Tag Archives: smart phones

Today is Why-day

Most of my adult life I’ve tried to keep up with the latest technology, but lately, I’ve fallen behind. Recently, my son asked me with a grin  as he looked at my cell, “Mom, isn’t it time you got a “grown-up” phone?” I answered I really didn’t need one. In addition to my bundled land-line, I have a cell phone that takes photos (in case I’m in an accident), a slide-out qwerty keyboard that enables me to easily text a friend with a hearing disability, voice mail, and unused Internet that drains the battery, besides the obvious ability—phoning people. And it is cheap to own and use each month. So what if my phone is dumb, not smart!?

As a writer, my home and office are located in the same place, so I don’t need traffic and weather reports, or coordination with carpool members. My home computer provides most of the information I need each day and connection with the outside world, and I have GPS in my car.

I’m probably shocking a lot of you readers, but I’ve seen some of you isolate yourselves from the art of conversation at the doctor’s or dentist’s offices, in the grocery store line, at the hair salon, in restaurants, etc. How can I learn how to develop my characters if no one will talk with me?

I remember years ago when I had my dance business; I depended a great deal on my answering machine for acquiring jobs. When messages changed from analog to digital, I suddenly found it difficult to understand them. The digital ones were tinny and it sounded like people were mumbling far off in a concert hall. I still have that trouble. When people call me now, I ask them to call me back on my land line, because I have difficulty understanding them on my cell. I even had my hearing checked to see if it was just me. Nope, I have great hearing.

But, my son’s question played around in my mind. By not having the latest gadget, was I losing my edge, whatever that means? Why do I need to spend a lot of money, time researching, and effort learning how to use a smart phone?

Never the less, I did some research on smart phones and, my goodness, they do a lot these days! They also cost a lot. I’m not poor or cheap, but I can think of better ways to spend my dollars for something I rarely use. Anyway, I went to several consumer websites to gain more information.

Do you know there is not a single review that gives any of the myriad of smart phones an excellent rating on voice quality? Out of a ranking of 5 points they all rank a three. Isn’t that what telephones were originally created for? Apparently, not anymore. I do know it depends on the chosen carrier and the signal and the phone, but…

We humans can send people to outer space, but we can’t make a phone that has great voice quality? That is shocking to me.

Remember the days when, if you purchased a multi-function machine of some kind and if one thing went wrong or broke, you were stuck with having to replace several items or buying another combo-unit? I think that has influenced me also in not buying a smart phone. It does too many things. I know eventually it will be inevitable, but do I have to take that step yet? Hmmm, what to do?

Okay, folks, tell me why you can’t manage without a smart phone. If I’m missing out, I want to know.


Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland.

Join her here each 11th of the month.


Filed under musings

Smartphones, eReaders and Tablets…oh my

2010 marked the first time Amazon sold more ebooks than traditional pulp and ink books. Authors need to realize this revolutionary development and focus marketing and promotion on selling electronic versions of their novels and less on traditional methods like book signings.

I have a Kindle Store app on my smartphone, but even I don’t want to read Scorpion Bay on my phone. eReaders…that’s more like it.

You’ve all heard of the most popular e-book readers, Kindle and Nook from Barnes and Noble, but what about the Libre, Kobo ereader, Literati Reader, Pandigital Novel and Sony Reader? If you’re not familiar with these and your publisher isn’t I guarantee you your customers, or potential customers are. Here’s an article that will allow you to compare the various e-book readers.

Literally thousands of books can be stored on a single eReader. Cutting edge stuff, right? Yes and no.

There’s another revolution within this e-book reader revolution that authors should be familiar with. The first table, Apple’s Ipad, touted its ability to download ebooks. It’s a popular feature with the Ipad 2. Like the explosion of e-book readers, there’s an ongoing explosion with tablets. With a tablet, one can download various e-book reader applications from the Apple Store or Android Market. Readers can select books from iBooks, Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble Nook, Borders, Kobo and more. Rather than have a Kindle, or a Nook, or a Kobo, consumers can have them all on their tablets and the applications are free.

Consumers can also download audio books applications on tablets and listen to audio books. They’re doing so at increasing rates.

You should become familiar with all these and more,  Ipad 2, Motorola Xoom, Blackberry Playbook, Archos…the list goes on and on. What list? Here’s one.

If you want to maximize your ability to promote electronic versions of your books, or if you just want to read a book on a great new device, try a tablet.  Me?  I have a Xoom!



Filed under writing