For a technology junky, I tend to be a bit behind the curve sometimes. This is largely because keeping up with the state of the art can be pricy so nobody is more surprised than me when I upgraded my “dumb phone” this weekend for a Samsung Galaxy S3. (I didn’t go for an iPhone because I don’t like the closed ecosystem.) I have started exploring what it can do and have had several observations.
- These phones are becoming much more useful with better sensors in them. There is a cool feature where when you are having a text message chat with someone, if you want to call them, you just hold the phone up to your ear. The proximity sensor will then detect that and automatically place the call for you.
- More data integration is pretty cool. I use gmail for my email so the phone worked well with that. It automatically imported all my contacts. I was however wondering how I was going to find pictures for them all. Then I hooked up Facebook and it gave me an option to link my contacts in Gmail with Facebook. I did it and it imported all their profile pics from Facebook! I was hugely impressed.
- I can definitely tell the difference between the Apple ecosystem and the Android one. I have an iPad and when I want to go get Apps they are pretty simple to find. In Android, it’s a bit more hit and miss.
- The phone itself is a bit buggy. I don’t have the latest version of Android (apparenly Verizon is a bit slow with updates) and certain things don’t work consistently. I have found myself saying “Steve Jobs would not have approved this”. :)
- I haven’t really yet started playing around with the Augmented reality stuff but I am excited to do so. It’s crazy how much computing power is in this thin piece of plastic. At CES this week apparently the Samsung CEO announced a 8 core processor. That’s just amazing.
So I’ll periodically post my adventures with this phone and see how it can tie into education too. What is significant is it wasn’t very expensive compared to an iPhone so it certainly will be showing up in more student’s bookbags this fall.