Getting smart
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 November 2013, 8:21 am
I am not a big user of mobile phones. So up to this weekend I only had a simple Nokia phone with a prepaid plan and mostly used it for incoming calls. But my experience with using the iPad GPS as a city map convinced me that having a smart phone might actually be a good idea. So I went and looked what kind of a smart phone I might want to buy. The obvious choice, an iPhone, was quickly excluded because I had tried the iPod Touch of the same 4" size and found it a bit too small. But I wasn't going to phone with an 8" phablet either, so some review site researching later I decided on a Samsung Galaxy S4 with a 5" screen. So now I am the proud owner of a smart phone.

I still need to wait 2 business days until I can actually use the thing as a phone, as I wanted to keep my old telephone number. But at the same time I am changing providers, so there are some administrative hoops to jump through. My old provider offered me his cheapest subscription plan for 12€ a month, which includes 250 MB of data. But I went with the provider I already have for my internet access, landline, and TV. And moving from a "triple play" to a "quadruple play " plan ended up costing just 1€ per month, with 500 MB of data included. I'll end up paying less than with my prepaid plan even at low usage, which is a win. Of course that provider also would have offered me a 330€ reduction on the price of the phone if I had taken his most expensive subscription at 50€ a month more for 2 years; but you don't need to be a math wiz to calculate that this is much more expensive in the end. And I don't need multiple gigabytes of download capacity each month on the phone via 3G, that is what I have WiFi at home for.

So while I'm still waiting on the phone connection, the Galaxy S4 already works fine over WiFi, so I could make the acquaintance of Android and install some apps. Of course everything works slightly differently than on the iPad, but I'm getting used to that. And I started wondering what games I should install. I tried Total War Battles: Shogun, which turned out to be a mistake: It obviously was designed for bigger tablets, and the text and icons are far too small on a phone screen. So now I downloaded Dungeon Village, which is made for smaller screens. I also downloaded Marvel Puzzle Quest, and was happy to find that it is possible via Facebook to share the saved game from my iPad. But of course I'd be most interested in Android "exclusive" games that I haven't played on the iPad yet. Recommendations would be welcome.

Not that I'm planning on playing all that much on the Galaxy S4. It is just a stopgap solution for when I'm stuck somewhere without the iPad. I am more likely to use the phone for looking things up on the internet when away from the computer, and as a portable GPS device. I put widgets on the screen with stuff like weather forecast, stock quotes, my GMail inbox, a notepad, a calendar, and news. What I like about the Google Play store is that I can search for apps on my PC and it installs them on my phone remotely. Way more user-friendly than the iTunes store. Well, I see how my usage of the smart phone evolves with time. The only thing I doubt it will do is making me smarter. :)
Tobold's Blog

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