The Smart Phonedler


iGreetings! In today’s world, anything without an “i” as a prefix, hasn’t got much value to it. The ahambhaavam (sense of I – ego) has an altogether different meaning these days. It’s all about whether you possess a coveted iDevice or not and if you don’t, or if you are even remotely nonchalant about its existence in your neighbour’s pocket, you’ll be looked down with disdain. It’s hard to not be amused about how cellphone companies cash in on people’s ignorance and thrust on them, pieces of silicon with a highly polished LCD screen.  Furthermore, you’ll have to shell out thousands every month, just for some sparingly genuine usage of mail and the exceedingly trash talk on facebook and the like. And before I proceed, this shall be applicable to all you android junkies, windows phone wizards, blackberry bosses, bada brigadiers and any other smartphone user. Also, a piece of word to people who know me. If you think this is a case of sour grapes just because I lost my iPod Touch and am scared as hell to get another device, then, in a way, you’re right; but I’m happy that I found it out early and through the hard way that I don’t need a smartphone in my life, at least for now! 🙂 It is a bit annoying and sad to see people deluded into getting smartphones mainly because his next cabin mate has got one! A classic reenactment of the cap seller and the monkeys story.

Before we proceed further, we might have to answer what a smartphone is. There are several thousands of definitions floating around, and to be frank, many of them are vague! Let’s take the most widely accepted definition, from Wikipedia – A smartphone is a mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone. That’s about it. That should be the most simple definition. The smartphone has higher computing capability and better connectivity (read data). To put it succinctly, it can perform no better than your laptop computer, yet it offers better mobility.

Now, our first question for the day. Who needs a smartphone? Let’s derive the answer from our definition. People who are always on the move and have to work on the go; it could be from checking mails from remotely connecting to a server and code software. And, that, only when you cannot afford the time to switch on your laptop, connect to the Internet through your wireless dongle/WiFi. If you are sure that you’ll use 3G/4G capabilities completely and you absolutely cannot live with them, you have every reason to get a smartphone!

The second question is what you need to ask yourself, do I need one? I shall do my best to assist you in answering this question. If your answer is “No” to any of the following questions, then please don’t get a smartphone! If it is “Yes”, then continue reading.

  1. Are you a developer who develops software for a smartphone? – Get one and make sensible apps and not stupid ones!
  2. Are you a hacker or do you intend to root/jailbreak your device? – If yes, and if you are looking to use it for ssh/vnc/vpn or any other troubleshooting, please be aware that your laptop can do more!
  3. Are you getting a smartphone to play angry birds? Seriously, ANGRY BIRDS? Puff! kthxbai!
  4. Are you getting a smartphone so that you can keep checking facebook every 2 minutes? – If you are highly social, I advice you to actually go ahead and make a call to that friend of yours than poke him virtually on facebook.
  5. How about maps? I’d want to know where I’m when I travel around! If you are frequent traveller, then go ahead and buy the smartphone; if not, I’m sure you can look up the routes prior to actually travelling! Or better, get a dedicated GPS device!
  6. I’m a voracious reader who can devour 10 books a week! – I don’t have to tell you anything. You’d already possess an eBook reader if you are that avid a reader!
  7. I listen to a lot of songs. – It’s high time you search that iPod of yours! Now, where did you put it after listening to Rebecca Black and Justin Bieber, a month ago?
  8. It increases my productivity. I use RTM, ToDo lists, Notes, Calendar, Mail on a daily basis. – Mmm. This is tough! Are you really sure, you can’t do these with that high-end laptop of yours?
  9. I keep track of what’s happening in the world through tools like twitter, google reader. – If you’ve pushed their limits on a laptop and you want more, then proceed forward to get a smartphone! If not, first utilize them fully before proceeding to a smartphone.
  10. But, it is a status symbol to own a smartphone! Every Joe Bloggs has a smartphone and I want one too! – Well, he also has a girlfriend and has to support her for life. Are you ready to support one? But, be wary of the exorbitant costs that you’ll have to incur. For both the girlfriend and the smartphone!

The third question is, can I live without one? This is a slightly modified version of the previous question and I can definitely not answer and you’ll have to think whether it is worth the money. Of course, if you are stinking rich and have enough money to booze and get a smartphone, by all means, get one. Only then, developers like me who code software for packet-core networks can thrive! 🙂 And “2,312 Likes” for stalking that hottie’s profile on facebook and kudos on becoming the mayor of Thalapakattu Kakka Biriyani shop on foursquare.

Now, answer me honestly, do you really need a smartphone?