I love my iPad. Every day, I tote it along to meetings, create and edit documents on it, read ebooks, etc. I often joke that anyone who wants to take it away from me is going to have to take it from my cold, dead fingers. In fact, I use my iPad so much that I am developing a reputation for being a go-to girl for iPad apps. However, like parents everywhere, my love can expand to new family members.
Last June, it was my very first smart phone, my Motorola Atrix (Android OS). I justified my phone by saying that I needed it to keep up with the Advanced Legal Research class that I was teaching online. My students emailed me at all hours and on all days, and I felt guilty not responding quickly to their issues (that’s a whole other issue). It did not take long before my Atrix became like a child to me; I even panicked and felt lost the few times that I accidentally left it at home or misplaced it.
My cell phone is used for work about 75% of the time, and not in the way one would presume. I hardly ever talk on it, but I do text and email from my phone. I have found some other uses for it, too, which I did not expect before the initial purchase:
I have had a camera in my cell phone for quite a while, but it was always a hassle to use and was of low quality, so I often forgot about it. My Atrix, however, cured me of that, and so my photographic skills have expanded. Now photos from my phone are taken:
- For use in video tutorials.
- To remind me which books are in our stacks (forget carrying pesky pen and paper) while preparing for classes. Works great at Barnes & Noble, too!
- To scan QR codes (hooked to the video tutorials mentioned earlier) with apps such as Red Laser.
- To scan documents into PDF format with apps such as CamScanner.
- To take pictures of coworkers while at conferences for later
- To remind me of a wide variety of things that I will often forget (see picture below).
You can even set your cell phone up to upload all of these fantastic pictures to the internet for easy use on your computer or iPad. I occasionally manually upload them to Dropbox, but also have Google+ set up to automatically upload pictures to a private folder when connected to Wi-Fi.
To put it kindly, I am a clutter bug. I never expected my phone to keep me organized, but it somehow does. Tasks that my phone unexpectedly does include:
- Keep all of my calendars in one place (Not even my Outlook is set up to do that!).
- Keep my To Do list up to date (harder than it sounds).
- Help me remember what I have in the pantry and what I need to pick up next time I visit the grocery store thanks to the Out of Milk app. (I have also often contemplated using the Pantry List feature to keep track of what books I have checked out from the library – both law and public)
- Keep all of my contacts in one place and up to date. Note: This can backfire on you if you have your phone list linked to social media sites and someone suddenly decides that they do not want their phone number listed on their profile anymore.
- Keep track of travel paperwork with my favorite travel app, Tripit. (This app is the only reason that I did not panic when I accidentally left my entire stack of itineraries, confirmations, etc. on the dining room table on my last trip to Chicago.)
- Keep me from losing my airplane tickets for those airlines that now issue e-tickets.
Fun, Fun, Fun (til her Daddy takes the T-bird away)
Yes, my phone will let me listen to the Beach Boys and any other music that I get the inkling for, thanks to Pandora. We all know that you can read books, check out restaurants, locate movie times, etc., with a smart phone, but I was happily surprised to find out that it also lets me:
- Get rid of all of those pesky store cards junking up my wallet and key ring with Cardstar.
- See what’s on TV with TV Listings.
- Figure out gauge and yarn substitutions for knitting and crocheting patterns with KnittingCalc.
- Stay alive and healthy by turning itself into a weather radio with Simple Weather Alerts.
In sum, if I get run over by a bus tomorrow, you are going to find my iPad in one hand and my Android in the other. The only thing that would make my Android better would be an app to turn it into a remote control for my iPad!
Do you use your cell phone in ways that you never imagined when you first purchased it? If so, please share!