The Here and Now
Ah yes, the cell phone. Once it was only a device that could only really do one thing and that was place and receive calls. Now they are technological marvels that continue to this day still blow my mind on what they can do!
The phones keep getting smaller and more powerful! My current device has replaced devices that either I wanted to have, had or have now but don’t use.
The list of things that my personal phone has replaced for me or is in the stages of replacing:
- Landline phone
- Music player
- Portable Gaming system
- Alarm Clock
- Portable Computer*
- GPS system
- Portable Document Scanner
- Portable mini TV
- E-book reader
* Even though I can do quite a few tasks on my device, I still need a computer from time to time do some tasks.
These are just a few that I’ve fairly quickly named. Of course what your device has replaced will depend on the device and what apps you have installed. But for now, let’s take a stroll down memory lane shall we?
<HARP STRUMMING SOUNDS WITH A BLUR EFFECT>
So starts my journey with cell phones.
When I was a young lad, the cell phone was not near as small, sleek nor as “smart” as the devices of today. Nope. They were big, bulky, sound quality was hit and miss and can only place or receive calls.
My first ever cell phone was a bag phone. Yes the cell phone was in a “travel sized case” that I could either keep in the bag for portability or I could take the components out of the bag and mount inside my car. I guess at the time it was portable but it looked like I was packing for a weekend when I carried this thing around or moved it from one vehicle to another. Portable yes, stylish…not really. The battery that powered this thing was big and really didn’t hold a charge too well hence I had mine almost always plugged in.
The cell phone plans were worse back then too! Roaming was something that you really had to worry about in those days! The roaming fees can eat you alive so we had to keep conversations on these things short when we waltzed out of our coverage areas. It was a wonderful invention though because I did have to use it a few times and I was grateful to have it!!!
Well that phase came and went. For the longest time after that, I didn’t have a cell phone and really didn’t keep up with the technology. Then the need came once more and the mistress of technology was luring me in like a siren song. This time I was really in for a shock! The phones have gotten smaller! Holy cow!!! Instead of lugging around with me a small Samsonite bag, I now had the same thing that would fit in the palm of my hand!!!
The plans were still something to consider but I can now more easily take the phone with me! The weight difference was substantial! Going from a small bag of bricks to a brick was mind-blowing! Oh and I had some cool features too! Different ring tones (I couldn’t upload any of my own. Had to use what came with phone), a better phone directory that can hold more numbers (Address book),an alarm clock and a game! The game was the traditional growing snake game but it still entertained me for the longest time! This portable wonder still only had a LCD display but what an improvement!
Life moved a little further ahead and I got an even newer device. OOOHHHH LOOKIE, COLOR!!!! Yep this newer model had a color screen on it! This one was even smaller still! This time instead of a handheld brick, it was the folding type of phone most commonly called a clam shell. The call quality was better, the device was smaller, had a few more features on it but COLOR !
Then when at this time I couldn’t think that I couldn’t do any better, the fine folks at Motorola had to do it! They came out with the RAZR phone! The clamshell version! OH LORD I”VE DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN!!!! This thing was (excuse the language reference) badass (IMHO)!!! This little wonder had a decent (for the time) camera, had the ability to allow the user to upload custom ringtones and assign them to contacts, picture ID for contacts, play mp3’s and the call quality with mine was exceptional! I actually miss this phone to this day! Oh how the mistress had blessed me with this piece of technology.
However the mistress wasn’t done with me yet. Not by a long shot!
Now Entering the Smart Phone Zone
I had a few other phones other than the RAZR but IMHO they weren’t as good. Because of economics, I had to resort back to the very basic clamshell phone. It was tough too! Going from a fairly nice modern PC back to a Commodore 64 was rough! I was missing my tech rush.
I didn’t have to wait long. Along came a phone that the mistress’s urge was pulling me so strong that I had to have it. It was the first touch screen device I’d ever seen. The Blackberry Storm!
It had very few buttons and most everything could be done on the touch screen! This is where I got my cherry popped on apps! Yes I would load small programs called apps on this thing and have it do more! I could get email, chat, play some games, do some basic GPS functions, and more! When I had this thing, I was like, a mini computer that fit into my hands! I liked this thing well enough until when going for a job out-of-state, some a**hole stole it! So back to a normal type of phone I went. Stayed humble again until the mistress had to tempt me again. Like tempting a hungry dog with a big, juicy Porterhouse steak, she dangled in front of me….The Motorola DROID!!!
Now if I haven’t thought I was King Crap of the Crap pile before, I was now! This thing had apps a plenty! The screen colors (again IMHO) were better, better camera, slide out keyboard (loved that feature) and a smaller footprint than the BB Storm! Easy to operate and with more power, wow lookie what I can do now! It was actually this phone that started the no going back with maybe the exception of the original RAZR, to the old school phones! Yep touchscreen goodness and hand-held communication computers for me all the way! The DROID lasted me a while until it met an untimely death by being dropped from a height of 8 ft down to the concrete. The phone still worked but the screen was shattered. This is where I learned the value of cases!
Here on out
Well we kind of made it back to the present. I’ve had other smart phones based on the Android operating system and stayed with that theme for many years after. Even though the handset manufactures changed several times, the base operating system or OS didn’t. This was until a friend of mine told me that he and his wife went to Apple devices. I kept it in the back of my mind for later and went along my day. I got so angered with a handset manufacturer about the quality of their handsets that I decided to switch from the Android OS to a Windows one. When I mad the switch, I wasn’t really ready for the differences. This is just a IMHO part here. Your experience with the Windows OS on the mobile may be different. The apps weren’t as plentiful as they were in the Android universe, the OS wasn’t as refined (again IMHO) and some things weren’t as simple to do.
Well I’m the type of person that sticks to their decisions but one day the phone hard locked and started to deplete the battery faster than flies on fresh poo! When I finally got the device under control, I was ORDERED not ASKED, ORDERED by my wife to get rid of that thing. An so I did. That’s when I remembered what my friend said about Apple and I went there. So far, so good. Me personally, I’ve had a better experience with the Apple products and quality of said products. However this is an opinion of mine. Everyone’s experiences will vary.
Is Apple’s devices perfect? No they aren’t but for what I do and how I have things going, they fit a lot better. So this is where I currently stand. In the present with the world of smart phones that can do more than their humble predecessors ever thought about doing.
I want to thank you all for taking this little journey with me. Maybe some of you are old enough to remember some of the older technology that I’ve touched on in this post. I’m trying to figure out what my next post will be. I might do some technology reviews about hardware or software, another nostolgic journey about progress of technology or who knows. Stick around to find out!