PDA

View Full Version : Smart phones pro and con??



rhymegirl
07-22-2015, 08:05 PM
Hello!

I am working on an article for a local publication. I am going to tell readers (ages 55 and up is the target audience) all about smart phones plus I want to talk about the pros and cons of using them. Some of this will be from my personal experience and from research.

In order to show both sides of the story--
What I'd like to do is to quote opinions from people here. Do you use a smart phone? Why did you decide to buy one? Do you think you'd ever go back to a simple phone that is only used for phone calls? Do you think everyone in the future will use smart phones? Have you ever experienced difficulty using one?

If you don't own a smart phone, what are the reasons? Too expensive, too complicated to figure out, or maybe you feel they're not necessary since you own a computer and only need a phone to be a phone? Or perhaps you simply dislike technology?

Any replies would be greatly appreciated! Please remember I'd like to be able to quote you, so you have to be okay with that.

Thanks!

MaryMumsy
07-22-2015, 08:39 PM
I'm 65 and hubby is 67. We got smart phones a year ago and love them.

I had originally suggested I get one so I could receive email while we were in another state. He thought it sounded like a good idea, and maybe he would get one too. At the time we had two land lines and two 'pay as you go' flip phones.

When we found out 1) we could port our land line numbers to the smart phones 2) the cost would be roughly the same as what we were paying, the deal was sealed. Ditched the land lines and the flip phones and each got a smart phone.

I use mine for phone calls and texts and taking pictures of my cat. Never did get started on using it for email or net surfing.

He uses his for everything. Email, phone calls, texts, photos, reminder lists, listening to Pandora while he's swimming, etc etc.

One of the biggest pros for us was constant availibility for him. His mother is elderly and infirm, and now he is never out of reach to her or the caregiver. That is peace of mind.

One of the biggest cons for me is needing to use a stylus to type. I have longish nails and it would be so much easier if the keyboard wasn't sensitive only to skin. Obviously there were no women with long nails on the design team. I know it is possible, my old Palm device worked with nails.

There are a bazillion things on the little device. If you can't figure something out, find a teenager.

Hope that helps.

MM

dpaterso
07-22-2015, 09:06 PM
I'm in your reader age group also. I got my Samsung Galaxy S5 (which is at the lower end of the smartphone spectrum) as a freebie if I committed to 12 months' rental, the provider gave me monthly discounts which made it as cheap as the old pay-as-you-go phone I'd been using, plus I get almost unlimited texts and voice phone call minutes, etc. every month. So just from the financial viewpoint, it scored. Tech is cheaper than it ever was.

It took me a day or ten to get used to the Swype keyboard instead of thumbing micro-buttons, but now it's second nature and I text faster than I ever could with buttons. Also the voice-to-text thing works real good despite my accent (which PC software has problems with) if I just want to dictate a text message before sending, because lazy. Most family unit communications take place via text messages now instead of long tedious rambling interrupting phone calls, and that suits me just fine!

Bonus, with WhatsApp I can also text international buddies and swap pics etc. at no extra cost.

The camera is very useful.

It's hard to remember the times when we didn't all have a phone and weren't all in constant easy communication with each other, though it probably wasn't that long ago. I'd find it damn hard to go back to a simpler phone, although I have a cheap backup for emergencies.

-Derek

CJMockingbird
07-22-2015, 09:55 PM
Do you use a smart phone? Why did you decide to buy one? Do you think you'd ever go back to a simple phone that is only used for phone calls? Do you think everyone in the future will use smart phones? Have you ever experienced difficulty using one? ... Any replies would be greatly appreciated! Please remember I'd like to be able to quote you, so you have to be okay with that. Thanks! I own a smart phone. It's not super expensive or anything. I originally obtained one to keep in contact with my wife, since we need to communicate about work, groceries, ect. and we share one car. I had a good deal by being on my friend's line for awhile. I would never go back to a simple phone because those phones don't have good internet access. I'm on Facebook a lot and actually, right now, thanks to the "tethering and hotspot" option and our lack of cable/internet, it is my only access online anywhere, outside public hot-spots. I also enjoy not having to worry about buying minutes (my roommate has a basic phone because she can't afford anything more and it's only for basic communication like calls/text). I would say if your situation is the latter (ie: you don't play games or internet), get a basic phone with minutes. It can be cheaper, but you need to make sure you have a minute card for emergencies. As far as everyone in the future using a smart phone? I doubt it. Maybe fifty years from now. Smart phones are still too expensive, in my opinion. I have experienced difficulty with smart phones, namely in terms of small glitches related to the cellular service (ie: dropped calls, rarely, and other minor things). For the most part it's been hassle-free. Updating can be a pain, especially when something changes drastically and there's no indicator/instructions on how you find things. Hope I've been some help. -MJ (Side note not related to your post: I love your signature.)

Maggie Maxwell
07-22-2015, 10:19 PM
If you don't own a smart phone, what are the reasons? Too expensive, too complicated to figure out, or maybe you feel they're not necessary since you own a computer and only need a phone to be a phone? Or perhaps you simply dislike technology?

This is me. Twenty-nine years old and carrying a 5-year-old flipphone. It's not a matter of expense; I've had my contract long enough to get a free upgrade to a last-generation smartphone. It's not a matter of complication; I'm my job's IT go-to. Figuring out computer and phone problems is part of my job. I don't dislike technology; I spend almost all day on my computer, work and home. The thing is, I spend almost all day on my computer.

The only times I don't spend connected to the world wide web are when I'm out and about experiencing the world wide world. I see these people all over, out in parks, at dinner, museums, movies and plays, sporting events, all with their faces buried in their phones, too connected to the internet or invested in a game or whatever to experience the world going on around them. I've seen a person miss a pod of wild dolphins passing by because they were too preoccupied with their phone to notice the people trying to get their attention. I like the moments of detachment I get from being away from my computer, and I'm afraid of becoming the person who spends all day glued to their smartphone if I got the level of accessibility one would give me. I see myself on my computer as-is. For me, a handheld computer that goes everywhere with me would be dangerous.

I feel like, my email can wait a few hours while I watch a movie. No one's going to say anything important on Facebook while I have dinner. I need a phone to be a phone. Call and text. That's all. Everything else can wait until I get home.

ETA: Another reason I haven't upgraded: durability. I'm a fidget-er. I futz and fiddle with anything that fits in my hands. I cannot count the number of times I've fumbled electronics, mostly my phone. Because I've got a flipphone, I don't have more than a few scratches on it. I've seen what happens when you fumble an unprotected smartphone. Usually, it's not pretty.

Lavern08
07-22-2015, 10:50 PM
I fall into your age group too, sooooo...


...I need a phone to be a phone. Call and text. That's all.
^ Yeah That!

Hubby gave me an iPhone a few years ago, although I was totally content with my FlipPhone - Plus, I'm on my laptop approx. 5 hours every day - That's enuf (www.) for me. :Shrug:

Taejang
07-23-2015, 12:26 AM
I'm a 20-something software consultant. I have a smartphone, though hardly use any "smart" features on it. My thoughts:

I own a camera small enough to fit in a pocket that is capable of far superior pictures and video, I prefer normal gaming over mobile gaming, I dislike watching movies on such a small screen, I abhor doing "work" on any smartphone (typing a lot is a chore, working with Excel is nigh-impossible, etc), and I find little use in all the other gadgets and gizmos and apps for smartphones. Yet I still own one.

For me, it came down to quality. Phone manufacturers are pushing smartphones, and regular phones are not what they once were. Some exceptions to the rule exist, but they are hard to find. I also prefer going without a phone contract, adding to the complexity of finding the right phone for me. So I bought my expensive smartphone straight from the company (in my case, Google, as I got a Nexus 4), but only pay $30 a month for unlimited talk and text. Sure, I only get 500MB of data a month, but I rarely run out. And I can switch carriers at the drop of a hat (which I did when StraightTalk turned out to not talk so straight).

When this phone dies, if I can find a quality phone for talk and text that works with multiple carriers, I'll buy it. I simply don't need the features of a smartphone, though I do use them sometimes just because I have them.

Speculation: In the future, almost everyone who has a phone will indeed have a smartphone. There isn't enough money in making or selling "dumb" phones, and landline networks are expensive to build and maintain (though VoIP is essentially the same thing to most users and isn't going anywhere anytime soon). Specialty things, like military or construction worker phones, will probably still be around, but they may not be widely available. The next "dumb" phones I think we'll see with a large number of users will be micro-phones (or whatever catchphrase "catches" on), the kind of thing without a screen at all that hooks onto your ear like a Bluetooth headset. Those phones will be managed from a separate device (like a smartwatch, tablet, or computer) and will only be for phone calls and voice messages (as in, you deliberately send a voice message as a form of upgraded text message). But micro-phones are still a ways off- too much money and popularity in smartphones for manufacturers to risk going that route.

cbenoi1
07-23-2015, 12:44 AM
Here are a few notes on my experience with getting my mother (76) a cellphone, let alone a 'smart' one.


> Do you use a smart phone?

I got her a flip-phone she carries in her purse in case of emergencies. It can do voice, text, and emails. She resisted the idea at first, then got the hang of it after a year. The device is still being used as a voice-only device and the numbers she calls are limited.


> Why did you decide to buy one?

The idea of getting a cellphone materialized when my mother got stuck at a concert venue where there were no payphone. It became a complicated task to call a taxi.

Here in Canada, public payphones are being phased out. The costs of maintaining payphones and collecting coins far outweighs the revenue stream. It's therefore not really a decision. Just a basic necessity in the current context.


> Do you think you'd ever go back to a simple phone that is only used for phone calls?

It's what she has right now. The question should be reversed: is there a need to upgrade a "pocket phone for emergency calls only" device to a full blown Internet-connected device?


> Do you think everyone in the future will use smart phones?

I think we all know the answer to that.


> Have you ever experienced difficulty using one?

My mother got past the initial hurdle of understanding how the device works, how to turn it on/off, how to make a call, how to hang up. It sounds simple, by those simple tasks took more than an hour of time on my part to explain.

The deal breaker in getting into the higher smartphone functions was how pictures were handled with the newer technology compared to the old 35mm system. My mother doesn't have Internet let alone a home computer, so getting the pictures out of the phone and onto photo paper turned out to be impossible or so overly complicated (as one tech explained it to me) that it defeated the purpose.

Maybe that could be a topic of its own: how to get printed photos directly from a smartphone without the help of a PC. If you ever find a simple solution (one that works anywhere, including Canada), please let me know.


Hope this helps.

-cb

Taejang
07-23-2015, 01:03 AM
Maybe that could be a topic of its own: how to get printed photos directly from a smartphone without the help of a PC. If you ever find a simple solution (one that works anywhere, including Canada), please let me know.
Easy. Find a phone that allows a separate memory card (usually micro-SD (http://techgadgetcentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MICRO-SD-full.jpg) or similar). Many phones with an external memory card have a setting for where to save photos- internal memory, or the card. Make sure it is set to the card. Take some photos, then pull the card out and pop it into a photo machine (http://www.kodak.com/ek/uploadedImages/G4_Kiosk_with_Collage.jpg). Not sure about Canada, but they are very common in the US. Walmart, Walgreens, all kinds of stores have them. The machine prints the photos, you put the card back into the phone, and you're done.

These photo machines can be a real pain to work with, but store employees can be asked for help. Sometimes the machines in question won't take the smaller sized cards, but the above linked-to image shows one option to deal with that.

It may also be possible to plug the phone directly into the photo machine and bypass the card altogether; most allow USB input, and many smartphones use USB. I've never done that, though, so I cannot say with certainty it would work or if only certain brands of phone/photo machine would be capable of that.

cbenoi1
07-23-2015, 01:55 AM
> Easy. Find a phone that allows a separate memory card {..}

The phone she had with the plan is the Samsung SPH-m300. She can't upgrade it unless she changes the contract to the more expensive C$75 / mo ones. So it's C$60 more per month just to be able to print pictures. Hmmm. Let me think about this one some more.

-cb

King Neptune
07-23-2015, 02:26 AM
I am around the age group, and I strongly agree with TAMaxwell.

I spend a large part of my day on a PC, and I don't seen any reason to spend hours more with my nose at a tiny monitor. There are extremel;y few things that a smartphone does better than a better pievce of equipment, but someone mentioned one thing: WiFi hotspot. Otherwise, I am happy with my plain phone and PC, and I don't need a hotspot, so I don't even have use for that.

BTW, I don't have a Swiss Army knife either, and for similar reasons.

benbenberi
07-23-2015, 02:27 AM
I'm just a few years outside your target range. So speaking for myself:

I got a smart phone in 2012 right after Superstorm Sandy, because that made me aware it could be very useful to have a source of current news & information that didn't require a live power outlet all the time. I use it a little for voice calls (I still have a landline that I prefer when I'm at home), but frequently for texting, social media, and looking things up -- no question of fact needs to remain debatable when it can be instantly answered through Google, IMDB, Amazon, etc. I never use it to watch movies or TV - that's what a big-screen TV is for. I'm not a big photographer but I like the quality of the camera & the ease of sharing & saving pictures. I often use the map/navigation apps -- Waze has gotten me out of some bad traffic jams & helped me avoid others with on-the-fly directions based on current conditions. And I like the convenience of having music & audiobooks on the same device as everything else, not a separate player (& the ability to stream Pandora & internet radio when I feel like something different & over-the-air radio isn't an option).

I would never, ever go back to a dumb phone.

frimble3
07-23-2015, 06:10 AM
I'm 54, so just sliding into your target audience. I don't have a smart phone or a dumb phone. I have a landline at home, with a wireless handset, which is sufficient for my phoning needs. I only need a phone to be a phone, and then, not very often. I don't go much of anywhere except work, library, groceries, so I'm a) never lost and b) generally near people in case of emergencies. And, I'm extremely nearsighted, so a teeny little screen is more of a nuisance than a help.

At home I have a laptop, so I can e-mail and Google to my heart's content. (No Facebook or Twitter, either, I am an unsocial dinosaur.) There's no-one I need to get an urgent update from, don't have the kind of job that needs instant access, and I don't move in the kind of circles that feel the need to express every OMG thing that happens, as it happens.
I work with people like that, always huddled down so the boss can't see them, texting home, furtively checking updates, browsing photos. I don't want to be one of them.
I have not yet seen an app that was worth the trouble of downloading it, and while the ability to take photos at all times would be nice, I could solve it by carrying around my little digital camera, possibly in the space that would otherwise be taken up by a phone.

And, dollars to doughnuts, there will be no instructions, not even a little 'Here's how to get started' pamphlet. So, it's the usual 'JUST open the on-line instructions, open a series of screens, follow poorly-worded instructions, which you'll probably want to print out for future reference, then try to apply your interpretation of those instructions to a little device with eentsy little graphics on the keys'.

The only other times I have thought it would be nice to have the little phone are a) to play games on the bus on long boring trips, but really, tiny screen/big fingers does not make for a fun experience; and b) when transit breaks down and it would be nice to call a cab, but again, if I really wanted to, and could afford to take the cab, I could probably pay someone else to make the call for me (plus, they would be able to claim the 'use in emergencies' brag, with 'helped foolish phoneless person' smirk).

If I were to give advice to your target audience, I'd say "Consider how you actually use a phone, instead of how you might use it, or how Helpful People think you could use it." Sure having the capacity to do more might widen your horizons, but it might just as easily leave you
thinking that you wasted your money. Or, feeling foolish at not being able to use the phone without help.

frimble3
07-23-2015, 06:44 AM
The deal breaker in getting into the higher smartphone functions was how pictures were handled with the newer technology compared to the old 35mm system. My mother doesn't have Internet let alone a home computer, so getting the pictures out of the phone and onto photo paper turned out to be impossible or so overly complicated (as one tech explained it to me) that it defeated the purpose.

Maybe that could be a topic of its own: how to get printed photos directly from a smartphone without the help of a PC. If you ever find a simple solution (one that works anywhere, including Canada), please let me know.


Hope this helps.

-cb
Re: getting the photos off the phone: is it possible for your mother to e-mail them to someone else, who has a printer?

Bing Z
07-23-2015, 07:40 AM
Do you use a smart phone?
Yes, swapped two landlines to two flipphone lines and then onto smartphones.

Why did you decide to buy one?
DW wanted one and I tagged along ^_^.

Do you think you'd ever go back to a simple phone that is only used for phone calls?
Nah, nowadays I check emails on my phone instead of on my computer. I use it to listen to audiobooks, read ebooks, take photos, quick look-up on the web, check what/where to eat via Siri/yelp, online banking, etc. The only thing I don't do on the phone is watch movies/sports streams/videos (data cost, plus why waste the tv?)

Do you think everyone in the future will use smart phones?
Is this a serious question?

Have you ever experienced difficulty using one?
Hell yeah. There isn't really a user manual/guide. But I adapt well.



Maybe that could be a topic of its own: how to get printed photos directly from a smartphone without the help of a PC. If you ever find a simple solution (one that works anywhere, including Canada), please let me know.
-cb

There are portable printers on the market (eg this random Amazon search resutl (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Portable-Wireless-Compact-Printer/dp/B00HK8V4NC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1437621740&sr=8-2&keywords=smartphone+printer)) that can be connected directly to a compatible smartphone. So technology isn't an issue. It may be cost-wise, or more significantly, how complicated the process is to your mother.

BarII
07-23-2015, 08:31 AM
Unfortunately, smartphones have been around long enough that certain instructions on how to use them don't even exist in the manuals. If you're not already familiar smartphone functionality and don't have someone to teach you, you may not realize some "basic" things such as how to swipe the screen with your fingers to make a webpage or image larger.

If you accidently press the lock button, you won't necessarily realize the phone is locked or how to unlock it because icons rule and the simple text needed to point the unsuspecting user to the solution is neither on the keys nor screen. This is true even on "feature phones" (which is a misleading term) that are supposedly good for seniors.

Even how to place a call isn't abundantly clear. My father will rarely need the phone and I'm worried that he won't remember how to place a call. I have to admit, I used mine for calls so rarely that I stopped refilling my prepaid plan ($10 every 3 months) and I might need a couple of tries to figure out how to place a call when I activate the phone again.

Most cell phones have side buttons that can be accidently pressed, especially when opening a flip phone phone. Once the main keys are accessible, there's no telling what mode you'll accidently get yourself into. When I get my father a phone I hope I'll be able to find a single button that will bring my father back to the main screen in every situation he may find himself in, and I hope he'll remember it.

I believe it's still true that most cell phones aren't even water resistant, and there are warnings about freezing temperatures too. The kind of temperatures you may be in while waiting for a bus. Shock resistance is something I think every phone should have too, just so you can drop it from your hand onto the floor without it breaking. Most aren't shock resistant.

I have a Windows phone. The stuff you have to agree to in order to download an app, or even activate a built in app, is ridiculous. Stuff like, if you want a voice recorder app, the app may access your photo album.

I've accidently activated the voice and video recorders several times without realizing it. It's too easy to do stuff like that and there's no physical switch to turn off the mic or camera. I'm seriously thinking of trying to install one on my cheap smartphone so I'll know that when it's off, it won't accidently become on.

Taejang
07-23-2015, 05:29 PM
The phone she had with the plan is the Samsung SPH-m300. She can't upgrade it unless she changes the contract to the more expensive C$75 / mo ones. So it's C$60 more per month just to be able to print pictures. Hmmm. Let me think about this one some more.
Oh yeah, they kill you with the "required" data plans. I went contract-less because I was tired of paying more for a limited amount of slow data than I pay for an unlimited, much faster internet connection.

It may take some research, but if you are persistent enough, I bet you can find a small company with rates between $30-$45 to do a smartphone with a SIM card. That usually means buying the phone outright, but the longer you use the phone the more money you'll end up saving. That may be more practical than the C$75, though perhaps not enough to make the switch. YMMV


Re: getting the photos off the phone: is it possible for your mother to e-mail them to someone else, who has a printer?
That's a good idea. There are also online stores that will print photos and then mail them to you, but that requires web navigation and stuff.

shadowwalker
07-23-2015, 05:47 PM
Also in your reader group.

I got my current cellphone some 12-14 years ago. Yes, my current cellphone. I got it because the landline became ridiculously expensive. I still don't know or need to know how to use all of its limited features. I call someone; someone calls me. I don't need more than that. I'm also very cheap. I don't have any "plan" - even one of those that claim not to be a plan. I call a number every couple of months as needed, pay an amazingly small amount of money for a huge number of minutes - and those minutes are mine, period. Rollover? The name itself implies bondage to the phone companies. I still have a desktop, only now thinking about a laptop. I love technology, but I refuse to let it become an obsession. Sometimes, I don't even take my phone with me - I know, GASP HOW COULD YOU!?!?!?

waylander
07-23-2015, 06:24 PM
I'm in your age-group and have a calls and text only phone. The major reasons being the expense and the poor coverage where I live so that most of the internet features wouldn't work well anyway.

Edwardian
07-23-2015, 06:31 PM
Perhaps it's worth emphasizing that Android smart phones function similarly to a tablet, except for the call and text features. If you can handle a tablet, you can handle a smart-phone, and vice-versa.

It might also be worth differentiating between iphones and Android phones. iphones are possibly easier to use for someone with no computer experience, but more expensive.

cbenoi1
07-23-2015, 08:08 PM
Re: getting the photos off the phone: is it possible for your mother to e-mail them to someone else, who has a printer?
The SPH has an integrated email program, but it doesn't allow attachments. Worse, there is no other email offering for that phone on the Bell Canada portal. I've spend some time at a Bell shop letting the techies figure out a way to get pictures out the phone and they sent me to Samsung, who was more than pleased to forward me the link to their Korean-only developer web site.

See where this discussion is going?


Do you use a smart phone?
There are portable printers on the market (eg this random Amazon search resutl (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Portable-Wireless-Compact-Printer/dp/B00HK8V4NC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1437621740&sr=8-2&keywords=smartphone+printer)) that can be connected directly to a compatible smartphone. So technology isn't an issue. It may be cost-wise, or more significantly, how complicated the process is to your mother.
Maybe the phone makers and the telcos will get their act together at some point in the future to make things easier. I just doubt it.

Let me tell you an aside story. Back in the 70s, a friend and I were the gurus of Jerrold boxes. Remember those? Jerrold made CATV boxes that connected to TVs. I've seen them all - not selecting the proper channel on the TV set (3 or 4, depending on the DIP switches in the back), cable disconnecting, confusing roles of the remote controls (one for the TV, the other for the box), putting the box in the wrong mode, etc. Forward 40-ish years. Yes, FORTY years. We still have TV sets with cable boxes on the side, two remotes (often the case when you have an older TV set). And still, the very same people I've helped back in those days call me because they somehow misconfigured the TV set input mode, or lost their setup after an hydro shortage, or something else. You'd think Scientific Atlanta and Cisco would sit down with Panasonic or Toshiba and get their act together to offer a unified solution. But no. It's the Jerrold nightmare all over again.



{...} if you are persistent enough, I bet you can find a small company with rates between $30-$45 {...}
Yes, the future is always better than the present. I'm not giving up on that.

-cb

Taejang
07-23-2015, 08:28 PM
You are quite right. Tech giants don't change the basics like they should, and when they do we still complain. For example, MS Word changed its menu system with every release for awhile there, making it confusing as all get-out every time somebody upgraded. So much so, in fact, I stopped trying and picked up LibreOffice instead. That is the cost of changing things, and companies get complaints either way ("Why do I still need two remotes?" or "Why doesn't your universal remote have this button, like my old remote?"). It'll probably be like that until voice recognition capabilities finally do away with many UI problems.

For example, I envision a TV remote with mostly the same setup as now, save one more, very prominent button. When held down, it accepts voice commands. The remote just transmits, the cable box has a mini computer sophisticated enough to understand commands like, "I just want to watch HBO, dang-nabbit!" and changes to the proper input and channel. Unfortunately, such sophisticated voice recognition is still years off (smartphone personalities like Apple's Siri still make plenty of mistakes, and TV manufacturers don't have much incentive to throw money into that like smartphone manufacturers do), but you bet it'll arrive eventually.

cbenoi1
07-23-2015, 09:43 PM
> It'll probably be like that until voice recognition capabilities
> finally do away with many UI problems.

More technology is not always the solution. Just a TV set with an integrated cable box is all I asked for. TV makers already integrate DVD players on some models, so it's not like it's technically impossible to integrate 3rd party electronics.


Going back to the OP's question and dealing with camera / printed photos.

There is an inherent convenience with smartphones. There's a camera in your pocket or purse. It's just there. I've seen friends of my mother take pictures of shopping goods - specials they stumbled on and want to pass on, or a visual shopping list, etc. It's the sort of usage that goes beyond what was originally expected. That's a big PRO for anything transient. The big CON is for souvenirs you want to put in a photo album. There is no single (and simple) path from digital picture to photo album. I understand the market will eventually filter out the good solutions from the more complicated and/or costly ones eventually, but right now I fail to see anything along the lines of "this is how it's supposed to work" kind of way.

-cb

WeaselFire
07-23-2015, 10:53 PM
My first cell phone came with a bag. It made calls, received calls and cost a fortune. I've had every style of smart phone out there and every operating system, several of which no longer exist, and I've had small phones, clamshell phones and smart phones that double as professional filming devices and mobile mini-tablets. I've broken every phone design known to man, including my aunt's 1960's era princess phone in her bathroom and suffered through every lockup, lost signal and dead battery episode you can imagine. I've lived on phones for work and play. Here's my list for smartphones...

Pros:

Internet, email, texting, Facebook, photos, news, games and a billion productivity apps are available. At least on Apple and Android, Microsoft has a ways to go in the app variety department and Blackberry just doesn't have any.

GPS. Saves my butt, gets me there on time, keeps me out of danger and most of the time is accurate. Except for Windows operating systems which don't have Google maps.

Calendar, contacts, email and office documents can synch and be opened, even edited on the smartphone. Here is where Windows shines, if you have a Microsoft-enabled business, and who doesn't?

Typing. Depending on the phone, most have texting, but only on a decent sized smart phone can you actually type real words. Stupidity in teens comes from texting that either uses fewer characters for Twitter or uses combinations you can find on a standard phone pad easily.

Video, entertainment. Can't really do this on anything but a smart phone. Hand it to a grand kid and they don't bother you for hours. Although they do forward your selfies to the world.

Photos. Okay, most cameras in phones suck and the manipulation of images on a phone is useless. But grabbing a quick picture of a price tag, address, business card, menu or something else to remember is priceless. Plus you can take annoying selfies.

Cons:

They're expensive and require expensive data plans. Basic phones can make and send calls and texts and are pretty cheap to run. Usually come free with a cell plan.

They break. Don't care what kind of screen protector, special glass or case you put them in, buy the insurance. If you buy it, the thing will never break. Don't buy it and you'll go through four, at full price, in a two year contract.

Batteries suck. I have never had any that could last as long as someone needed. And carrying auxiliary batteries or fat cases with backup batteries is stupid. Car chargers and other charging options are a must if you intend to actually use a phone. Stupid phones ( the opposite of smart phones ) last a week or more on a charge, not a few hours.

They're big. Especially as you get older and need bigger screens to see, or if you want to watch TV on your phone. Rarely do they fit well in a pocket, the reason every teenage girl has short shorts with an iPhone half out of her back pocket. Fashion loses to technology here. I can carry a pistol easier than a smart phone.

Every waitress has one. And they're on it instead of filling my drink glass or taking my order. The local diner fires any employee who brings their phone in with them, so I go there often. :)

Bottom line -- I hate smart phones. I can't live without them. But I still hate them. Same thing with lawyers.

Jeff

Lavern08
07-24-2015, 12:57 AM
... I love technology, but I refuse to let it become an obsession. Sometimes, I don't even take my phone with me - I know, GASP HOW COULD YOU!?!?!?
I know, right? Sometimes, my iPhone doesn't ring for days!!! :Shrug:

L M Ashton
07-26-2015, 04:14 PM
I'm 47, so a bit younger than your demographic, but not unreasonably so. However, I've also been exposed to computers since the 1970s when my oldest brother became a programmer back in the card punch days. And I've been on BBSes (bulletin board systems, the precurser to the world wide web) since 1983, took my first programming course in 1983, and bought my first computer in 1990, so I'm also not exactly the typical user for my age.

Do you use a smart phone?

Yup. Have for quite a few years now. I've used both Android and iOS as well as Windows.

Why did you decide to buy one?

The husband develops for mobile devices, so I get his handmedowns.

Do you think you'd ever go back to a simple phone that is only used for phone calls?

No. I don't really use the phone feature anyway - I use it for everything else. My main uses involve language learning (Memrise for learning German), facebook, email, surfing the web, looking for a restaurant nearby, maps, reading ebooks, skyping/video chatting with people, taking pictures and sharing to Instagram & other social media, looking up pressure cooker times for whatever I'm cooking, looking at recipes, and, well, it goes from there. I also use it for beta testing apps for iOS/Android for the husband.

Do you think everyone in the future will use smart phones?

Of course.

Have you ever experienced difficulty using one?

Nope. Other than for bugs, which happen on every platform.

rhymegirl
07-27-2015, 06:58 PM
Thank you very much for all of your responses!

I am still working on my article and I will read through all of them. I definitely want to be fair and balanced. My personal experience is this: I was using a flip phone for quite a few years and knew how to do everything on it. Yes, it is just for phone calls and texts, nothing fancy, but you still have to navigate around to hear voice mails, delete messages, etc. So then my son-in-law was given a new smartphone as a gift so he gave me his old one. Man, did I struggle to figure that out! We put my information on it, but he just gave me a quick verbal run-through as to how to use it. There's no manual to consult. So when he wasn't around I had to wing it. I must say I gave up after a week! My youngest son (24) was interested in the phone so I gave it to him. I went back to my flip phone and I am happy with it. The way I look at it is I only need a phone to be a phone. I have a laptop computer for sending emails, scoping out the Internet, listening to music, etc. I have a nice little Canon digital camera for taking photos.

But as I said, I would like to show both sides--both arguments, for and against.

Underdawg47
07-28-2015, 04:52 AM
I am in this age group 56, male and I have never owned any sort of cell phone. I suppose I must be one of the few remaining people in this country not to have one. I do find it frustrating that there are very few pay phones left, a remnant of some bygone age, but I have refused to break down and get one. I have had friends tell me to join the modern age and that it is important in case I have some sort of emergency. I have thought about it, but after seeing what it has done to our culture, I refuse to be a part of it. When I walk down the street or sit on a bus I notice that very few people talk to one another. They stare blindly into these little boxes ignoring the real people around them. They walk down the street blindly ignoring traffic or other pedestrians, its like we have become a culture of zombies. I have a landline phone at home, yet I let my answering machine answer most of my calls. I call them back at a convenient time. And then I don't like the idea of having some device that can track my whereabouts. I still wonder how long it will take me to actually break down and get one.

L M Ashton
07-28-2015, 05:23 PM
The way I look at it is I only need a phone to be a phone. I have a laptop computer for sending emails, scoping out the Internet, listening to music, etc. I have a nice little Canon digital camera for taking photos.

Another reason I use my smartphone - and tablet - a lot...

I'm disabled. I have a connective tissue disorder that results, amongst many other things, in unstable joints with a fair bit of joint and muscle pain. Lifting anything heaving, and by heavy, I could mean as little as a pound, can be a problem. Using traditional paper books can be problematic for me due to the weight but also how they have to be held and the cramps and joint pain that result. Heavy cameras like my old Nikon D90 no longer work for me since I can't carry them around. Well, you get the idea.

The smartphone and tablets mean that I can carry books with me - thousands if need be - with very little weight. Even though my eyes aren't great - also thanks to my connective tissue disorder - I can still read even on my iPhone because I can adjust text size easily to fit my needs.

It's not just about convenience, these things. It's about allowing me to take advantage of things like books and maps and cameras and an iPod and... whatever without needing to carry around 10 different things that I can't carry around anymore anyway. It means that, if we go out of town for a few days, I don't absolutely have to bring my heavy (3kgs more or less) notebook with me, carrying it on my shoulder which dislocates far too easily, assuming that my muscles don't get tired and drop it. I have to minimize as much as I can by weight that which I take with me. I have to pare the contents of my purse down, way way down. I already wear the purse cross-body since that takes the strain off my shoulders and reduces my dislocations. But every little bit helps.

My smartphone is, for me, making me feel less disabled and more normal.

Shadow_Ferret
07-28-2015, 06:54 PM
I'm part of the demographic. I use my smartphone for everything. I use it more than my laptop and I rarely eeven turn on my tablet. My smartphone is my computer, my mp3 player, my appointment reminder, my camera, besides using it for mundane things like texting and calls. I can't think of any cons.

Dave Williams
07-29-2015, 12:13 PM
If you don't own a smart phone, what are the reasons? Too expensive,

Bingo. The data charges are outrageous. Vrrznn was the only local carrier that would sell us a contract with no data plan; in revenge, they disabled the camera, mp3 player, and other non-internet functions.

Also, each generation of "wireless" technology seems to come with a corresponding drop in audio quality. It's now to the point where the phone isn't much better than a pager; the audio is clipped, compressed, folded, spindled, and mutilated until it's mostly barking noises; to actually hold a conversation I have to find a land line somewhere.

Dave Williams
07-29-2015, 12:23 PM
It sounds simple, by those simple tasks took more than an hour of time on my part to explain.

"Why isn't there a dial tone? Is it working?"

"Why does it ring when I'm talking to someone? They said I hung up on them, but I was talking and didn't hear anything unusual until it rang in my ear."

"Why isn't there ever a busy signal when I call someone? I always get a 'voicemailses.' I'm not going to talk to an answering machine. If they're on the phone to someone else, I can just call back."

"Doesn't anyone make anything with buttons on it? Those touch screens drive me mad!"

"Well, I'm sure that's nice if you're inside or in the shade, but you can't see anything if you try to use it in direct sunlight."

L M Ashton
07-31-2015, 05:20 AM
Bingo. The data charges are outrageous. Vrrznn was the only local carrier that would sell us a contract with no data plan; in revenge, they disabled the camera, mp3 player, and other non-internet functions.

Also, each generation of "wireless" technology seems to come with a corresponding drop in audio quality. It's now to the point where the phone isn't much better than a pager; the audio is clipped, compressed, folded, spindled, and mutilated until it's mostly barking noises; to actually hold a conversation I have to find a land line somewhere.
My experience is completely different, but it sounds like my usage is completely different.

I don't have a data plan and don't use the Internet on the go unless there's free wifi, which, generally speaking, there isn't where I am - Asia. Social media, web browsing, email I don't do out and about. It can wait until I'm home. Most other stuff I do offline - like reading, German lessons, catching up on reading web articles (GetPocket), and so on. On the other hand, we don't spend a lot of time out and about - we work from home.

On the rare occasions we need a data plan, we get one that's good for the day or a month on a prepaid basis - but then, we only use prepaid plans for our mobile phone usage. Also, phones in this area of the world are not locked, so it's easy to get a prepaid account.

Summary: phone and data usage varies.

About that sound quality? That's weird. We don't have much of a problem with that here. Maybe it's your carrier?

BWretched
07-31-2015, 06:58 AM
Do you use a smart phone? Yes.
Why did you decide to buy one? Social reasons, everyone uses the apps you can only use on a smart phone and other stuff that just leaves you out of the loop if you're not doing it as well. Years later I'm just used to them.
Do you think you'd ever go back to a simple phone that is only used for phone calls? To not have one now would give that feeling of downgrading and since I don't have to, no.
Do you think everyone in the future will use smart phones? No clue, something smarter might come out.
Have you ever experienced difficulty using one? Tons. They're delicate (though newer ones are getting stronger and more durable). They're basically tiny computers so they require maintenance to some degree. Can't use one in the cold without special gloves.


The rest of the questions don't apply to me. But as someone who spent some time researching I feel like you would get more valid data if you asked some demographic questions as well.

C.bronco
07-31-2015, 08:13 AM
I have a dumb phone. It make phone calls and makes cumbersome and awkward texts, but it's very cheap!

rhymegirl
08-03-2015, 09:39 PM
Please remember I'd like to be able to quote you, so you have to be okay with that.
Thanks!

Just want to clarify this point because there seems to be some misunderstanding. When I ask for replies and I say I want to quote you, that means I need your real name and location. If you don't want to supply that, you shouldn't respond in this thread.

shadowwalker
08-04-2015, 08:12 AM
There's a difference between quoting us and publishing our real names/locations in your paper. I'm fine with the first, not with the second. Why is it necessary to include that information?

Taejang
08-04-2015, 05:07 PM
There's a difference between quoting us and publishing our real names/locations in your paper. I'm fine with the first, not with the second. Why is it necessary to include that information?

Credibility. "Taejang, from the internet" looks a lot worse in publications than, "Jacob Horner, from Oregon." I didn't realize she wanted the names and locations, but it makes perfect sense to me.

King Neptune
08-04-2015, 06:07 PM
Credibility. "Taejang, from the internet" looks a lot worse in publications than, "Jacob Horner, from Oregon." I didn't realize she wanted the names and locations, but it makes perfect sense to me.

Neither seems more credible to me, and it can be a mistake to allow one's name and/or location to be published.

shadowwalker
08-04-2015, 06:35 PM
Neither seems more credible to me, and it can be a mistake to allow one's name and/or location to be published.

Exactly. It's not as though this were a position paper, or any of us were 'authorities'. We're just people expressing our opinions.

rhymegirl
08-05-2015, 06:04 PM
Credibility. "Taejang, from the internet" looks a lot worse in publications than, "Jacob Horner, from Oregon." I didn't realize she wanted the names and locations, but it makes perfect sense to me.

Yes, this is pretty much it. I can't make everyone anonymous. I have to show I asked real people their opinions about smartphones. If everyone were nameless, how do they know I didn't just make up the responses? This is simply the way it's done.

Taejang
08-05-2015, 06:17 PM
You can still report back on "general consensus" type stuff from the posts here, while only specifically quoting a few posts.

Bing Z
08-05-2015, 06:28 PM
Something like this? -- According to a (mini) online survey covering {whatever demo} conducted in July 2015, 67% (or whatever #) of respondents confirmed they were using smartphones. Among them, the most common reasons were blah blah. For those not using smartphones, xx% cited costs being the factor, and yy% felt they were happy with what they had, blah blah, etc.

Print this thread out for the press editor?

If you need real names etc, you will probably need to re-conduct this survey from ground up, perhaps with a detailed form, together with name and contact info of the press and/or yourself, as well as a privacy statement or indemnity. I mean, I ain't giving my real name and/or personal information to organizations I know nothing about and/or without knowledge of how they will use my personal data.

Taejang
08-05-2015, 06:40 PM
I mean, I ain't giving my real name and/or personal information to organizations I know nothing about and/or without knowledge of how they will use my personal data.
The way you said that instantly made me think of this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kuk8WvVDVe4).

shadowwalker
08-05-2015, 07:12 PM
I can't recall seeing many, if any, general interest articles that used people's full names and locations when quoting. More often, it's initials, first names only, or "a woman from X". As I noted above, this isn't a position paper or a legal document. It's an article for a "local publication". No reason Bing Z's method couldn't be used, with quotes that respected people's privacy.

Next time, you should let people know from the gitgo that you would want to publish this sort of information. Of course, you might not get as many responses.

BarII
08-05-2015, 08:56 PM
I'm pissed off enough about no phone meeting my standards of user friendliness, even when they're supposedly "simple," that I might give my personal info depending on the publication and whether the article was assigned. But I'm sure you'll understand that I'd need evidence that it was assigned to you.

L M Ashton
08-08-2015, 10:39 AM
I'm fine for you to use my real name and location, rhymegirl. I thought that was indicated in the OP. And no, I don't need any evidence this article was assigned to you or, well, anything else.

If I didn't want this stuff known, I wouldn't use my real name on the Internet. Or my real location (not address, just country/city level).

shadowwalker
08-08-2015, 05:25 PM
If I didn't want this stuff known, I wouldn't use my real name on the Internet.

Which is precisely why most of us have user names.

MarlynnOfMany
08-10-2015, 10:38 AM
I'm younger than your target range, but this may be relevant anyway:

I got my first smart phone a year ago when my husband and I were buying a house -- as it turned out, the ability to answer emails while away from home was crucial. We had many official documents to sign digitally; if I hadn't been able to do that, the process would have been slowed down by a huge amount, and we may even have missed a deadline.

Now as an everyday thing, I use the camera and video functions for keeping in touch with family: we have a new baby that my mother and mother-in-law are eager to see. Since my mother-in-law lives in another state, I feel particularly grateful that I can send her videos of her first grandson learning to talk and crawl.

On that note, she uses her own smartphone regularly to talk directly to her granddaughters, the oldest of which has learned to call her via Facetime. This is the video phone of the future: they can see each other while they're talking, which is perfect for showing off new drawings and favorite outfits and the like. For family that's spread out across the globe, this sort of technology is invaluable.

I could have gotten a smartphone years ago, but held off on the grounds that it would be an added expense that I could do without, and I knew that as soon as I got used to having one, I'd find it hard to give up. I was right. It's very handy to carry the internet in my pocket. I can look up phone numbers and business locations while on the road, even use a GPS. I can check movie times for when plans change. I can resolve pointless arguments by looking up facts. And there is an endless selection of clever apps that I haven't even looked into yet.

I have found my smartphone to be very useful indeed. I could live without it, but I'd miss it.

PS: Mara Lynn Johnstone, California. Good enough?