A Business Technology Place

Getting a little more mobile

I don’t use an iPhone and don’t really want to. Something about being locked into a carrier with a pretty high monthly service plan just doesn’t get it for me. With that said, I am into finding ways for mobile devices to contribute to my life by helping to automate or simplify tasks.

My compromise for the iPhone is the iTouch. It gives me a good feel for the mobile equivalents of many of the applications I use on a full computer. Recently I downloaded RunKeeper to help track my runs. I’m not a serious runner doing multiple races per year, but I am a consistent runner who enjoys the exercise and activity. I found out about RunKeeper when I saw a tweet from someone I follow about about a run they completed for a certain distance and time. Turns out, it was an auto-tweet from the app. The online tool allows you to define a course via a mapping service and then you can set your mobile device when you run that course. Your progress is tracked by the internal wifi tracking service in the iTouch. This may be a pretty good tool for me to get more consistency in my runs and to keep me motivated. (I hope)

Another tool I’m planning to use this spring is ESPN iScore Baseball. I’ve been keeping the stats for my son’s little league baseball team for several years. I took a spreadsheet template I found online and I modified it a few times over the years. It keeps wonderful stats, but it requires time to enter the stats after each game. This baseball application will run on the iTouch and removes duplicate work because you only have to record the game once, as it happens. The stats are then aggregated and viewable/exportable for full reporting. Nice! We’ll see if I can manage to keep up the with game by entering it electronically. I’m sure I’ll have paper and pencil ready for standby in case of failure.

By the way  in case you were wondering. Right now I carry an older BlackBerry as my mobile phone. It’s a great device for messaging, but not so great for apps (mostly due to the older model and OS).