2014 was an exciting year in mobile tech. It’s really crazy to think about how far we’ve come, from faster LTE networks to advancements in mobile operating systems that, while sometimes seem trivial on the surface, are incredible steps considering where we were just a few short years ago.
Display technology is improving, our phones have better cameras than ever before, and we’re able to connect to friends and loved ones from nearly anywhere imaginable. I can go into a Macy’s and buy a pack of underwear with my phone. How cool is that?
2015 is going to be another exciting year, but I want to do a few things differently during the next 365 days, and some of that involves stopping to smell the flowers a bit more, and to enjoy what’s in front of me instead of looking days, weeks and months down the road, yearning for the next hot new thing. Of course, it’s my job to keep my eye on that road, but sometimes I wish I could enjoy there here and now a bit more.
So, here are a few ways I plan to do that in 2015, from a mobile standpoint.
1. Use Mobile Payments More
It’s so weird. For years all I ever wanted to do was use my phone to buy stuff using NFC. Now, I mostly only do it at Starbucks where they scan the barcode from my display.
For some reason, I’m too scared to stand in line and use Google Wallet or Apple Pay at the check-out counter in most retailers. I know they both work really well, but I had one time where Apple Pay wasn’t accepting my fingerprint.
Ever since then, I’ve been worried it will happen again and the folks in line are going to get all upset, wishing I’d just use cash or a card instead. In 2015, I’m going to build up some guts to not worry so much about that.
2. Try to Enjoy How Far We’ve Come
Part of my job as a critic is to actually be critical about the products I review. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be doing our readers a service and, well, then what’s the point of this at all?
Still, in 2015 I’d like to (personally) stop nitpicking about small mobile things, like how TouchWiz still drives me crazy, or why it takes 3 seconds on one phone to boot into an app but a mere half second on another phone.
Instead, I want to enjoy the phones that I’m using more, not worrying so much that there are better options somewhere else. Because, really, we’ve come so, so, far since I began reviewing phones in 2007.
3. Stick with one phone for longer than 6 months
This goes with my last point a bit more. I really want to sit still and just use a phone for a long time as my personal device. Longer than six months, which I think is probably some sort of record for me.
Last year I used the iPhone 5s quite a lot, but my SIM card traveled from device-to-device. This year, I’d like to stick it out with a phone for the better part of the year, and just take in everything it has to offer me.
That’s going to be tough, though, because sometimes I like a water resistant phone (when fishing, for example), and at other times a like a phone with front-facing speakers, like when I’m watching a movie. Or maybe I want to use Android Wear so I need to run Android instead of iOS.
It’s a good problem to have, for sure, but one I want to work on.
4. Organize my photos
This needs to happen soon. I typically have all of my photos uploading to Google+ Photos, OneDrive and Dropbox by default, which means each of those services is packed with thousands and thousands of pictures that need to be organized.
I started my work in Google+ recently, and found it was a pretty easy task, but I need to sit down and go through all of my phones and tablets and make sure that I’ve gathered everything into one place.
This is a resolution for 2015, but why do I have a feeling it’s one that I’ll put off until Dec. 31?
5. Pick and stick with one mobile backup service
Again, it’s about picking one option and sticking to it. This year I want to either pick OneDrive or Google+ or Dropbox and just stick with it – get everything on the drive and organized and accessible from all of my devices.
As it stands, I’m paying for extra storage through Google, I’ve upgraded OneDrive and I still have a few months left of a Dropbox promotion. I also upgraded my iCloud storage, though I don’t find much use for it just yet. Which service should I pick? I’m leaning towards keeping everything on Google Drive/Google+ Photos, particularly because of the ease of which I’m able to share with other folks.
I need your help picking one, so let me know your favorite.