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Jul. 06 2012

Trying to outsmart my new smartphone

By Dyana Neal | Posted in Host Blogs | 4 Comments

Jim & I only lost power for about 24 hours during last weekend’s derecho,  & no trees fell on our house or cars, so we consider ourselves pretty fortunate. We spent Saturday running errands, one of which was to check out smartphones. My previous phone wasn’t bad – among other things, it had just enough internet service to allow me to get into trouble on a certain online auction site – but it didn’t allow me to access certain discount sites & chat boards of which I’m very fond. The two main reasons I was hesitant to get a smartphone were my attachment to my old phone’s QWERTY keyboard – touch screens seemed like a pain to me – & the fact that using a device with better internet service would require me to sign up for a higher-priced data package. When Jim, who still uses a flip phone, suggested we take a look at smartphones – for both of us! – I nearly fainted, after which I said “Sure!”

So, we spent quite a bit of time at a wireless phone store, assisted by a very friendly young man who showed us various devices & understood my need for a phone that will fit in an evening bag. (Yes, he’s married. Sorry, ladies.) Both Jim & I quite liked the LG Lucid, which seemed to offer all of the features either of us would want, yet had a far lower price tag than many similar phones. The SA had high praise for it, too. We decided to discuss the purchase in private, so we told him we’d come back that day, whatever we decided. (My old phone was rapidly running out of juice, & of course I’d managed to misplace my car charger, so we were going to buy something that day, even if it wasn’t a smartphone!)

An hour or two later, we returned to the wireless store, and guess which one of us got a smartphone? Yes, I did. Jim is still a bit reluctant to be “that connected” to an electronic device, although he knows he may have to do so for work at some point. He’s also the sort of person who will look at an item – say, porch furniture – a dozen times before purchasing it. I’m not a total impulse buyer, but if I’ve found something I really want & it won’t completely kill my budget, ’nuff said.

So, over the past few days, I’ve spent quite a bit of time learning how to download & use apps, figuring out how to visit various sites on my new phone, & discovering just how much I dislike autocorrect. If it would alter my text messages in amusing ways, that would be one thing; I might send some of them out as-is just to get a laugh out of Jim or a friend. All it’s done so far is frustrate me by refusing to let me type many slang or non-English words. A friend suggested  possible solution, which didn’t let me remove the offending program, but it did lead me to my phone’s “user dictionary” function, via which I can add new words to its vocabulary. A few taps of the stylus later, my phone now knows the name of our favorite Turkish restaurant, some lolspeak terms, & other vital information. It should fit in most of my evening bags, too.


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Dyana is WBJC's midday host. Her full bio can be read here.

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