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May 24, 2011


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An excellent business tool, a mobile office that fits in your pocket and can help earn money and make one very efficient in mananging their time. Unfortunately, most that I see are used by folks who don't have a clue that such features serve purposes beyond personal entertainment as a toy that wastes both money and time.

Modern technology is a double-edged sword.

Welcome to the dark side... I just moved to a smartphone, and wow, what a difference from my 'ol clunker. For banking, I use the Chase app and the ING app. I also have a MoneyWatch news app, and I get several finacial shows podcasts via the Sitcher Radio app. I have an iPhone, but I think they would make an Andriod version of these as well. Just search your favorite shows or topics - I know Amazon has a huge selection of Andriod apps on their website and many are free.

After sticking with my antediluvean cell phone (I never even had a blackberry!) for many many years, I finally caved a year ago and got a Samsung Galaxy smartphone (I'm on T-mobile and they didn't offer the iphone last year).

I really like the calendar that syncs with my personal calendar at google and also my work outlook calendar, and the ability to pick up email both from my work and personal accounts. I also like that I can get my whole ipod's music files on my phone and also the internet obviously. It's also useful for storing and carrying around with me a few frequently-accessed documents that I always need. And I like the camera etc. Oh and my kids love watching U tube cartoons on my phone.

I think it's funny--remember the palm pilot? About the same size and shape as my current hone. I got a palm pilot 5 way back when, but it never managed to sync without crashing my computer and it also crashed itself so many times and was so hard to get data on that I gave up trying to use it. I can't help thinking of my current phone as a palm pilot finally done right.

Hows the battery life?

Apps for the android that I use (I havent looked into new apps in a while now)
AAA discounts- all 3 AAA apps
Google Sky
Double Twist- if you want an itunes experience for android
ESPN- Im not a big sports guy but its useful to know
Moviefone or a movie app
Urban Spoon
Google Maps
Bump- Ive only used it once come to think of it
Ted Mobile

Pandora is fantastic.

If you sync with Exchange, then TouchDown from is a must IMO.

On the Thunderbolt, you'll want to keep LTE turned off unless you really need it to save on the battery charge life.

Tyler --

As I mentioned, it's a battery hog. But the way I use it isn't an issue -- never had the battery drain completely...

I think the 80/20 rule applies here in some form or fashion. 80% of people think they "must" have a smartphone. Probably 20% of people REALLY must have one.

I have a love/hate relationship with my smartphone (Windows Phone 7). On the one hand, it is an awesome tool to be able to check email, check the weather, check sports scores, check my work and personal calendars, check my stocks, etc all in about 2 minutes time and pretty much wherever I happen to be. And my employer paid for the phone and foots the bill for my monthly voice and data plan. On the other hand, it creates the expectation with my work than I am available 24/7 to respond to calls and emails. Right before I go to bed, I check email, first thing when I wake up, I check email. Sporadically on weekends, I check email. It's an epidemic, and it needs to stop.

FMF, I also love my blackberry, however, your blog does not show up very pretty on it! Is there a way to get a mobile version of your blog?

My wife and I have talked about upgrading our phones to something we can use to take pictures & video and upload for friends and family (we have 2 young kids). Plus most of my friends now just want to text. Been using my Razr for a LONG time.

KT --

It shows up GREAT on my phone -- not sure why it doesn't on yours...

Smartphones are addicting. I don't think I'll ever not have one again. Hopefully I'll have a version of Ez Budget on android within the next few months that you can try out. I'll let you know when it is finished.

I'm on Verizon and have a Droid 2 - I recommend the following apps:

PDANet for tethering to your laptop. One time fee is much better than paying for internet access at say an airport or other wifi spot.

Google Voice, GMail, Talk and Maps - the integration with Google is obvious and sometimes overwhelming. But these apps are wonderful. Plus with Talk, you can decide to cut down on the text messages (for those that are worried about it) or you can pick up conversations on your computer. Maps is great since you don't have to pay for Verizon's navigation service. And I like the voicemail on Voice better than Verizon's. The transcription service, although not great, at least lets you know if it is an important message to respond to.

Scoutmob - In Atlanta, it is similar to a Groupon, giving out deals.

Pandora for music.

Taxi Magic - Great in Atlanta for calling a cab and paying by credit card. It can be difficult to get a cab here, so having an app that tracks the cab you called is great. I think they are in many other cities but I haven't tried it out elsewhere.

I don't know if someone has mentioned it already, but if you like the app is excellent. I have an iPhone so it works great for me. I don't know how well it will work for your phone.

I'm a programmer and generally up to date with technology, so most of my friends assume that I've got the latest and greatest smart phone.

What ends up happening is that:

* Since I do programming, the office tools aren't that helpful
* I don't like working on a tiny screen
* I consult from home, so I'm usually close to my computer anyways (if I'm not, I really don't want to be bothered)
* Since I'm home 90% of the time with my computers and internet easily accessible, I find it difficult to justify a data plan

That said, I think they're a ton of fun and as soon as I can justify an expensive toy (or find a legitimate work use!) I will probably get one.

tweetdeck - manage your social media in one place
Swype - a better way to write
Places - to find gas stations, restaurants etc based on your location
My Tracks - Great fitness and walking tourist tool!
Documents to Go - I actually paid the couple of bucks for upgraded version. I can edit MS office docs. Awesome with a dropbox account.
Barcode Scanner - very useful and more places are putting bar-codes for free coupons as well as instant information.

If you have a Nook or Kindle they have free apps you can install so you can read while on the go. I load pdf's to my nook account and use time waiting to keep up on my learning or reading.

If you have a Netflix subscription some phones are supported and more are coming out everyday. I doubt I would ever watch a movie on my phone but maybe a half hour show if I was stuck someplace for a long time. There is also a workaround if you really need it.

I used to have a Samsung slide phone until 2008 when I got an HTC touch which could check email and internet, but it was slow. Also the touch screen required a stylus and began to get some dead spots because of the point pressure of the stylus. However the stylus doubled as an emergency toothpick on occasion so that was handy.

In 2010 I finally succumbed and got a blackberry- it's great for being synced into email (Exchange) and I also use it as a modem for connecting to the laptop and checking the internet when traveling. The battery life is excellent- can use it for days without charging. I don't use it for checking the web though.

The only annoyance is I am checking email too much and get burned out by the constant stimulation of immediate emails. But assuming I have the discipline to control that, it's a great tool.


The only one of the must three gadgets that I own is the Ipad...but I got it for free so I did not feel the pain of shelling out $500.

I only like it for my kids. The Dr. Seuss books are amazing. There is an autoplay feature so the story will just play. You can have the kids read the stories and "tap" on the words that they do not know. I think it is a wonderful investment for the kids. I found some math apps that I adore.

I am constantly typing while I am online...I just couldn't sit still and read on the Ipad...but I am sure someone out there could.


I would like to recommend the free "Ask Dave Ramsy" app. I have it on my iPod Touch. It is an updated daily best-of-Dave podcast. I enjoy hearing what Dave has to say.

Ok I am a geek. Here are my must haves

Work productivity Money
PDAnet - Gotta have this.
Google Calendar Sync on your desktop at work. Sync your calendar to your google phone.
Mint is awesome but my bank blocks it now sooo. Loved it when they didn't block it.
Springpad/Evernote - note taking and everything else.
Palringo - Chat tool for talking with people while roaming.
Barcode scanner
Woot Watcher

Research reading time wasting.
Kindle reading App.
Bible App

Flashlight Professional
Bubble Level
Google Maps

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