Things that I do with the cell phone

Modern technological development seems to go faster and faster with each new year. Digital cameras, huge TVs, cell phones, social media, medical devices and surgery techniques still look like miracles even after they become obsolete and new miracles of this sort come to replace them. It is hard to believe but Michael Crichton gave interesting argument in Timeline that progress always went with such a pace:

“Although some people still thought of the Middle Ages as a backward time, […] it had actually been a period of intense technological development, and in that sense, not so different from our own. In fact, the industrial mechanization that became a characteristic feature of the West first began in the Middle Ages”.

I tried to summarize different activities that I do with my cell phone at least weekly. The list impressed me because to some degree it changed my lifestyle and even some of my beliefs because of the fast access to information.

  • Well, I do use it as a phone. This is the target use case though I do not talk much
  • Calendar completely made all weekly planners obsolete
  • To Do list. I use it every day. Gone are posted notes and pieces of scrap paper with lists
  • Alarm clock to wake me up in the morning
  • I extensively use it for emails
  • I use it as a flash light when walking around the home at night to not wake up my kid
  • RSS reader in the phone is my primary source for news. I still read local Sunday newspaper during morning coffee – but rather as a tradition. I am surprised that I rarely get news from WEB on desktop now.
  • I use it for weather report and even for current temperature outside. I understand that it is delayed and not in this exact place but it is good enough. We do not have thermometer outside of our window like our parents had. The ability to monitor weather in different places of the Earth simultaneously is cute.
  • I listen podcasts in the car
  • I geo-tag photos made by digital camera. The phone records time and GPS position and then little application combines GPS location with the photo by time
  • I use it for driving directions and road maps
  • I use it as a navigation system in the car with voice and street names. It is funny but we bought GPS device six months before navigation was released for the phone. We still compare the two but they navigate in the similar way while the phone give more info about destination like reviews for the museum or its hours of operations.
  • I read twits and twit too from the phone
  • I read Facebook updates
  • I found this passage from Crichton that I quote in the beginning of this article. I read Timeline a couple of years ago and this idea fascinated me. It took about ten minutes to find the exact quote without going out of kitchen. When I think about how it could be done 5 years ago I feel that something very interesting should start to appear soon because people can do their research that fast any time
  • I use Wikipedia as a reference. I understand that it is most likely biased in some controversial topics but in general it is very useful (like in the sorts of cheeses)
  • I translate between languages
  • I use it for instant messaging for work though my primary device for this is my desktop computer
  • I select a movie time primarily using the phone. It appears to be faster if you include time needed to get to desktop computer
  • I monitor soccer games and tables
  • I learn about night sky. I already can distinguish some planets even without the phone but learning constellations is still in progress
  • I occasionally make pictures and even videos though I am trying to carry SLR for this

What else people do with it?


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