Published February 26, 2015
Out and about
This blog has been quiet a few weeks while I changed up my use of technology. I’ll give a brief outline in case any is of use to others, and so I can compare to actual outcomes later.
My existing smart phone was a few generations old. I rarely used the phone functionality and found the screen too small to be comfortable for reading or internet browsing on the go. The battery life was getting shorter and shorter.
I’ve been doing heaps of textile-related reading, but with no specific college assignment in mind. Interesting and I will remember major concepts, but my notes were scattered in various notebooks and pieces of paper. I’d never be able to find things again.
A minor point that tipped me over the balance point – I have a new wrist fitness tracker (www.fitbit.com/), and my mobile phone was too old to talk to it via bluetooth.
Ability to take notes on the go – say when reading on the bus.
All notes stored in one place.
Search facilities for all my notes.
Screen large enough to read comfortably – saved pdfs, internet browsing, …
Still a phone, with my existing phone number – as a secondary requirement.
Able to snip internet text and photos, annotate, highlight parts, and include search info for use with other notes.
GIMP or other image manipulation software.
Camera, possibly with ability to connect to my big camera.
Earpiece to listen to podcasts, recorded lectures etc.
Ability to sync with fitbit.
Samsung Note 10.1″ 4G (2014 Edition) (www.samsung.com/au/
consumer/mobile-phone/tablet/tablet/SM-P6050ZKAXSA). This includes a styles that fits neatly in the tablet, and software that integrates its use.
BlueAnt bluetooth earpiece (www.myblueant.com/products/headsets/q3/).
Evernote (https://evernote.com/) on both my PC and the new tablet. All my notes end in the same place. There are good search facilities. There are download/export options so I can make my own backups without relying on the cloud, or the ongoing availability of the software.
GIMP Inkscape (play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.gimp.inkscape&hl=en). The basic layout and facilities are familiar, but I’m still getting used to the smaller tablet screen and slightly different implementation.
It took some effort, being referred to more and more technical helpdesks, but I was able to transfer my existing phone number to the tablet with a suitable sim only plan.
A minor point which rounds it out. Not only will it sync with my fitbit, so I can immediately watch my wiggly heartbeat line, but the fitbit has caller id. It vibrates and displays the name of the incoming caller.
After only a few days I’m still learning, but loving it. I’m still experimenting with the mix of apps, but the data input is great – there’s a keyboard form that intelligently suggests words etc, but also handwriting recognition that can cope with my lousy running writing on a bumpy bus. I can sit on the bus, reading Textile (www.bloomsbury.com/au/journal/textile/) (paper version), search on the internet for more information about an exhibition or artist mentioned, make notes, snip quotes and photos – all with ease and knowing it will be available on the desktop when I get home. Walking along I have the tablet in my backpack, the earpiece safely in a pouch hanging from the shoulder strap. If a call comes in I get a discreet buzz on the wristband, and can have the earpiece in and call answered faster than I could ever fish out the old phone.
The next question – is this still the honeymoon period, the rush of new technology toys? I’m hoping it’s the start of much more effective work methods that will support my ongoing studies as a part of general life.