I said I did not need a smartphone. I was happy with my old mobile phone. I also had mobile internet for my notebook computer. But then I discovered I could replace two things with one smartphone. And it would not be more expensive. My new iPhone 4 does a lot more than my old devices for the same price. It makes life easier. There are thousands of applications available for the iPhone. But I am still looking for more applications for people with a disability.
Posted by: Maureen Corrigan, on 02/08/11
I said I didn't need a smartphone
I said I didn't need a smartphone. I didn't think there would be any benefit. I had a fairly recent mobile phone. I also had wireless broadband for my notebook computer. I also thought a smartphone would cost too much. But I was wrong on both counts.
The old world
My mobile phone was a four year old Nokia 6120 classic. I was on a $20 monthly plan. I just used it mostly for short messages (SMS). It was serving me well. I had used it overseas without a problem. I had taken videos and photos when I was without a camera. I could share them with others using MMS. I also had access to news, maps and telephone numbers. The phone also had a web browser but I never used it because it seemed too difficult.
My wireless mobile broadband for my notebook computer seemed fast enough. It was slow when travelling outside big cities. But I thought that was just the way things were. It was not cheap though. It cost me about $50 a month.
The new world
Some of my friends have iPhones. They rave about how great they are. They have often told me that I would love one. But I wondered what I could do with it that I couldn't already do. I also worried about the cost. The cost-benefit analysis did not seem to stack up. But the penny dropped when I realised that you can use an iPhone to provide mobile internet access to a computer.
I did the sums. I could replace my two devices with one for the same price. I learnt a bit more about what a smartphone could do. I ended up purchasing an iPhone 4. It does everything that I could do before. It also does a lot more. And it is a lot faster and more convenient. It is a whole new world.
The App Store
At first I was just thrilled with simple things like the compass and the touchscreen. But as I continued to learn more about what my new smartphone can do I was amazed. The online App Store has so many different applications available. Many are free, while most cost only a few dollars. Apple says there are 425,000 apps available.
I have downloaded a good café guide. I can now check out nearby coffee places without carrying a book. I can also make comments about their accessibility using Twitter or write a more formal review.
I have also searched for tools to assist people with a disability. The first one I installed was Wheelmap. It says it helps people find out whether locations are wheelchair accessible. But all the places that I have tried so far are marked
accessibility unknown. I am keen to hear what other apps people have found useful. Let me know in the comments section below.
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