I had to renew my phone package recently, and I certainly went through several weeks of searching and asking questions while trying to decide what to do. Readers helped me decide that having good coverage was a necessity, so I had to sign up for the dreaded contract to actually make and receive calls in all the rural places I frequent. However, I also decided to bite the bullet and ditch my dumb phone for a smarter model. I’ll tell you why I now am in love with my smartphone.
I decided to to get an iPhone 4S because I’ve heard other non-technical people like myself finding that they are easy to use. Apple products also have a great resale value, so even if I change down the road, I can get some $$ back for this phone hopefully. I’m sure I’ll never know all the things this phone can do for me, but so far it had been really easy to use the functions that I need daily.
It Saves Me Time
The best thing about my smart phone is how much time it has already saved . By having the capability to check email without being on a computer, I have been able to keep up with my life much more efficiently. Often I would get home in the evening and find over 100 emails from blogging, optometry, and being a mom stuff. Now, I can get home and not have to rush to check the computer.
At my recent optometry conference, I was able to pull up the confirmation email that I forgot to print before I left. I got to scan the enclosed bar code to register very quickly. Otherwise I would have had to stand in line and show ID.
It Makes Me Money
Yes, the phone has earned or saved money for me. When I was out of town recently, I got three solid advertising offers that needed to be completed right away. I did have my computer on the trip, but likely would not have logged in to check the email soon enough. I don’t know about other bloggers, but it seems like nothing ever happens until you are out of town. I guess if I wanted to be rich from my online endeavors, I should be gone all the time!
The smartphone also saves money when shopping. When I went to buy groceries soon after getting my phone, the store was offering a 2x gas rewards points offer if you downloaded a coupon from the store’s website. I logged right in from my new phone (well, I did have to ask the 18 year old cashier to help me…) , downloaded the free ap, and got the coupon. I should have looked before I left home, but sometimes I don’t always remember when I’m in a hurry. Now I can check from the store and see if any online coupons will lower my bill.
We also used the ap that enables you to scan a product’s bar code to see if it’s cheaper elsewhere. This came in handy while we were looking for a new TV.
I haven’t gotten too far with apps yet, but I love the one above for the grocery store. I also have an app for online banking that is so much easier than logging in through the computer. My favorite one so far is the Ebay app. We sell quite a few things on Ebay, but it used to take a while to take a photo, upload it to the computer, write out the listing, and get it sold. If I had a $5-$10 item, I often donated it because it didn’t seem worth the time. With the app, you can take and post photos right away, and listing can be completed in about a quarter of the time it used to take. We’ve made over $400 on Ebay since I got my smartphone.
I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t mention Siri. If you don’t know, Siri is the voice of the iPhone 4S or greater. You can ask questions or have her text or call anyone hands free. Siri has also saved me with directions. I always wanted GPS, and now I have it. I almost passed on the extra $70 to get a talking phone, but I’m glad I didn’t . Although Siri and my Southern accent don’t always mix (like when I asked for Qdoba, and she told me there were no cute daugh baughs in the area), I can see how helpful she is going to be.
I am not saying that everyone should run out and buy a smartphone. Even though it has made my life easier and saved some money, the bill is still going to be around $150 a month for two phones in our household.Sometimes it seems we do something to save money, like cutting out satellite TV, and then we add a new expense, but that seems to be how life works.
Like with any purchase, I think everyone needs to weigh the value to cost ratio to see if getting a smartphone is a good idea. If you only use it to play games or watch YouTube, it’s probably not a good investment. If it does save some of your limited commodities of time and money, then I would say go for it. Just beware that you might fall in love.
Why do you have or not have a smart phone? What is your favorite app?