Saturday, June 29, 2013

23 Mobile Things: Week 4: Maps and Checking in

I will be the first to admit that I don't have the greatest sense of direction. There have been several embarrassing situations when I have gotten lost when I really should have known where I was going. Due to these experiences I use maps applications on my phone both when I travel and also when I am exploring unfamiliar parts of the city.

Since I am an iPhone user I have the standard Apple Maps application on my phone though I have also downloaded Google maps for iOS. I don't have any horror stories from the Apple maps application like others in the user community. The only reason I switched is that Apple maps does not support mass transit directions natively and I am a regular mass transit rider. (The Apple maps will point you toward another app though that is one more unnecessary step.) Though while the Google Maps app does have great functionality I do prefer the UI on the Apple maps application (and the also the ability to spin the map in the Apple version.)

Other than maps I don't use geo location services like Four Square or Latitude. Though I think there could be great value in these services for public or academic libraries as an engagement tool.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

23 Mobile Things: Week 3: Email on the Go!

I have written previously about email, and the love/hate relationship I have with my inbox. Hardly cutting edge, email has become a utility as it is a simple communication medium with many free options and accessible on countless devices.

I have several email accounts linked to my phone and check my mail regularly. I use the standard Mail app that comes with my iPhone though have tried other apps like Gmail, Mailbox, and Yahoo mail. I find the unified inbox built into mail to be most versatile client available. It may not have as many features as other clients, but having all my mail in a unified inbox is too valuable, and far outweighs any shortfalls.

Email can also be a valuable information dissemination tool though it is important to focus on email as an information transfer tool rather than an information repository.  Relying on email to store information can a make it hard to differentiate the signal vs. noise as emails in your inbox intermingle.