’ll find more uses down the road but now I’m still a novice user trying to figure out the basics.

9 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 August 14

    Can’t help you on the others, but I’ve been quite happy with OurGroceries for shopping lists.

  2. 2010 August 14

    Also, check out Barcode Scanner for reading QR codes (and any other format supported by the ZXing library).

  3. 2010 August 14

    You can also use Google Goggles to read QR codes, and barcodes.

  4. 2010 August 15
    Jon Gorman permalink

    I’ve been using Aldiko for google books and been pretty happy with it. The only overdrive collections I have access to have really cruddy selections so I haven’t tried finding anything that will work with Adobe drm.

  5. 2010 August 16

    Thanks! OurGroceries is great. have to try out the other suggestions this week as well.

  6. 2010 August 16

    For groceries, I just use Google Tasks (in the browser) and one of my lists is a grocery list. I added a shortcut straight to tasks on the main screen since it’s also my to do list.

  7. 2010 August 17
    Valerie permalink

    I like Grocery iQ for a grocery list, it’s really great. I second Aldiko as well. I use ShopSavvy to scan barcodes and QR codes, I like it.

  8. 2010 August 17

    Grocery iQ is a great app I use for iPhone and it’s available on Android, too!

  9. 2010 August 18
    Edward permalink

    We use cardstar for keeping loyalty cards and it works great. Appbrarin is a great resource especially if you find someone you trust and check out what they have installed.

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