With all of the hoopla surrounding the iPhone and all of the breathless worship of Android, a lot of entrepreneurs and their small businesses have been left shrugging their shoulders. As a professional freelance writer and owner of a small business, I don’t need to be able to play “Angry Birds” nor do I need any “fart apps” (??????) on my cell phone.
What I do need is a way to check my email from anywhere, and when necessary, fire off a quick reply, usually something along the lines of “I’ll get back to you this afternoon.” I also need to get voicemails as well as make and receive phone calls. It’s nice to be able to use the Internet, but I’m not looking to surf around the web on my phone. I have more computers than any one person should for that kind of thing.
That being said, mobile maps along with GPS positioning is a godsend for finding client’s offices and remote work site locations. When I have dabbled in office sharing or using virtual offices for business, locating those has been much easier with a map and a blue dot showing my current location.
Even more critical is the ability to use my mobile phone to get online and find configuration settings or technology guides for use in setting up my laptop or writing netbook, because something (usually the DNS server settings) always seems to not function properly when I connect to someone else’s network. Whether it’s trouble getting past the firewall or some random wireless network disconnect issue, it’s nice to know that in a pinch I can use my phone to get some answers online.
Looking up a phone number for a business or finding the nearest donut shop are also features that I love. Although Google has some major improvements to make on this front. If the place doesn’t have “donuts” in the business name it isn’t going to show up when I search for donuts, which is a big inconvenience since everyone knows that some of the really great donuts come from places with names like “Frank’s” or “Roadside Grub.”
I will also admit that it is very satisfying to be sitting a bar drinking a beer and Google “Roman god of underworld” in order to settle an argument about whether it’s Hades or Pluto. (It’s Pluto. Hades is the GREEK god of the underworld.)
Finally, having a camera on my cell phone, no matter how basic, has been wonderful. I have children who do amazing things at any time of day and capturing them in any manner at all is a treasure. (So, I really would like the state of the art, top-of-the-line camera on my phone, although I have no desire to video call with it.)
After that, however, I don’t really NEED my cell phone to do too much more other than work all of the time.