Mobile Phones: Where’s the Love?


So I got a letter from Future Network USA this week, informing that my subscription to Mobile Magazine was being switched over to another publication, because Mobile Mag had been yanked due to a lack of interest.

Such news is quite disheartening for this smartphone enthusiast… I almost went broke last year forking out almost $200 CAD for an overseas subscription to Mobile Choice; now I can’t help but wonder… When it comes to mobile phones, why are we in North America so lame?

Perhaps it’s because historically the rest of the world has had to make do with SMS and WAP while we New Worlders have been spoiled by our flat-rate dial-up and broadband internet, or maybe it’s because we’ve got such large expanses of geography to blanket with coverage that we inevitably settle for handsets with less features and more robust radios?

Whatever. Even if you’re still using [gasp] analog, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy at least some of the benefits of 21st-century mobile technology. See if any of the following applies to you:

  1. You didn’t know which handset to get, so you just took the free one that came with your contract;
  2. When you brought that cell phone home, you set aside an evening to manually enter all your important numbers into it;
  3. When making an important call out in the wild, you have to drop everything and search your address book or electronic organizer for the number;
  4. You don’t mean to disturb them, yet you frequently end up harassing friends and loved ones with phone calls updating your whereabouts;
  5. When someone calls you with an important piece of info you ask them to call you back and leave it on your voicemail;
  6. You frequently find yourself wishing for an internet café so you could verify the address of your destination;
  7. You wish you had something fun to occupy your time while stuck in line at the bank/post office/etc.

If you answered yes on any of the above then you’re not getting the most out of your mobile!

Getting that free handset on contract was your first mistake, but all may not be lost—all but the most basic models offer some sort of connectivity with your PC, which means you should be able to transfer your calendars, contacts and to-do lists right to your handset. Here in Canada, every mobile provider has made their text messaging service interoperable, which means you can text anyone on any network—you just have to pay a little extra to get it activated on your calling plan. Most phones also offer some kind of internet connectivity—it may be prohibitively expensive to use all the time, but you’ll certainly appreciate that it’s there when you need it. Finally, there isn’t a single handset that I know of that doesn’t have some kind of crap game on it, so stop shuffling your feet and sighing, already—that line isn’t going to move any faster, so you might as well get your thumbs working!

If anyone has a specific question about the capabilities of their particular handset feel free to post a comment below. And if you’re in the market for something new I’d be happy to offer my advice; hell, if you’re in Toronto I’ll even take you shopping for a nominal fee…


Categorized as Mobile Tagged

By Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?

1 comment

  1. A glimmer of hope (for the US market at least) can be found here;

    US Shoppers Willing to Pay Extra For “cool” Phones.

    Unfortunately, I think online phone shoppers are vastly outnumbered by the “whut fone kin I git fer free?” crowd…

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