Here is what is good about smartphones (remember I’ve got Android in mind here):
- they have beautiful typography (on anything with pixel density greater than 300 pixels per inch)
- they make it easy to process emails that require a quick response
- they make it easy to send short text messages
- they make it easy to process emails that simply need to be read and archived. This helps significantly in keeping inboxes to zero – you can keep up with prayer letters while standing in a queue etc.
- Google Maps is amazing and the navigation is very useful. Up to date, takes traffic congestion into account, accurate time estimates, all good. Google maps is great for holidays also.
- Google Contacts (part of Gmail) is amazing, once you have gathered all the right data into it. Makes it very easy to get directions between someone’s house and a hospital for example. Great for a pastor doing alot of visiting.
- They make it pleasant to make calls. I’m putting numbers for everyone I ever see into my Gmail contacts. As a pastor it makes it easier to use the phone quickly and effectively (especially combined with in-car bluetooth – see below).
- The Android Gmail client is very nice. Works well for me because I use gmail and labels for my todo lists.
- (Google calendar on the desktop and Android seems pretty awful – I’m still on an A4 week to a page paper diary.)
- The instant messaging apps are a great alternative to SMS. I’m often using Android google chat to my wife on her gmail desktop (she is not a mobile phone user at all!).
- Mobile data speeds are fantastic these days – I get 5-10Mbits on Telstra in Melbourne in most places.
- Tethering via usb or wifi to my netbook helps to redeem time very well when stuck somewhere
- They replace ipods and mp3 players – they make it really easy to listen to sermons and music.
- Bluetooth is wonderful if you have it in your car – jump in, keep listening to the sermon, phone rings – sermon fades out – take the call – sermon fades in etc. Get bluetooth in your actual car stereo, don’t just buy a bluetooth unit as an add-on.
- Battery life is no issue because you can get micro-usb (for Android) dongles in everyplace you are – home, car, work.
- Smartphone camera and video are pretty good and the convenience is outstanding. Especially combined with dropbox auto upload.
- Dropbox is a killer app – I can see all my files, all my photos any time from my phone – incredible.
Tomorrow I will post what is wrong with smartphones.