Dumb Phone

This is a reminder to myself: You are chained to that smart phone and shouldn't forget it. You aren't chained to a smart phone and shouldn't forget it.

I've been giving some long and hard thought to giving up my iPhone in favor of a dumb phone and simplifying my day-to-day communication tech. The result that I came to was that I'm stuck with it. At this point in my life, these are the things I'm having issue separating with: I started writing this post to convince myself and serve as a reminder that I don't want to give up some conveniences in exchange simplicity. With some time and thought, I realized that I was wrong and now this article's purpose is the opposite. I started creating a list of apps and rituals that I don't want to change or give up, but the list split into two: Things I can't do without and things that would be costly to change. The first list is now empty.

These are the things I can't live without:

  • Google Authenticator -- You may not know this, but the Google Authenticator application can be used for non-Google sites and services like Amazon (AWS) and GitHub. Sure, some 2 factor auth support SMS, but having the app is really convenient.
  • Audible -- I listen to audio books regularly, especially on road trips and when working out. If I got a dumb phone, I'd have to change a reading habit that is important to me.
  • Google Music / Pandora -- I listen to a lot of music, including when I drive and am on road trips.

This second list are the things that I can change, but would be difficult to do or wouldn't be cheap to do so.

  • Smart Things -- Without a smart phone, I'd have to carry around a key fob. Also, to use the routines that I've programmed would require a separate device. Having that wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would be a change. If I had a tablet, I could get away with having a key fob with me (leaving it in my car most likely). I primarily use Smart Things routines when I'm at home, so it wouldn't be that much of a deal.
  • Scannable -- I scan important documents and store them in Evernote. Scannable is a really great app that makes that a lot easier. I don't have a separate device for scanning, so I'd either have to get one or change my filing system. If I had a tablet, like an iPad Mini, this wouldn't be an issue. The change would be small because everything gets filed and organized at home anyway.
  • Starbucks -- I go to Starbucks a lot and I use my phone to pay for stuff. This wouldn't be a deal breaker because I can always carry the card with me, but it would be one more thing to keep in my wallet.
  • Slack -- I work remotely so staying connected is important. We use slack and it is one of the ways that people get in touch with me. After I thought about it, not being 100% available via slack is what I'm actually going for.
  • Google Music / Pandora -- I listen to a lot of music, including when I drive and am on road trips. Not having the level of access that I currently do would be an adjustment, but I think that I could make do. I do use XM too and bringing an iPad on road trips is reasonable. Most of the music I listen to is on my computer anyway. For day to day driving, maybe not being distracted with selecting music isn't a bad thing.
  • Audible -- I listen to audio books regularly, especially on road trips and when working out. If I got a dumb phone, I'd have to change a reading habit that is important to me. The biggest change would be while working out, but I could get used to it.
  • Google Authenticator -- You may not know this, but the Google Authenticator application can be used for non-Google sites and services like Amazon (AWS) and GitHub. Sure, some 2 factor auth support SMS, but having the app is really convenient. After a little investigating, all of the services I use support SMS.