Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Link List - Life with a smart phone (my favorite apps)

Yes, DH and I finally gave in and bought smart phones. I was the lucky one and got a Galaxy Note. To me, it's more like a computer than a phone. And I love it. But it's another learning curve to beat. I'm sure others are in the same situation, so let me tell you how I'm doing. Hopefully, we can share information!

My phone came with a lot of apps already installed, just waiting for me to download.

My favorite has to be my email. I use it every day (all day) to keep in touch with my blogging buddies and online class. I can keep my husband company and answer my email at the same time. Multi-tasking! I love that it tells me if there's email waiting. So far, I've changed my signature, ring tone and screen view.

With the Galaxy Note comes an S pen. I didn't think I'd want to use it, but have found that I love writing instead of typing all the time. I'll write myself quick messages, then delete them when they're no longer necessary. I don't mind the size of the pen, but if you'd rather have a regular sized pen, you can get a Holder Kit to put around it. Google and Amazon sell them for about $30.00.

I never thought I'd get into digital books. That was before a friend told me I didn't need a Kindle to read books on my phone. What a thrill! Amazon gives you a free dictionary too, so you can find definitions while your reading. I tried it out! For example, because the word "lisovyk" (above) is not an English word, it's telling me there's no definition to be found. But Amazon gives me "more" and the chance to search the book, Wikipdia and the Web to get a better understanding (lisoyxk is a supernatural being in Slavic folklore). I love that you can leave the book "open" - you never loose your place; no bookmark needed!

I downloaded my first book for a whopping $5. This hardbound (only) book costs $28; I wouldn't have had to pay a thing, if I had an Amazon Prime account! I'm really considering going Prime; it includes access to a lending library (one book free per month) and free shipping for all your Amazon orders. But it does cost $79 / year (one month free trial). It may be worthwhile, particularly if you purchase large (and heavy) orders.

One of the first apps I put on my phone (free) was Dictionary, which is a little more advanced than a regular dictionary. If you don't want to type the word in, just press the microphone icon and speak it. It will also pronounce the word for you, whether you type it in or speak it. There's much more! An English and Spanish word of the day, a question of the day, and a map.

One of the apps I put on my phone is Remember the Milk. I wrote about it here on my blog after Rose (randomcreative) talked about it last year! It's a great tool if you have a lot of chores or tasks to remember. On your phone, the completed tasks get crossed off the list - a real sense of accomplishment!

Another friend of mine introduced me to a great app, perfect for the traveling I'll be doing next month. It's called Google Translate, and it's free app through Google play (I hadn't realized that Translate is a free translation service on the internet). All you do is set the two languages you want (your language and the language you need) and speak into the phone.

It spells out the word or phrase in your language and you can attempt to speak it. Or you can press a button so the phone will speak for you. Most of the time, it will hear you correctly; just be sure to speak clearly.

What's your favorite app that you've added to your smart phone? I'd love to know!


Rose said...

Another great idea for a link list! I'm glad that you're enjoying your smartphone. I held off getting one for so long, but I love it now. I would enjoy using that little pen, too. I hand write a number of things that I could type, simply because I enjoy it.

Isobel said...

Gosh - I'm way behind you. I only use my mobile 'phone just to keep in touch with husband on the few times we are not together (I'm his carer, you see) and/or when we're on our way to somewhere and help up in traffic.

All these modern gadgets terrify me: am only just finding my way round on the computer as it is.

However, if you've time from playing with your new toy, how about stopping by at and meeting the plushies I make, mend and otherwise create and post about, so I can sell them at

Found you on the Etsy Blogs site, so will be following you too! Cheers.

BeadedTail said...

I don't have a smartphone yet but will most likely get one this summer. If I didn't work from home I'd have one for sure! I've downloaded some apps to my iPod Touch but I'm so leary of things I don't like to do it unless I have to. These apps sound very helpful though!

Splendid Little Stars said...

hmmmm...I'm sure it's great, but I still have a "stupid" phone.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

I'll be sure to tell my mom about the Amazon Prime account...she has a Kindle and was hoping to download books from her library, but they don't offer them.
Remember the Milk sounds cool and the translation app will be very handy in sure to find out if you're charged roaming if you use it over there!

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