If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that I have mentioned being a late adopter of technologies. Yes, I am often good about being the first in trying some things, but I usually wait until the price of some of these new technologies comes down to adopt them. For a while, I have been wanting to test those Smartphones, but wondered how they would fit into my life and if there would be of any benefit. Did I really need them? and here’s a a sad confession: I don’t even use the text messaging feature of my cell phone, was a Smartphone too much of a leap for me?
As part of being an Elevenmom, Walmart offered us an opportunity to participate in a long term interactive test of Smartphones. A few of the Elevenmoms already owned Smartphones and were quick to help narrow down the choices to either an iPhone or a Blackberry Storm. From there, the decision of which one to get was mine. As with any other big purchase decision, I turned to my husband for help researching the phone prior to purchase. Immediately he went to the Consumer’s Report website to find out more information on the phones and the cell companies that serviced those phones. We also visited our local Walmart to check out both phones and how user friendly they were. While there, we also learned it would be smart to call our local stores to make sure that when we were ready to purchase, the phones would be in stock.
Having decided on an iPhone, we called our three local stores to find out which one had them in stock. Then we headed to the store. I have to say my personal shopping experience was very straightforward and as short as it gets. A lot of this was due to the pre-buying research we had done. We also didn’t have a phone contract to worry about since ours had expired more than a year ago, so we were “free agents” if you will. Since we knew what we wanted, and why we wanted it, we didn’t waste any time getting a sales spiel from the sales person. The only thing we had to decide on the spot was the cell phone plan we would get. It did take some time to get our new cell phone contract set up on the system and complete the purchase transaction. Throughout it all, the sales person handling it all was very helpful and knowledgeable, which was of course a great advantage. In total, from the time we walked in to the time we left it took about 1hour and fifteen minutes. I took some of that time to do some light grocery shopping and entertain the boys a bit.
I have had the iPhone for about three weeks now, and I have waited this long to share this with you because I wanted to give you some feedback on how it has changed my life. First, the process of downloading applications has been slow for me. I have relied on the other mom’s input regarding what applications have improved their life. I have particularly found a grocery list, personal to-do list and the ‘All Recipes’ applications very helpful.
- I have mentioned before that menu planning is a struggle for me. But the Dinner Spinner iPhone App helps me find easy, quick and proven recipes to make with the ingredients that I have on hand.
- Here’s another struggle for me, every time I go to the grocery store, I make a list and I always end up leaving it on the counter top of my kitchen. ‘It never fails.’ Now, I enter the list on my phone (and I can even organize it by aisle), and the phone list is always ready for me.
- Here’s another way the iPhone has helped me: how many times have you been to the store, but can’t remember the deal that you read about? Then you get home and pull out your bags, and then it hits you. Well, a Smartphone with 3G access allows you to open your favorite ‘deals website’ to double check their list of deals, so you won’t forget about anything.
- If you rely a lot on Google Calendar, the CalenGoo application lets you access and modify this info from your Smartphone. Never miss anything again.
- If you are a blogger who uses WordPress, you can also download the WordPress application to have access to your blog on the go. This is how I was able to edit one of my posts this past Wednesday, while I was at the Milwaukee Zoo, through my iPhone. If you use it regularly for this purpose, then it could be considered a business expense and be able to deduct it from your blogging income. Oh! and let’s not forget to mention that you can use Twitter and Facebook.
- Finally, as a mom, you can also download applications to help you keep your kids entertained when you most need it. How many times have you handed your cell phone to your kid while at the check out lane to keep him from ‘losing it’? Well, now you can do that, but now, he can actually do something that will keep him entertained other than by hitting the number keys. There are a lot of educational game applications available for different age groups that you can download for free in some cases.
So, yeah, as you can see I have become quite addicted to my iPhone, and that’s the only drawback I have found. Unfortunately it is easy to let it become a time sucker but as with any other lifestyle technology, it is up to you to set limits and boundaries. I also don’t want to mislead you, an iPhone is not “cheap.” It goes for $297 each, plus a monthly extra charge of $30 on your cell phone bill for the data package. But I like to define frugality not only in monetary terms but also in terms of value. An item’s worth should not be defined only by it’s price but also by the value that it provides. I think, and other Smartphone users will probably agree, that a Smartphone is worth it. However, you do have to weigh your own personal lifestyle to see if it really is worth it for you.