Better living through Cell Phones

This week a client informed me that they still had an old flip phone and used it only for emergencies. The question is what denotes an emergency? For many of us, the smart phone has complemented or replaced our desktop or laptop computers. But how many of us stretch the capabilities of our smart phones to their limits. Almost all smart phones are set up to retrieve and send e-mail, text and messaging. We can use them to shop, check reviews, even move our car in and out of parking spaces when the spot is a bit tight. But how about simple day to day tasks that in the past might require separate tools, dangerous positions, pencil, papers or rulers and tables? For example, I needed a part for a twenty year old vertical blind. The blind parts company asked for the model or serial number of the unit to determine which parts it required. Now, in the old days, I might have gotten out the step ladder, climbed up and unfastened the blind, taking it down, knocking over the lamp that I set off to the side so I wouldn’t knock it over, finding the tag and carefully ascribed the numbers and letters on a note pad. But my baby binary buddy, with the camera set for a selfie, or using the front camera, was able to be held up behind, over and under the valence while I perused the screen until I found a label. Now to record that label’s information was a simple touch on the screen and a photo was taken that could be enlarged if my eyes required it.

Want to give up car ownership? Put an app on the smart phone for Uber and Lyft. The Uber app tells us how many Uber cars are nearby, (eight right now) gives three options ranging from everyday drives to more complex rides. The rate for the basic ride from Punta Gorda to Murdock for 4 people is $18.92, my credit card is charged, and according to the app, the car will arrive in nine minutes to pick us up. In the meantime, I can check out the driver’s customer ratings, see a picture of the driver and the car. No cash transfers between passenger and driver unless of course we receive exceptional service which might elicit a tip. As important as the passengers rating the driver, the driver can also rate the passengers as to their behavior. Now sell that old car. No insurance, no registration, go gas, the list goes on.

The possibilities are endless; an app called Loseit will allow us to track every calorie we stuff in our mouth. Amazing how when we see the calories consumed how our hunger seems satisfied much sooner and the pounds seem to fade away.  Another app called Life360 allows our spouse or others to track our travels, which Martha likes to do when I’m out on a long bicycle ride around Charlotte County.

What do you use your smart phone for?

Court Nederveld owns his own computer consulting and fixit service –Bits, Bytes & Chips Computer Services. He makes house calls in Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte!  

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