I sometimes wonder if I’m the only person on campus without an Android or iPhone. A recent blog I read pushes me one step closer to joining the revolution of application-driven phone users. Don’t think of me as a dinosaur unwilling to try the latest in technology. I was a member of the first wave of the revolution, for I owned a Palm phone, the original platform for phones that went beyond just using a phone for making phone calls. I could surf the web, sync my email, calendar and contacts, play games, and read books from my Palm. Admittedly, it was a Brontosaurus, large, cumbersome, small-brained, compared to today’s tyrannosaurus rex the carnivorous behemoth iPhone that destroys everything in its path. I give Apple credit; they recognized the marketing potential for combining a phone and a computer—think iTunes—and created a system to rake in the dollars. And in usual fashion with Apple, it was “COOL, HOT, RAD,” whatever the latest slang is for the smartest thing on the market. I do admit to being behind on the latest slang, so insert the latest term for “the bomb” in the previous sentence. Just as the iPhone was Apple’s response to the Palm Phone, the Android is Verizon’s attempt to corner some of this huge market. Android is an unfortunate product name in my opinion. Check out the definition of android: a robot or some other type of synthetic organism designed to look and act like a human—interpretation: second best, not as good as the original, an attempt to replicate something superior. I would have named it the Raptor for the Velociraptor, which means ‘swift seizer,’ that nasty little dinosaur made famous in the Jurassic Park movies. Now that’s a take-no-prisoners kind of branding.
If you’re using your Android or iPhone only to make calls, text, check your email, and download music, you haven’t recognized their full potential; you’re still in the dinosaur age. These new app-driven phones can increase your productivity according to blogger and web publisher Abhijeet Mukherjee. In his Top 12 iPhone Apps That’ll Increase Your Productivity, he recommends twelve apps that can improve your output. Though most of them are geared toward those already in the “real world” of business, three of them will help the average college student be more productive. Simplenote and Evernote are apps for taking notes and keeping them organized on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Can’t seem to remember meetings or when things are due? ReQall can organize your reminders and keep you aware of what you need to do at the right time. I would suggest you look for an app for speech-to-text to save time, but Jott, the one he recommends in his posting, has terrible reviews. Evidently it has been bought by a new company and is languishing from inattention from its new owner. I guess the new owner bought out the competition.
One of the most important skills you learn in college is time management. Those who don’t learn to make time for everything they have to do each week fall hopelessly behind, and by this time in the semester, they are in full blown PANIC mode. Not having enough time to devote to the papers and projects they have due and not being able to begin studying for finals because they have papers and projects due, their grades suffer from their failure to plan ahead. Take advantage of the tremendous number of phone apps available for improving your productivity. Be a T Rex, not the Brontosaurus lumbering behind. Learning to use time-saving apps while in college will prepare you for when you have a job and a family–when your time will be even more precious than it is now. And if anyone would like a good deal on a first generation Palm phone, give me a call.