“Smartphones”, as they are called today, do so many tasks I’m not sure why they are still called a phone. Think about how much time you spend talking with your smartphone. If you’re like me and everyone I know, you use your device more for computing and data tasks than talking. I’ll admit they are amazing devices and do make it possible to eliminate other electronics in our lives. But I still enjoy using some of my other electronic devices. I will use my smartphone to capture video, get directions, read, and listen to music for impromptu moments. But if I have time to plan ahead, you’ll probably see me with one these devices.
Cisco announced they would discontinue the Flip back in 2011 which quickly inspired a list of alternatives. I love the Flip for quick and convenient videos. The device is small (about the same size as my SmartPhone!) and it’s simple to use. To take basic video all I have to do is push one red button. It auto-focuses and adjusts for lighting. It confuse me with a bunch of settings that I don’t know how to use. Simple, compact, and decent video. Love it.
The Garmin Nuvi
My family uses this device frequently. It seems there is always a new destination in our schedule and the little Nuvi provides directions to get us there. We can use the smartphone GPS, but the passenger often wants to use their device for other activities and who wants to run the battery down? The little Garmin we have is a basic GPS unit. But the basics are all I want from a GPS device. Tell me how to get from point A to point B. It’s good at that. Simple and focused wins again.
I’m too cheap to pay for an iPhone and the associated data plan (and I’m not drinking the Apple Kool-aid). But I do have an iTouch. I use this device occasionally to evaluate an iOS application, but more often I use it to play music and podcasts while I run. I know, I could use my smartphone for music. I did that once and dropped it while tying my shoe. The screen shattered. With my iTouch, I already have an arm-band so it reduces the risk of dropping it. Unlike the Flip and Garmin, this device is multi-dimensional. But I keep it simple and dedicated. Besides, I don’t want a phone call to interrupt my runs.
I have one of the original kindles. While Amazon is making the new readers with more features, I still like the basic Kindle. It does one thing for me and that is allow me to focus on the book content. There are no popups, noises, or other things to distract me from reading. It’s just me and the book (or other content). Simple. Focused. eReader.