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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Jun-Jul
34 | www.probussouthpacific.org TECH GUIDE A smartphone is best described as the combination of a mobile phone, a camera and a personal digital assistant (PDA). It allows the user to conduct tasks such as sending and receiving phone calls or text messages, creating contacts in the address book and taking photos with the camera. In addition, users can access the internet, use the global positioning system (GPS), install and run advanced applications, play games, listen to music or radio, create and control their personal calendar system, send and receive emails, and use Skype and many more exciting features. Do I need one? Smartphones are a highly valued tool for the average Australian because of the growing desire for instant notification from social networking websites and email services. They make it easy to stay in touch on the go, as Amy Dold, aged 67, found on a recent trip to China. Amy wanted to share her experience with friends and family before returning, so she asked the tour leader to use her smartphone to take a photo of her standing on top of the Great Wall of China. She attached the photo to an email and used her smartphone to send it immediately to her son and best friend back in Melbourne, all in a matter of minutes. Apps The main difference between a regular phone and a smartphone is the ability to use applications (apps). Apps are programs created to enhance the smartphone user’s experience. When Bob Kouba, aged 71, toured Ireland with a friend, he used his iPhone instead of a map Bob and his friend used an application on their iPhone, created by Tourism Ireland, that guides tourists around Dublin via GPS. “The application was easy to follow,” says Bob. “We saw a lot more of Dublin than we expected, all while listening to a commentary and learning about the history of the city.” Cost The full retail price of most smartphones is higher than the price of an average phone, but many reduce the start-up cost by signing up for a plan with their phone provider. This means the cost of the phone is rolled into a monthly package including call costs and, usually, internet access. Shop around for the best deals; costs and inclusions vary greatly between resellers, and there may also be cheaper plans available online.•• How to choose a smartphone Does a phone need a camera? How many megapixels? What about internet connectivity? And apps? Choosing a smartphone can be a daunting task, but Drew Patchell is here to help. Many people reduce the high start-up cost of a smartphone by signing up for a plan with their phone provider.
Active Retirees Aug-Sept