I just got a new cell phone. Another one. Not that I needed it. It’s just that, well, it was a good price, there was no contract, and it would cost me less per year then the old one. Oh, and it had a larger screen. Somehow, of all the features, being able to see them has become a favorite.
Using my phone is still somewhat of a mystery to me. It does, and probably always will do more things then I will ever figure out how to do. After all, this is a phone in name only. It is in reality a calculator, wifi, memo, calendar, video recording, gps, camera, gallery, fm radio, file manager, contact list, clock, downloader, recorder, task manager, voice/text communicator. So it is with some trepidation that I approach it when it starts making noises. That is because I do not know what noise goes with what function. The only one that is instinctive is when someone calls me. Beyond that, it is a scavenger hunt. Let’s see. Did someone just leave me a message? No. How about a voicemail? No. Maybe an appointment reminder? No. Well, I’ll just assume it was another one of those annoying notification updates and do what I always do. Ignore it.
It is probably becoming obvious that I am self taught. Like most men, I only ask for directions as a last resort, and then only if I can find them. I remember seeing them the day I got the phone, but after a cursory review, and concluding that they were intimidating, they seem to have disappeared. So I spend a lot of time pushing things and seeing what happens. I call it Androidquest. I like it because you cannot lose. You may not achieve what you set out to do, but you have got to have learned something in the process. I can spend hours just in Settings.
One of my favorite things is voice response. Inside my phone is this brilliant tiny little woman that, like most women, knows everything. (Come on ladies, don’t hate me. I don’t get on your case because you leave the toilet seat down). Every time I ask her something, she has the answer at her fingertips. Amazing. One day I asked her “what is the meaning of life” chuckle, chuckle. She instantly replied “It’s somewhere between 41 and 43”. I didn’t understand the answer, but then again, it was probably equal to the quality of the question.
A mystery that I am still unraveling is texting. I started very slowly and am now up to glacial speed, since I don’t do abbreviation speak. In fact, on a particularly long message the other day, I am sure I heard my phone yawn. Or it could just have been the operating system updating. After all, I have had it 30 days. I first tried texting on my old phone, but spent as much time correcting what I wrote as I did constructing the message. Either my fingers were too big or the keys too small. But I loved the auto fill where it figures out the word you want and lets you select it. I put that right up there with the 7 wonders of the world. That is, until I discovered speech to text. Oh baby. Turn me loose. There was no stopping me, once it got used to my Maine accent. Had some pretty weird sentences before that though.
But, for an old codger (there’s a word that is a old as I am), I manage to participate relatively well in the electronic revolution. For a guy that took typing in high school and grew up with rotary phones, I manage to get by. And, I dare say I can work with todays phones better then the younger generation can work with mine. Check out the enclosed video. Whose struggling now?