Categories
Mac Heads

How I Went A Day Without My iPhone

No iPhone Tweet

I’m one of those people who wouldn’t flinch if I left my wallet at home, but would whip the car around and go back home if I left my iPhone sitting on the kitchen table. Now, I thought it was because of my iPhone 4S AKA, “The Precious”, but now I’m having second thoughts since receiving the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE (they have to do something with that name) from the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors Program.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m also a mobile app reviewer for PCMag’s AppScout blog, so I get a ton of mobile apps to test/review…and keep. Since a large majority of these apps are for iOS devices, I assumed the lack of apps would prevent me from truly testing out the HTC ‘D.I.4.L.’ So I couldn’t just leave my iPhone on the charger and throw the DI4L in my pocket and go about my business. I had to do some serious research and really examine what I needed and what I didn’t need before I took on this momentous challenge.

Calls & SMS

I had to make sure I could stay in contact with my “peeps”. The #VZWA Program not only provides a phone but free VZW phone/data service with all the bells and whistles. So, the first thing I did was forward calls to the number that came with the phone. Since I’m already a VZW customer, completing this task was pretty simple.

I also use Google Voice for “bidness” calls, so changing what phone my GV number rings to was even simpler than setting up call forwarding. I just downloaded the app on my DI4L, logged in to my account online and changed the number from my mobile number to the DI4L number – done!

The ONLY thing I’m missing is text messaging. What would be idea is if I could send text messages from the VZWA-provided number and the recipient’s caller ID displays my main mobile number on an incoming text. Thay way, I don’t have to give out yet another contact number. Since very few people txt me, I will have to force them to adopt an app like Voxer to send/receive text messages…and them some.

I may decide to port my main mobile number over to Google Voice and easily receive calls and text messages from one number, no matter what phone I use, but that process is a little more involved, so it will have to wait until the [rhymes with iPhone 5] comes out.

Email

I’m a Googler as far as software/services are concerned, so synching my email (personal, business & family) accounts was easy since I was now syncing with an Android phone. I just set up the Gmail/Google Apps account sync and Boom! My email, calendars, contacts and taks were up and running.

I will admit, the native email, contacts, calendar apps currently for iOS is pretty whack, so I use third party apps for email (Sparrow) and contacts (Smartr Contacts) and just deal with going native for the calendar. Native Google/Gmail on an Android is a better experience in my opinion (Yes, even as an Apple fan I can be unbiased), so I found that my productivity has been bumped up a notch. I will have to reassess when iOS 6 drops.

HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE by VerizonApps

As you can see, just by switching to the DI4L for this test, I’ve already consolidated some of the apps I need to use on a daily basis. But what about all the “essential” apps that are sitting on The Precious? Well, there are some apps that I also use on a daily basis that I needed to download for this test to work.

Social Media:

Twitter – MUST

Facebook – MUST

Google Plus – I guess

Instagram – The ONE app that would stop me dead in my tracks from trying this test using a Windows Phone (and I want to so bad because I have a Samsung Focus fully charged and collecting dust).

Productivity:

Evernote – My de-facto notes…and just about everything else app

Dropbox – Where I keep all my business files and other cross-device docs in the Cloud

Shoeboxed – Where I save/manage/export all my receipts for expense reporting

TripIt – My automagic travel itinerary

Scan – Barcode scanner and QR Code manager

Adobe Reader X – Viewing PDF’s in emails, on websites, and from other apps

SwiftKey – My mobile keyboard of choice – If Apple wasn’t so “particular” with their iDevice “experience” I would beg SwiftKey to release an iPhone app

In other words, the fifty-eleven thousand apps currently on my iPhone are nice and definitely an advantage to any other mobile platform on the market, but not a requirement for me to get through the day.

The two features Android has over iOS right now is stupid-fast LTE speeds, which saved my arse more than once when I had to use the mobile hotspot feature when the WiFi sucked in the location where I was trying to get work done; and built-in voice Navigation. I have “window suction” Navi in my car, but it’s nothing like firing up Google Maps Navigation and speaking the address and instantly getting turn-by-turn directions, versus reaching over my dashboard tapping in the address on my traditional navigation.

Outro
I want my iPhone, but I don’t need my iPhone. What I need is a capable smartphone. The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE (with Google/Android guts) from Verizon Wireless more than met my needs, with a little extra to spare. On my first day without my iPhone, I was invited to an NFL Madden 13 back to school event at the Microsoft Store in Atlanta, and I was able to do all the things a blogger does at an event with no problem.

The one thing I was concerned about (and rightfully so) was how speedy 4G LTE speeds will pwn your typical smartphone battery. So I made sure to bring my Duracell Powermat backup battery with me. Other than that, I was okay without my iPhone for a day.

I may just rock this look for a while…until I get my hands on the iPhone 5 (or New iPhone) next month to see how a larger screen, Verizon 4G LTE speeds, and new iOS 6 features feel for a REAL comparison.

What…You thought I was a true convert?

Disclosure:

“I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.”

Categories
Mac Heads

Documents To Go Premium for iOS Giveaway Winner

Last week, DataViz, Inc was kind enough to offer up a free iOS copy of Documents To Go Premium to one lucky winner who successfully completed the following requirements:

1. Leave a comment telling me how Documents To Go will help you step up your mobile productivity game on your iOS device

2. Like DataViz on Facebook

3. Follow DataViz on Twitter, the more the better! DataViz is running its own promo code giveaway when they reach 2,000 followers!

4. Tweet: “Mobile productivity? @BrothaTech & @DataVizInc FTW! #Docs2Go”

After a week, a winner has been selected…

Categories
Mac Heads

Use your iPhone to pay for Starbucks orders

One of my first articles as a blogger was called “Mobile Tagging”. The article was mainly about being able to create and scan “barcodes” (one type of code is called QR code) in order to share such things like contact info and web links using your web-enabled smart phone.

I knew this technology was cool (which was why I wrote about it…a brotha loves cool!) and sooner or later SOMEBODY would put it to good use. Well that somebody just happened to be the largest coffee house in the world.

Starbucks has available an iPhone app called “Starbucks Card Mobile App” (the name is GENIUS…/sarcasm) that enables your typical Starbucks junkie to carry around their Starbucks card on their iPhone (or IPod Touch). With the app, you can find out your card balance, add monies to your card, and register for free card rewards.

…bla, bla, bla.

The coolest feature of the app is that you can create your favorite coffee order by creating a barcode that when scanned automatically SUBMITS AND PAYS for your order – provided you do in fact have a balance on your virtual card!

So imagine being able to walk into a Starbucks, walk up to the counter, hold your phone up to the cashier Java Specialist, submit, pay, and pick up your order without having to say anything!

Not having to talk to anybody is my kind of communication!

Right now, the latter feature of the app is currently being tested in Seattle area stores (of course) and a few other Cali locations, but I am pretty sure before long, the feature will be available everywhere.

For more information and to download the FREE app, visit Starbucks Card Mobile App…OR scan this pic with your code reader app on your phone: