New phones for old

A mobile phone is fairly essential for someone self-employed and out and about a lot. I had been getting on fine with my Nokia handset, especially as it had a proper keyboard. However, the lure of getting apps onto my phone proved too much, and I have upgraded (sic – phone company speak) to a Samsung smartphone. 

The two apps I really wanted to get hold of were:
(1) Birdtrack which allows me to record bird sightings on the hoof, and upload them to the BTO – so not only can I keep records of my own, but I can – in a tiny way – contribute to ornithological research along the way.

(2) Instagram. I know everyone’s dog is using this, and has been for months, but it does please me that I can take quirky retro-styled photographs and upload them to Twitter so easily. What is the appeal of a picture that looks as though it had been taken 35 years ago and then left pinned to a noticeboard ever since? I don’t know, but there is one…

Paper Camera is also good fun – again, why one needs to produce Warhol-esque images at the press of a button beats me, but there is a guilty joy to be had. Quirky avatars being not the least of it…

However, I have also loaded some plant/gardening apps which I didn’t even know about – Garden Mentor is not infallible, and nor is it a comprehensive database, but it is useful enough to be going on with. If the developers keep adding content to it, it could become a really useful tool. Will the RHS follow suit with a really top-notch Android app?

I can’t quite get on with face recognition either. Sometimes it works brilliantly, and life feels like ‘World of Wonder’ magazine said (in 1971) it would be in 2012. Other times the bloody thing doesn’t know who I am at all, blanks me completely and resorts to some weird finger-waving procedure to unlock itself. I swear it’s all in the expression – if I look wide-eyed and slightly pleading, the phone responds: if I adopt a more assertive, nay surly, look it doesn’t want to know. Now I’ve put it that way, I can sympathise…

One perennial problem, of course, is that gardening means mucky hands, which don’t go well with a shiny new smartphone!

Right, have to go and do the school run now. Speak soon.












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