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Stupid cell phone feature

2009-04-22 03:38:42.425349+00 by Dan Lyke 9 comments

Charlene and I are once again at the end of our contracts and looking at new cell phones. I don't IM, I'm not following anyone Twittering "let's get together" information enough for that to matter, my iPhone toting buddies generally love their phones, but I hear things like "no, I don't carry my phone on the bike, I'm afraid I'll damage it", and "If I actually entered text, I'd get a Blackberry instead".

The only toy features I can really see wanting are a decent camera, though I usually carry a Canon G9 anyway, and I think it'd be cool to be able to regularly download GPS tracks of where I've been (automatically sync with the camera images, for instance).

I see that AccuTracking will do that for $10/month, EfficaSoft might do it. Any other "must have" features, or is a cell phone still a cell phone and we should just upgrade one phone from this stupid LG and keep the Nokia that works fairly well?

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Wireless Photography Invention and Design Maps and Mapping Bicycling iPhone ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-04-22 11:30:30.085061+00 by: meuon

The iPhone has been pretty darn rugged, and it texts really well. the camera is fair, not good, not bad. And so far, I haven't jailbroken it. I rarely tote a laptop anymore...

But there are a new generation of phones about to hit, the HTC Dream gets interesting good reviews..

#Comment Re: made: 2009-04-22 13:28:27.780733+00 by: kennyg

I haven't had a chance to play around with this app as much as I'd like, but, it's pretty cool and cheap. http://www.navigadget.com/inde...12/20/motionx-gps-app-for-iphone

#Comment Re: made: 2009-04-22 14:54:35.557066+00 by: ebradway

Snicker - the last "let's get together" tweet I received was from you, Dan!

I've been mulling through the same questions. I keep waiting for "the next big thing" and thus have been out of contract for over a year. Worse, Qwest just announced that they are killing off their cell business the end of October.

Since the USGS issues Blackberrys, I'll probably just go that route. I may end up keeping a personal phone, though, because I like to have a small, cheap phone to carry with me hiking and biking.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-04-22 14:58:57.099121+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

I like my blackberry with GPS -- Mobile Google maps is a killer app. Sometimes I do need IM or SMS and the keyboard makes that easier. (As it does, in a pinch, the use of ssh from the phone.) If it had a camera, it would be ideal.

And the BB eco-system is more mature than that of the iPhone.

There are apps to record GPS tracks, but I haven't used them enough to see how effective they are. I plan on trying it on a ride this afternoon.

I take it with me everywhere and it has helped me find my way back home on more than one occasion when I took roads I wasn't familiar with on my bike.

I got it wet once and the only thing that didn't survive was the clicker under the trackball -- the trackball itself still works. This doesn't make the phone unusable, but it is enough of an annoyance that I'm considering getting that part repaired the next time I'm in NYC.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-04-22 15:09:50.951872+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Okay, Yeah, Eric, point, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't wade through the rest of my twit-stream on a phone.

Kenny, thanks for that heads-up. That actually looks like more than I need, but then I only occasionally use a GPS for nav, and then only in the car.

Mark, keep me updated on that tracking thing. If I could passively log where I was without dragging yet another device around I think there'd be interesting stuff I could pull out of that.

My general impression is that I'd like a Blackberry more than an iPhone just 'cause I'm that way. I also think SMS or IM could be cool, especially if I could gateway to a Un*x server somewhere...

#Comment Re: made: 2009-04-23 18:50:28.998843+00 by: ebradway

A feature that I really want in my next cell phone is the ability to use it as a network adapter through tethering. Of course, that implies having a cell plan that provides reasonably priced data access...

#Comment Re: made: 2009-04-23 19:55:54.930463+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

ebradway: The blackberry will tether via bluetooth. As for reasonable pricing... well, the BB data plan is unlimited and includes this tethering (on Sprint) for an additional $30 over whatever your regular plan is.

Is that reasonable? I have no clue. It has certainly helped me while traveling.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-04-26 04:51:37.912413+00 by: ebradway

$30/month unlimited over normal usage is quite reasonable. Of course, I'll probably just get Uncle Sam to pay for it.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-04-26 07:12:21.520463+00 by: topspin

Dan, I dunno exactly what you're looking for but the HTC Touch Cruise does some nifty geotagging among other things.

And, if you're put off by the price of the phone, the "Footprints" ROM has been ported, apparently, and can be flashed on other HTC devices, if you're into the xda-developers.com stuff.