marcusmarcusrc: (goat)
[personal profile] marcusmarcusrc
I figure it is about time for me to join the world of the smartphone enabled, and before leaping into it, I thought I'd check the collective wisdom:

Given that I am a mac-user and a Verizon customer, are there any good reasons not to go with the default of an iPhone5 and a verizon plan?

I'd probably get the 32 GB (16 GB would probably be sufficient, but historically I keep phones and laptops for 4 or more years, and the extra memory might be valuable in a few years), 4 GB plan (though I have little idea how much I'd actually use), black phone.

My plans for the phone (listed here both to inform any advice for what phone I should buy, but also for app recommendations) include:

mapping functions (google maps over apple maps?)
zipcar/bikeshare functions
next bus apps
email checking
list making (eg, books I want to read, movies I want to watch, things I need to do) (I hear evernote is good?)
taking photos
making phone calls
price-comparisons/reviews in stores (some day I'll post thoughts on smart-phones and reducing market distortions)
checking wikipedia to answer random questions

... maybe game playing? I went cold turkey on playing kongregate games in January, because it was just too easy to lose hours to them. I've divided the time gained between a number of things - reading (I should post some book reviews some day), sleep, house-stuff (cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc.), socializing, and, sadly, more web-surfing... But hypothetically, waiting for buses, standing in grocery lines, etc. are good times for game playing.

...maybe reading e-books? I have an e-ink kindle, which I use when I can't get a book out from the library/get too impatient for the next book in a series, and one thing I like about it is that it isn't back-lit, and I spend too many hours staring at computer screens as it is. But I recognize that having a book-reading-device on me at all times might be nice.

...maybe music? though I don't really like wearing ear-buds. I do have a nice iTunes library, though. And probably not movies/TV, since I'd want the bigger screen from my laptop.

...maybe calendaring, though mostly I use my work computer for that because I have to use Outlook for meeting scheduling, and once I've done that, might as well put everything else in there too.

What other smart-phone functions am I missing? And apologies for oversharing here. But hey, isn't oversharing what livejournal is for?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Different plan option:

Date: 2013-04-05 12:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A cheaper way to do the iphone thing:

Not that I've investigated it for me yet.

Date: 2013-04-05 12:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have an Android phone and an iTouch/iPad for games. iPhone is definitely better for games. :) Android is more flaky - my previous phone got into a state of downloading an update and then not installing it, over and over, and I run into things like "Okay, this app downloaded something. I wonder where it *put* it" that you don't get on iPhone because there's no "there" to put things that apps have access too.

But I really really like the Swype keyboard, which came with the Galaxy and I had another similar thing on the previous phone - Apple won't let you just install a new keyboard app for all your other apps to use. I also like Tasker, (which I don't really use to its full potential) - you can program things like "Whenever I plug in my headphones, start Pandora" or "Whenever GPS says I'm home, turn on wireless; otherwise stop looking for it" or "Between midnight and 8am DO NOT MAKE ANY SOUNDS". Those are both dependent on "apps can mess with other apps" which is also a security hazard.

Ah, and I like Android Kindle-reading because I can buy a book from the preview, whereas iPhone blocks that because it doesn't go through the App Store. :)

iOs: prettier, cleaner, more stable, more games
Android: more flexible/extensible, better map integration.

Date: 2013-04-05 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tasker sounds like a really neat tool... I guess it is a question of just how much I get into my phone. In one possible future, I'll be moving to Boston in the fall and taking some time off, at which point I'd be buying a new laptop, learning R, and otherwise trying to improve my computer & life-hacking abilities, so I could see tinkering with Android flexibility fitting in well there. But... if I don't move to Boston, I'd probably poke at Tasker the way I poked at Papers as a way of keeping all the scientific literature I read organized... which would push me towards the cleaner iOs.

Also, you didn't mention that the Android supports Facebook Home! (ok, that might be a minus, not a plus...)

Date: 2013-04-06 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Mmmm???! Moving to Boston in the fall!

We all convene back in Bean Town!

And for what it's worth, I enjoy my Android. For the way I use it, it probably wouldn't make any difference. As I recently read, all truly hard decisions are unimportant because there are good points on both sides. But I do find that Androids play better with Googlemaps than the iPhone. Then again, if you have a fondness for Apple products, the iPhone will do just fine.

Date: 2013-04-05 02:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I had an Incredible and now I have an iPhone and I'd never go back. I found with my Droid phone, there were all sorts of settings I didn't know about that could change the phone: I prefer the iPhone's simplicity, bc when I'm fiddling with my phone, I want to be playing a game, not futzing with the settings.

That said, if anyone still offers unlimited data plans, that's the way to go. I don't know how much data I use per month, but you should poll your friends/colleagues. I bet if you regularly use your phone as a GPS or to stream Pandora/Sirius, that'll gobble data.

I use the Kindle and Nook apps for reading books on the iPhone and the former is just fine. Assuming your library uses Overdrive, you can get books from libraries on the iPhone. (I do.)

I use the iPhone-native Notepad app for making lists.

My iPhone was a hand-me-down from my sister, so I didn't choose 32Gb. My music collection is about that size, so I can't really store it all on my iPhone, which is part of why I still keep my iTouch around.

My biggest piece of advice is get a case. And maybe AppleCare. And probably a screen protector.

Date: 2013-04-05 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sprint still offers unlimited's part of why I decided to stick with them. Also, they are cheaper than the other carriers. But...less service, less 4G.

Date: 2013-04-05 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the advice. I won't be streaming Pandora, but I might have an occasional week where I'm traveling and will want to be using GPS and yelp and stuff a lot... Also, I hear you on settings-futzing. I'm usually good within a given piece of software, and even have reasonable programming chops for someone who isn't actually a computer scientist, but my ability to handle systems is mediocre - I spent hours trying to figure out how to install NetCDF on my macbook, and failed, and had a lot of trouble with the R graphical interface too.

I'd heard that getting a case is a no-brainer - I'll have to look at screen protectors and apple care.

Oh, and library e-books would be a win. I couldn't get my first-gen Kindle to download the two e-books I've borrowed (though maybe part of the problem is that I didn't have wireless back then... I'll be getting a wireless router to support my new smartphone, so maybe that would fix that).

Date: 2013-04-05 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You can use a LOT of text and maps on a few gig a month, some music, or not very much video.

R is actually on my list to learn more about, but then I don't.

Date: 2013-04-06 01:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I have the lowest data plan on my Droid and don't use all of it even when travelling. I stream Pandora a lot, but stream no movies.

Date: 2013-04-06 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Did you try pushing it from Amazon? It's really annoying that the library makes you stop by Amazon to get your book.

Date: 2013-04-05 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In my experience, book reading on the phone is only when I'm really desperately bored. But it is nice to have then. I don't play many phone games, touch plus tiny screen to me is irritating. Probably the one I played the most was King of Dragon Pass.

For provider, coverage is the most important thing to me, AT&T and Sprint both had notable holes out in Hull where I am when I help Mom. Definitely an ask around thing.

Apple maps just doesn't have good enough data, but you can now again get Google maps for the new iOS.

But mostly what I do with it is have email all the time, podcasts for commuting, and web for things I need to know right now, and both platforms could do that fine.

Date: 2013-04-05 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
King of Dragon Pass? I remember playing that a bunch on my laptop like... five years ago or more? And I think Verizon gets the best coverage most places I go, which is probably a factor to consider.

Date: 2013-04-05 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If I were a mac user I'd probably have jumped on the iPhone too. But they tend to be more expensive (or you get better hardware with Android for the same price), and I hate iTunes (since I use Windows), so I went with Android. Two other things to consider:

* iPhone batteries cannot be swapped out by users. So if your battery wears out, you can't easily replace it. (And you can't keep a charged battery to swap in if you need to.) But iPhone batteries I hear are generally longer than Android phones.

* I've heard that iPhone apps generally cost money, while Android apps are free. This is likely related to security issues too. :-)

I'm sort of a luddite when it comes to phones - I used the Palm Pre for 4 years and only just switched to the Samsung Galaxy 3. I expect to use it far beyond when anyone else wants to, as well. One thing I found useful in figuring out what to get was Best Buy Mobile, which had a pamphlet that summarized *all* the plans and costs across Tmobile, ATT, Sprint, and Verizon, as well as the cheaper pay-as-you-go options. I liked that a lot.

As for apps, the only thing I have to say is that I'm currently addicted to Cut the Rope (which is a puzzle game).

Date: 2013-04-06 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've never had to replace an iPhone battery, although mine's only 2 years old.


I didn't know you're playing Cut the Rope! (I'm halfway through the Buzz Box, although I already beat Season 3.)

I've also kinda gotten addicted to quick mode in Slice It, thanks to you.
Edited Date: 2013-04-06 09:15 pm (UTC)


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