Someone called me a techie today. Ergh. I don’t know that I like that, and I certainly don’t think of myself that way (unless perhaps “techie” is in any way related to Renaissance Man”). Maybe I am compared to those who prefer typewriters. Last year I read and raved about Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat. Does that make me a techie?
And I did buy an iPhone in January. After a month (after two days actually) with an iPhone, I only have just one word: Love it. Love it. Love it. I’m not all about being connected or accessible. I’m more about simplifying and consolidating and better usage of time. I’ve read arguments saying that technology doesn’t save us time; it creates more work. The thing is that I have never allowed the phone to be my master. I know how to ignore a ringing phone. I have learned lessons on propriety and time and place. It is my servant; I am not not its slave. Last summer on vacation, I had a delightful week of technology rest with no email, internet or phone (well maybe 2-3 calls).
I say that I am going to get a ton of emails every day anyway, so I might as well respond to some of them while waiting in the van for my wife to get out of the store. I get to spend quiet time with the boys at the same time.
If I can buy a book, check radar, find alternate routes, email, listen to sermons or biographies or audio books, check news, read blogs and newspapers, track packages and blog from my phone during my transition times, I spend less time on the computer. It’s been economical. When my alarm goes off in the morning (on my phone), I check email, news, sports scores, weather, radar and school closings before I pull off the covers. I don’t have any time on the computer until I am in my office. I carry 1,000 songs and more than 3,000 family pictures with me wherever I go (and can hold more). That’s well worth the $20 more a month on my phone bill.
There are drawbacks to an iPhone. It costs a lot up front. The keyboard is cool and intuitive but a bit cumbersome (I will wait for my PC to write more than a couple lines of email). There is a small fear of losing it or breaking it.
Another absolutely wonderful feature is that this phone is immensely better than it was when it was released last June. Apple releases updates every several months that make it exponentially better…for free. At the same time, Apple is weeks away from releasing a development kit to software writers that will cause a huge explosion of softwares available for iPhones that will also greatly increase what can be done with a “phone.” The tidal wave is coming.
Yesterday I added a cool new feature called Jott. It’s not just for iPhone. Basically, I speed dial Jott’s hotline. I record up to a 30 second voice message. Jott transcribes my message and emails me the text of my message. I can use it on the road or in the store to leave reminders or lists for myself. It is more convenient sometimes (and safer while driving) than writing notes, and it’s free. You say, “Doesn’t the iPhone have a voice recorder?” I say, “Yes, it has Jott.”
A better hardware version of the phone is coming. The 16 gb model is now available. But, if you are interested, it might be worth waiting for the phone coming with faster internet capabilities (3G) and a true GPS system (it has a finder now that uses the cell towers to give you your general location). Those are expected sometime this year. I’ve been surprisingly pleased with the internet speed. If there is a Wi-Fi signal, the phone will do most of the work (except the phone calls) using that. And on the road, it often works just fine doing internet off the cell towers.
Here are two videos (one and two) that show how Abilene Christian University students use their videos. It will amaze you. It even amazed me, and I’m a techie.
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