2015: Personal Technology Review

How did my use of technology change during 2015? The short answer is that it increased. For example, I just deposited a check using my phone, and that’s something I never did in previous years.

That phone is a Droid Maxx, made by Motorola for Verizon. My iPhone turned in to a brick earlier this year. From among the phones available from or for Verizon Wireless, the Maxx seemed to me the best deal. This may be due to the particular wireless plan I was already in. The iPhones were by comparison overpriced.

I was happy with my new phone until, after a few months, it went into spiral of frantic uselessness, in which it would do nothing but restart until it ran out of power. Staff at the Verizon store agreed that it should be replaced, and replaced it was.

My second Maxx is behaving well so far. I like multiple things about it, especially the size of the screen. I’m not missing my iPhone. But I haven’t abandoned Apple: the two iPads in the house are in frequent use by the kids and by me. Continue reading “2015: Personal Technology Review”

Droid? $1831. Having the latest gadgets? Priceful.

The Droid, the new smartphone from Motogoozon, will cost $1831. Motogoozon is of course the combination of Motorola, Google, and Verizon.

The cost would be $1931, were it not for a $100 rebate: what a relief that it’s so much lower than $2K.

1831 = (299 – 100) + 24 x (39 + 29). As usual with smartphones and other fancyphones in the USA, most of the cost is in the monthly payments, rather than upfront.

I could cite many sources for this, but I’ll go with John Biggs’ post on Crunchgear. There is much rejoicing in Crunchland about the Droid.

Personally, I’m happy to see the Droid hype. It increases the chances of an Android app boom. On the other hand, there are no guarantees that new and interesting Android advances will run on my G1.

Foaming About Phones

I currently have three phone numbers. I must confess that one is a landline. It’s on the same Verizon bill as our internet access. It’s pretty reliable, but seems expensive, and I doubt that we’ll have a landline after we move.

We recently got some voicemails from Verizon about voicemail. Apparently the system will soon be upgraded, and the upgrade will not be completely automatic for all customers: some manual intervention will be required.

I’m surprised that I haven’t heard about this upgrade from other sources. I can find nothing about it at Verizon.com. I’ve seen nothing about it in Boston media, although I should confess that I haven’t made a systematic search of either old or new local media.

My second number is for my cellphone, or was until my cellphone recently died. I use a T-Mobile prepaid plan. I previously posted about T-Mobile’s customer service, or lack thereof. My more recent experience is that service is pretty good once I get through to a human being, but that I have to provide my phone number an inordinate number of times before that happens.

My third number is on GrandCentral. It will become a Google Voice number if I am ever able to access it.

But I can’t access my GrandCentral number. I’ve forgotten my password. Attempts to reset it just lead back to a page that prompts for the very password I’ve forgotten.

While I’m not thrilled with the service I get from Verizon and T-Mobile, at least there is service. That’s more than can be said for GrandGoogle.