Welcome to Mobile Tile, your complete guide to mobile phone contracts. Whether you’re a business or a consumer, you can almost certainly get a better deal.
We spend a fortune on our mobile phones, and often spend more time than we should talking into them, texting on them or surfing the web with them. They’re our gateway to social networks, the home of our mobile inbox and our TV screen on the move.
That’s only likely to get more extreme as time goes on, with more and more apps and social activity becoming ever more intertwined into our daily lives. By understanding more about the plans we choose and the handsets we use, our mobile phones can work better for us, with less chance of going over allowances, providing near unlimited service, and most importantly, costing less when the bill arrives every month.
You can even switch by ordering a free sim cards online, which the network will send to you to put into your phone.
We’ve all noticed the surge in popularity of fitness tracker watches – everything from the market leading and premium FitBit to the daily deals on Amazon featuring brands you’ve never heard of for a few pounds.
It’s not often that a craze like these devices strike and stick around, normally they’d be long gone, vanishing almost as quickly as they arrived. We’re not here to talk about the watches themselves though today, instead our focus is the apps that we use to connect our smartphones to them.
You’re probably aware that for walking and jogging, the watches can beam the data they collect into the mobile apps via (usually) Bluetooth, not least because most of us turn the air blue trying to connect the damn things together. Bluetooth syncing errors aside though, what twenty years ago would have seemed like black magic is something we now don’t bat an eyelid about.
In a truly mobile world, we expect things to happen near instantly, and the thought of connecting devices together with cables is nearing the unacceptable. Heck – we’re even getting to the point where our smartphones don’t even need to be plugged in to charge:
The chances are, all devices will be wireless before long, so what about other types of fitness beyond walking, jogging and running?
Well, at present, we’re having to add things like gym sessions and swimming manually into the apps, but that is beginning to change too. Let’s take an example – some elliptical machines in the gym are beginning to support Bluetooth too – meaning that they’ll be ready to upload your workout data to your smartphone apps once they hit the App Stores. So, you might find that exercise equipment like this will soon be silently providing you with a huge amount of information about your workout without you even thinking about it.
On the face of it, that’s great for keeping track of your longer term goals – no more forgetting to add a gym visit or even a few lengths at the pool, with waterproof devices gaining traction in the market, getting wet won’t be a barrier much longer either!
What about going out to eat, or even staying in? Restaurants could soon be getting in on the act too, updating apps as you pay your bills, or even for the less technically advanced, providing QR codes to scan on the menu.
Fundamentally we’re heading more and more towards a future where data is tracked about our entire lives. Yes, some people will opt out and scream about privacy violations, but that may die down too – what if you had documented proof for life insurance companies about how well you look after yourself?
Some of this may seem a little far fetched, and may well be. On the other hand, though, it could go a lot further, and touch on more and more parts of our lives. What’s certain though, is that as long as we’re prepared to buy the latest technology, the more innovative companies will get with helping us to integrate their products into our lives.
Our smartphones go everywhere with us, so why not take advantage of everything they have to offer us. Maybe the paranoid aren’t so paranoid and the government are watching. They can’t be interested in watching all of us though, can they?
Cracked smartphone screens, caused by dropping a phone is a common occurrence, especially in homes where hard or tiled floors have been fitted. A friend of mine, who runs his own tiling business in Rugby says he’s received calls from frustrated home-owners asking if they could have their hard tiles replaced with soft flooring, so to avoid future mishaps with their phones. He explained there is such a thing as soft floor tiles, although it is mostly used for children’s areas such as playroom and nurseries. I guess people will have to be more careful with their phones. Unless of course, they own a phone designed to military specifications to withstand drops, bumps and immersion…
Introducing builders phones.
If your job involves working outside, it’s important to have a mobile phone that is tough enough to withstand the inevitable wear and tear that will happen to it, including being dropped on a hard surface every once in a while. Given the millions of workers who work outside, the phone manufacturers have realised there is a market to provide robust handsets that won’t break if dropped or malfunction if wet.
The Nokia 5140i is a popular choice for tradesmen. It has an interchangeable tough durable cover that protects the phone in the event of being dropped. Although this cover will get scratched over time, this is only superficial and the cover can easily be changed if needed. It’s widely recognised as the phone to have if you work in tough outdoor environments.
An alternative to the Nokia is the JCB Tradesman TP121 handset. As the name suggests, this handset has been designed with the tradesman in mind. The Tradesmen 2 can survive a drop in water (it floats too!), is dustproof and can withstand two tonnes of rocks falling on it. This model really is a beast of a mobile phone. The robust design means it will reliably function in a variety of terrains and temperatures.
Other popular mobile handsets for tradesmen also include the CAT B25 Builders Phone. As with the Nokia and JCB models, it’s also waterproof (to a limit) and can withstand being dropped or driven over.
They may not look pretty to look at, but owning a phone that won’t let you down when you most need it, is more important than aesthetics for some.