Tag Archive: cell phones


phonesSmartphones are almost taking over the mobile marketplace. The versatility more than makes up for the battery life trade off, and newer phones are gaining in this area too.

In addition, the warehouse of apps available for these devices makes them even more useful as all around tools. There are apps for shopping lists, making your phone into a scanner, games, music and even a remote control.

If cost is a concern, check out this article from CNN Money comparing costs of some popular models.  The real cost of a smartphone is in the use – how much do you use the majority of the features. If you only talk and text, these phones are not for you.  But as someone who is a power user, I can state that you get very comfortable having all that convenience at your fingertips.  I can update my blogs, take and edit photos and send tweets from my phone, read digital magazines and books and still have enough battery life for lengthy conversations and some text messaging.  Oh, and I can never be lost with my built in GPS.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Droid Bionic and wished for an update to Gingerbread on the EVO.  A couple of days ago my wish was answered and an update was downloaded to my phone.  This type of service extends the useful life of a smartphone and makes it a better investment than models which cannot be updated.

So, make your wish list of features and get to the nearest mobile provider or go on the web to Amazon or Wirefly to compare prices.
And if a large screen is as important to you as it is to me, check out the HTC EVO. Or, slightly smaller screen but with a keyboard, the HTC EVO Shift.

I’m interested in the experiences of people with other types of smartphones such as the Droid, iPhone (any model) and Samsung models.  Please feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts.

Dear HTC,

I want a dual processor EVO.  Waaaaa.  I love the EVO and it could only be made better with a dual-core processor.  Over at Verizon they are touting the new Droid Bionic, (which by the way is a cool name and the commercial – zowie) but really, the EVO has an HDMI port and smooth interface along with being a mini-computer already.  Pump up the speed and it is still the greatest invention since the car.

Oh, and could we get an Android update to Gingerbread?

EVO Rocks!

Well, we knew in our hearts that teens text more than talk.  But now there is evidence that this is true and teens prefer it that way.  In a recent survey, Lab 42 found that 71% of teens prefer texting to talking.  Also, 45% of teens send 30 or more texts per day or 900 texts per month.  And 54% of these texts are “just chatting”.

Just chatting?? Really??

Chatting is a form of talking, if these are just quick chats, it is actually more efficient to make a quick call than type out.  So since this is not about efficiency, it is either about secrecy or lack of communication skills.  Both of these are causes for parental concern.  Take note parents; monitoring needs to be done.  If your teen cannot communicate verbally, they will be at a counter asking “do you want to upsize that”.

Its just my opinion, but this disconnect of personal interaction is what leads to increases in cyber bullying, electronic abuse and general technology abuse.  It is way easier to disrespect someone by typing some letters than facing that same person with mean words.

Well, here we are folks, now that the cell service providers have hooked us on all the fun and important things to be done on a phone other than talk, they want to limit us.  After years of pounding smartphones into our hands, cell service providers are crying “smartphone use is expensive”!  So, what you are saying is that the CFOs of these businesses did not run calculations and projections before pushing this product on the public.  Verizon is the latest to jump on the pay per use bandwagon for data with AT&T and T-Mobile.

Here is a great opportunity for Sprint to be the stand alone provider with a backbone to provide their customers with a clear and aggressive choice for service. They can also re-define themselves and create a completely separate and loyal customer base.  By keeping unlimited data plans and offering the iPhone, Sprint can re-capture some of it’s lost buzz as a premier provider.

The question is; will Sprint cave?  Only time will tell and they will surely attempt to make any change quietly so that they don’t get caught as one of the sheep, following placidly in the footsteps of the competition.

So, will Sprint make us proud?  Or, will once again, consumers bear the brunt of the shortsightedness of big business?

Well, it had to happen, Sprint is in negotiations to add the Apple iPhone to their line up of products. With the end of AT&Ts lock down of the iPhone, this was a foregone conclusion.  Sprint must keep up with the competition or die as a company.

This will be a boon to those Sprint customers who like Apple products but I don’t see it raising Sprint’s market share by much unless the following issues are addressed.

1. Sprint’s customer service must step up.  Poor support is not what Apple customers are used to or will tolerate.

2. Connection issues.  Verizon has done a better job of making the iPhone perform as a phone than AT&T did, but there are still some fixes needed.  Personally, I would never purchase a phone that did not perform the primary function at peak efficiency.

3. Product overload.  Sprint has a huge portfolio of smartphones now and should begin weeding out some of the lower end models.  Skip the mid range and concentrate on offering basic phones and high end models.  Use sales metrics and customer surveys to see which features are most wanted by Sprint customers.  You have a customer base, utilize it.

 

As posted here previously, I love my HTC EVO.  This is arguably one of the 5 best phones ever released.  However, I am quite exhausted with the sporadic service from Sprint.

For the past two months or so, many services I use have had a high “fail out” rate. Sometimes they work fine, sometimes they work poorly, and sometimes they didn’t work at all.

I at first thought my phone might be having problems.  But after talking to some other Sprint users, I found there was a high incidence of issues from call dropping to non-working features.  So, I contacted Sprint customer service to see what could be done.  The rep was very nice and had me run some firmware updates on my phone.  She then began to explain that some of the services I was trying to use were only available for 4G.  I then told her I had been using these services on 3G just fine until recently.  She was unable to explain this and referred me to go into a repair center.

Prior to going to the repair center, I did some digging around and found out that Sprint is currently converting some cell towers in the area from 3G to 4G.  The work is causing some connectivity issues and bandwith narrowing.  It should be resolved within the month.

Now, I’m all for updating equipment, especially since it will provide me with a feature I have been paying for nearly a year without having the actual feature.  However, why couldn’t Sprint simply announced the coming changes and apologized in advance for any inconveniences?  A little upfront transparency can go a long way in customer satisfaction.

Instead, like so many companies, Sprint choose the ostrich method.  Stick your head in the sand and hope most people won’t notice the issues.

Come on, Sprint, don’t go back to your previous last place in customer satisfaction.  Your customer policies are what put you behind your competition. After all, your phones and packages are very highly rated.  Make the 4G leap of customer care and put yourself ahead of the pack.

Cell Phone Madness

OK, I took the plunge and bought the HTC EVO cell phone. I absolutely love it even without having gone through all the tutorials yet. The screen size and resolution make this phone. If you are tired of squinting at your tiny screen, consider this phone.
But what do you need from a cell phone? Make a list of the answers to this question before you go into a store to look for a phone. There are so many new models, you can get overwhelmed. Do some web research also. There are currently web reviews for all the major new phones (droid, EVO, Epic, and of course, iPhone 4)
The HTC EVO is hands down, the best phone I have used. But it is not for casual users. The phone requires study and tutoring to optimize and use properly. Not an investment for talkers and texters. But if your phone is your lifeline or business tool of choice, strongly consider the EVO. I have happily learned to live with a virtual keyboard as the price of a crisp, clear screen, excellent signal for talking, uploading and web surfing. And the photos! Yeeha, retire your digital camera, you can leave it at home. 8 megapixels with zoom rocks and it is easy to use the touchscreen icons. If you don’t like a photo, the trashcan is handy to delete and move on.
Although the phone is larger than most, it can still fit comfortably in your hand. As for the battery life issue, it only took me three days to optimize my phone to get a full day’s use on one charge including talking, texting and photos. BUT if you are taking a lot of pictures or watching videos, get a back up battery or take a mobile charger.
Bottom line; on a desert island, I want electricity and my EVO.

What good is a database?

Most non-technical people view databases as a great mystery.  Well the secret is a database is an electronic library of information customized so you can pull up just the information you want to use.  Imagine your favorite book in a database.  If you wanted to look up just your favorite chapter, you could do it using a search string or command like “mystery solved” or “page 210”.

The use for a database can be as simple as keeping track of books and CDs or as complex as managing your customer files in a small business.  Either way, the information can be retrieved without spending an hour digging through manual files and folders.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a crack tech wiz to use a small database.  Just start by building a simple Excel spreadsheet, then import the information into Access.  Access can create the database for you and walk you through creating input forms.  Viola!, you are a database user.

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