MIR: How do you use your mobile handset?

A day in the life of heavy mobile usage…

Fwd: Whatley on Wednesday 090108 - How do you eat yours?

I am, by my own admission, a power user. This may come as no surprise to the regular readers. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that around half of Ewan’s reader-base would probably consider themselves within this category?

But, what defines a power user?

Well I kept on a diary this morning. Not for too long, a few hours, jotting down any mobile activity on the fly… Have a read:

7:05 – My N95 tries to wake me up to the sound of the Plain White Tees.

I hit snooze.

7:15 – My N95 tries to wake me up again.

I hit snooze.

7:17 – The calendar reminder I set myself the night before, pre-empting this state of affairs, wakes me up properly with the message ‘Wake up you sleeping fool – you have a meeting in town!’

I get up.

7:30 – Whilst getting washed and ready I check Vodafone’s ‘My Travel’ section of Vodafone Live! to see when’s the next train to Richmond. Twenty minutes from now. Cool.

7:40 – I leave the house. Earphones are in and my phone’s MP3 player is happily randomising the 5GB worth of music I have on the microSD card within, for my listening pleasure.

Along the brisk 5min walk to the station I quickly check my train times again (yes, I know I’ve already checked them but I’m insanely regimented about being on time) and then open my Jaiku client to see if my friend Jana is going to be on the same train as me.
She’s not, she’s working from home as she’s not feeling too well and her phone’s profile is on silent so there’s no point calling her either.

All of this from one quick glance at Jaiku. Nice.

7:52 – I board the train to Richmond. At this point my, quite frankly, invaluable Tube Map java app comes into play as I need to work out the quickest route to Piccadilly Circus; Richmond – Hammersmith – Piccadilly. Sorted.

8:05 – The outskirts of the District Line Underground are in fact overground and so I use this time to read up on the morning’s news.

Starting with Mippin, I work my way through: All About Symbian, SMS Text News, Darla Mack, Symbian-Guru.com, WiiWii.tv and anything else that might be of any interest.

I check my emails on the new http://beta.m.yahoo.com, (note – NOT on Yahoo Go. Yahoo Go is BAD), scan my IMs (Gtalk, MSN and Yahoo) using Agile Messenger , as well as also managing to find time to update my facebook, reply to some Tweets and catch up on Jaiku via their mdot websites!

As I head underground at Hammersmith, I start cross checking my work phone’s calendar (the E61i’s native app) against my personal calendar (the Handy Calendar app from Epocware – http://epocware.com/ ) to check for double bookings and the like… Glad I did, have a birthday on an away day that I need to get out of somehow, eek.

Incidentally – as a point of interest – I spot my 2nd iPhone ‘in the wild’. I’m tempted to ask the woman how she could justify it but she hides it away quick before anyone else notices she’s got one…

9:10 – I arrive at Piccadilly Circus and have no idea where I’m going for my meeting. I m.google the agency quick, grab their postcode from their website, tap that into my GPS and voila… it’s just round the corner. Easy peasy.

10:15 – One of the key people has to dash off after receiving a converted voicemail (as a text message, through SpinVox) from his Wife. Her car has just got a puncture and she needs his help. Unfortunate situation aside, that’s a little piece of magic right there. Without SpinVox he wouldn’t have called his Wife back until after the meeting. Already he gets it.

10:20 – I head off, but I need to write up some notes and check emails etc… So a quick SMS off to the Texperts is required methinks:

“I’m in Piccadilly. Where can I get a decent cup of coffee and some free wi-fi?”

10:25 – The answer comes back as: ‘The 5th View Cafe above Waterstones on Picadilly’ and off I trot.

10:30 – Setting up a mini-office over a cafe mocha I glance out the window. The view is amazing. Out pops the N95, I snap a quick photo and then upload it straight to my Flickr, via ShoZu.

Here’s the picture, by the way:

10:35 – I plug my ears back in and settle down to get on with some work.
The End.

So why bother writing this up? Three reasons really.

1) To give an insight into the usage habits of a genuine power user.

2) To find out more about the user habits of the SMS Text News reader base:
‘How do you eat yours?’

3) To ask if anyone out there thinks there is something missing: What application do you use every day that you could not live without?

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16 thoughts on “MIR: How do you use your mobile handset?”

  1. I wouldn’t classify myself as a power user, but there are many similarities between yours and my journey, i.e. music and jaiku (but using the m.jaiku site), I also tend to check e-mails, reed my feeds via google reader as my journey is over ground and sweet HSDPA is available.

  2. Handy insight, in answer to question 3) Sky Anytime for Symbian with its remote recording is a winner for me. But Google Maps and Nokia’s Share Online and Podcasting functionalities are simply killers.

  3. Reading this makes me quite happy. I am borderline the same way, without nearly the commute that you have. Honestly, I like computing better this way, it just feels better.

    Next step for my devices, plug into a dock so that I can work from them without worrying about whether the battery will last the entire day. That will pretty much natch it for me.

  4. Ewan, great article, full of details.
    Just a couple of questions: did you find it so quick and easy to find out where a place is by founding the address on the net, putting it into nokia maps and then getting back the result? I’m asking because i would ask someone on the road instead 🙂
    And, second, when you sit down to take some notes after a meeting, do you use the Nokia Bluetooth keyboard or type notes by T9 keypad?

    According to me (i’m an e51 user, not N95), one of the most useful applications is Active Notes. I use them by creating a note for each day and then putting into it pictures or quick snaps i take for a book i see and i want to buy later, or info about something i need to see later more in detail.

  5. James,

    Excellent post! It would be really interesting to get a broader picture of what people use… Me?

    Roadsync for syncing my E61 with Exchange – I know Nokia do a free application, but I really value the sub-folder functionality in Roadsync and its better reliability. I’ve tested thrid-party PIM apps, but never found one I prefer much over the built-in ones so I view the data with those.

    Autolock for S60 an incredibly simple tool, but essential for avoiding accidental pocket dialling.

    Google Reader (on S60 and iPhone) for all my RSS reading when commuting because I like my read status to be nice and synchronised with the laptop.

    Facebook on the iPhone for keeping track of my friends – the customised interface beats the pants of the normal ‘m’ version.

    iPhone ‘video iPod’ functions for watching TV recorded with my EyeTV and automagically exported to iTunes and listening to music / podcasts. My other devices can do it, but this has the best screen and interface…

    iPhone Safari for browsing whilst travelling or on the sofa at home. For many sites its as fast as my 3G handset (loads of EDGE near us) due to the quicker lay-out and it handles regular web pages better than any S60 browser so far (although Opera’s offerings are a close 2nd).

    SpinVox on the E61 – great for not disturbing meetings, but also nice to have a log for searching numbers and info later (via the e-mail notifications).

    Tripit.com on the iPhone (sync from iCal) – I forward all my travel confirmation e-mails here and it interprets them and builds a trip list. You can interrogate it by SMS, but I subscribe to an iCal feed that puts all my journeys, bookings and their confirmation details into my calendar. Wish I could subscribe from the E61 yet, but AFAIK there’s no iCal client.

  6. Nice post, makes me realise that there’s still always more I can do with my phone. Just wondering, what’s the real advantage of paying for Agile Messenger over using a free app like fring? Because I’ve been using fring recently and it’s pretty good but not perfect, but the full price of Agile is 34.95 euros and I’m not sure if it’s worth it.

  7. Wow – thanks for your comments folks. Seems like I’ve really touched upon something here….

    Expect a follow up post addressing all that ^ and more next week; Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.


  8. I have an iPhone. Deep joy. It does not work. Took it back to 02 store. They referred me to Apple store. Apple store will not look at it without booking an appointment.
    No mans land.
    Ewan who is the CEO of 02? The CEO of 02, Steve Job and me need to talk.

  9. Hey James
    nice one, thanks for the FB post. think you’re pretty spot on with your phone use. some good apps in there I’m gonna try out.

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