The Android and me

I know I’m not maximizing the device’s utility, possibly because, since it actually doesn’t belong to me, I don’t want to become dependent on it.

“Do you want the use of an Android device?” our techie supervisor asked me a few months ago Sure, yeah, I guess so. There it was – an ASUS Android 7. First thing: plug it in, which I do. I can’t get it started, but that is a function of not squeezing these two prongs long enough. So it’s working. What should I DO with it?

I know; I’ll download – what do you call them? – applications? They say apps, I understand. But there are about a billion of them, many of them free; which ones should I get? I go to Google Play, which is already on the device, and type in various obvious ones: CNN, the local weather, the local mass transit, FEMA (hey, ya never know), a dictionary, and Free Cell card game. What’s cool is that I can search for apps on my computer and they magically would appear on the device; no plugs necessary.

Hey, it’s locked! How do I unlock it? I keep pressing the lock, when I should have been making a sweeping motion to the left and down, or right and down.

Here’s what it’s useful for: checking my e-mail while working with my daughter on her homework. It doesn’t require 100% attention. I watched a little bit of football, and checking e-mail with that is a good thing. But not so much watching a dramatic series, or JEOPARDY! or any program which I have to view actively.

I discovered where the Internet hot spots are in the area: certain businesses, the 905 bus from Albany to Schenectady. AlbanyNet works some places downtown.

I know I’m not maximizing the device’s utility, possibly because, since it actually doesn’t belong to me, I don’t want to become dependent on it. But I AM glad for the chance to figure out, if only a little, why people’s faces are always buried in some device.

It won’t be me always on the machine, because writing on it is too much work; I obviously just don’t have the thumbs for it, and I type with one finger, which is exhausting. I commented on a dozen blogs, and my neck hurt.

But there is one thing I do like, and that’s the ability to speak to the device and search for websites. Usually it’s one I’ve already been to, but still useful. And making pages bigger – now THAT’S quite user-friendly. I went to the Zillow app and found all the houses in my neighborhood for sale; not that I was in the market, but it was nice to check out, and expanding the page made the listings MUCH easier to see.

One last thing: it’s so big I’m not likely to use it.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

9 thoughts on “The Android and me”

  1. See, I solved all that the easy way by taking over my husband’s iPad: Merges esily with my desktop Mac and my iPhone. And it’s SO easy to use. Did I mention it was easy to use and manage?

  2. Yeah, but you have a spouse who’s technologically way more advanced than either my spouse or myself.

  3. I’ve seen two additional cool things with an Android:

    – You can search for a song based on the music, not words or titles

    – If you get this little device that plugs into the spot in your car they use when they do your emissions check, you can run a car diagnostic the same as a mechanic. A friend of mine did this and it’s the only reason I may get an Android.

  4. Each of these nifty devices has their own advantages. I’ve never thought iPads and Android tablets were for any heavy computer usage. I couldn’t fathom writing a lengthy post on a tablet. But, I would love to have a laptop along with my iMac!

  5. There are fullsized — well, “fullsized”, let’s put that in quotes — keyboards that are made to function with tablets. I think this is the way computing is going, or at least, this is the way the techies of the world WANT computing to go. I’ve been reading articles about the impending death of the PC or laptop for several years now. I figure I’ll keep using laptops until their day is well and truly dead!

    But I do love my Android tablet and phone. They’re terrific devices.

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