Friday, January 2, 2015

Traveling with a SmartPhone

For seniors smartphones offer safety and convenience but are also a challenge.

It is too easy to pick the wrong phone, the wrong plan, and the wrong service. A wrong choice can cost a lot and produced very bad results.

Even picking the wrong car charger, and the wrong cable, can also put you at a big disadvantage.

Having made most of the mistakes in the past, I am in a good position to explain how to avoid them.

The phone itself needs to be the right size. Too small and it is too hard  to use. Too large and it is too awkward to handle.

The phone needs to be a no contract phone. It needs to be 3G capable when you need that capability.

I have found 4G capability both unneeded and not available in too many places.

Unlimited talk needs to cost no more than $10 a month. Unlimited calling + 3G no more than $25 a month.

Ideally the phone plan should use Wifi for phoning wherever available.

In the car you need a charger capable of maintaining the charge. Not only that, but you need a cable able to deliver that charge.

With the above accomplished, the phone should be able to do almost anything your computer could do.

For me that includes voice recognition for all input to the phone. I need to be able to dictate wherever I am, whatever I am doing.

I also like having music available wherever I am even, and, even more important uptodate traffic reports from Waze.

Having tried a variety of services, I have found that Sprint service via Republic Phone gives me the ability for both services almost everywhere I am.

There are always a few places where there is no cell service. Therefore, it is useful, however, to have enough storage in the phone to hold your music and media library. Relatively few phones have enough additional storage capability using a micro SD card. Republic does have one and it costs just $100.

Note: I use a Scosche charger and a PortaPow cable, both capable of delivering full power to devices. Both put out 1 amp of current as opposed to .5. The charger services two devices.

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