A couple of months ago I finally decided to join everyone else in the 21st Century by getting myself a smart phone. Up until then, I had been using an old Motorola flip phone and I’d been reluctant to get rid of it simply because it felt a bit like using a Star Trek communicator. 🙂 But that phone finally died, and so I took the plunge. Being a Mac person, I of course decided to get an iPhone. It has been an odd experience thus far. Aside from making me feel old, it has proven to be a far more useful device than I had expected.
It’s funny how technology moves forward, but people often don’t. I remember when I started my first office job, not long out of Uni, and how the older people in the office would often come to me for help with their computers… not that I was any sort of computer expert, but simply because I was familiar and comfortable with the technology. I’d smile patiently and try to explain things in simple non-tech terms. Now, suddenly, I’m one of those older people. When I bought the iPhone, the young sales assistant had to explain to me the basics of its operation. Smiling politely, he talked to me in very basic non-tech terms.
After a few weeks of trial and error, I’d figured out the basics of the phone. But I still felt that I was missing out on functionality simply because I didn’t know about it… so I booked myself into an iPhone tutorial at my local Apple store. I was the youngest person in the class… apart from the tutor who didn’t look a day over 20. But I still felt old, because I needed someone to explain to me in simple terms how to use some pretty basic technology. On the plus side, I did learn heaps about the use of the phone, so it was worth the effort.
I am now most definitely enamoured with my iPhone. As well as replacing my old phone, it has also replaced my iPod. It’s rather nice having all that in the one device. I’ve put some games on to it, mostly to keep the kids amused when we’re out and about. And despite what some people warned me about, it’s great for phone calls — much clearer and easier to use than my old phone.
“But what’s all this got to do with books?” I hear you shout. “Why are you waxing lyrical about your phone on Literary Clutter?”
Well… for starters, it can be used as an eReader. Mind you, I haven’t progressed to using it as such… not yet anyway. Yesterday I downloaded a few kids’ read-along eBooks in preparation for an overseas trip. I figured that rather than just having games and videos on there to keep the kids amused during long bouts of travel, I’d try putting some books on there for them. And there are LOTS to choose from… many available for free or for a very low price. I’ve had a look at them, and they are rather cute. Although they’re still not enticing me to read that way, they may have some impact on my kids. I’ll report back after our trip.
Interestingly, I’m finding the iPhone particularly handy as an author. How? In a few different ways.
As a writer, I like to carry a notebook and pen with me for when inspiration strikes. But, on a number of occasions in the past, I’ve found myself caught without writing material when needed, desperately trying to keep the brilliant idea in my mind until I could write it down… and usually failing. That will never happen again… because my iPhone has a notepad. And I don’t even have to type into it. I can just speak into the phone, which will then transcribe it for me. Very nice!
Then there is the ability to have videos on the phone. I’ve got my book trailers on there. During a meeting yesterday, when talking about the trailer, I was able to pull out my phone and show the trailer I was talking about. Very handy.
And then, there are the apps. I’ve got a dictionary app. And I’ve downloaded the Melbourne Literary app (see “Literary stuff with an iPhone app”) — a great little resource about literary stuff in Melbourne.
No doubt, there is still heaps more my iPhone can do that I’m just not aware of yet. So I think I’m going to book myself in to the advanced tutorial at the Apple store. Who knows… maybe I’ll write my next book on my phone?
Catch ya later, George
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