Carnival of Genealogy – My Favorite Technology – I Love My Droid

 by Sherry Stocking Kline
April 28, 2011

I love the “Favorite Current Technology” Carnival Challenge, and can’t wait to read everyone’s posts. I know I will learn about some cool new technology to add to my gotta-have-it list!

 The topic for the next edition of the COG will be: Favorite Current Technology, and you can read more about it at Creative Gene and post your own blog post at Blog Carnival.

What’s your favorite technology of the moment? Do you love your iPad? Do you find yourself spending a lot of time on the site of a newly discovered database?

Do you have a handy new cell phone app you’d like to share with others? Are you learning a new piece of genealogy software? Got a new digital camera?

Tell us all about your latest and greatest technology and how it benefits your genealogy research or the recording of your family history. 

Deadline for submission is May 1st. 

After seeing all the ads on the television, doing research, reading reviews, and even tweeting “how do you like your Incredible?”,  I bought a Droid HTC Incredible. (iPhone wasn’t an option in my rural area at the time.) 

Now I understand why everyone who tweeted me back said “I love my Droid” because I think this phone is one of the handiest little gadgets to come along in a long time.

How do I love my Droid? Let me count the ways.

1.  First, I love that it ‘connects’ with my G-mail/Google account. When I update my G-mail contacts on my computer they’re immediately on my phone.  When I update my phone’s contacts, they’re immediately on my computer. Woo Hoo!   It’s all searchable and it’s all backed up on-line. (No more drowning the phone in cherry Coke and losing my friends & family!)

I love that when my friends and family call me, their photo flashes on the screen before I have time to read the Caller ID.  (After uploading the photos to my Google contacts.) It’s like a warm and fuzzy ‘hello’ from my favorite people!

I’m Gonna Love Having my Family History info in My Pocket!

2.  I can’t remember how many times that I’ve wished I had my family tree with me when I’ve gotten an unexpected research opportunity. Now, I’ve got my choice of one of the new genealogy family tree apps in the Android Market, such as “Gedstar Pro,” “Family Bee” family tree viewer, or “Families” by TelGen Limited.  I just have to choose which one to try and which one to buy.

3.  I just downloaded (haven’t tried everything out yet) the “Quickoffice” app. It was reasonable and I will be able to take Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF files with me, and tweak them if I want to.  I think that’s going to be handy; I have a lot of Word files that contain family history.  The website states that it will sync with Google Docs, and Dropbox, (I need to go to Legacy Family Tree and listen to Thomas MacEntee’s webinar Dropbox for Genealogists again and create my own Dropbox), as well as Sugar Sync, Box, and MobileMe. (I sure hope I can figure that all out!)  

4.  Speaking of webinars, I don’t want to miss one, so I use the Google calendar included with the Droid.   I can add events to the Google calendar from my phone or my computer, and set it to e-mail me, open up a pop-up, and have the phone beep at me when it’s time.

GPS Your Tombstones?

5. A while back, I downloaded “GPS Status.”  Now  I need to go back to the cemeteries, and get the latitude and longitude of family tombstones and add them to my Tombstone Tuesday posts and from now on, when possible, I will include the latitude and longitude coordinates along with my photograph.

Not only will that make it easier for others to find the stones, it will make it easier for me to go back and find them again as well.

6.  And speaking of posting on my blog, there are both WordPress and Blogger apps for the Droid, so if I wanted to (and I don’t) I could update my blog on the run.

7.  I also love that when I get an unexpected opportunity to stop at the library and do some genealogy research the Droid actually does a fair job of snapping a readable photo of the book that I can’t quite squeeze into the photocopy machine. And then, it lets me e-mail it home to be added to my genealogy files.

8.   I also like it that when I’m sitting in the courthouse trying to read the fine print in my ancestor’s will that my Droid has a magnifying glass app. (Yes, there’s an app for that!)  And actually, there’s more than one app, several of them are free, and most not only magnify, but they also shed more light on the subject while doing it.

9.  Did I mention that the Droid’s have “mobile hotspots?” For a few bucks more a month, your Droid can be the hotspot that your laptop needs to access the internet.  Pretty handy!

 Patience is Not One of my Virtues…

10.  And number 10 on my list, but not in my heart, I love my Droid because patience is not one of my virtues. I hate to wait in lines, in doctor’s offices, or even in the fast food line.  I can pull my Droid out of my pocket, check my e-mail, text a friend, open up my Kindle or Nook app, my New International Version Bible app, or even my Bubble Breaker app, and the time passes a lot more quickly.

Did I mention I love my Droid?  

 I do.  Not just because it’s a fun little gadget, but because it makes my life easier, keeps me in touch with the people I love, keeps track of where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing, and I didn’t even mention the “Find a Grave”, Tweet Deck, Facebook, or Grocery List (handy to text your grocery list to your kids to pick up what you need!) apps that are also pretty nifty to use!



4 Responses to “Carnival of Genealogy – My Favorite Technology – I Love My Droid”

  • I am still trying to understand droid. Wonder if I could use the iPAQ from Compact my Hero left me. Would that be a droid? Just asking. 🙂

    • I don’t know anything about the iPAQ, but I think if it doesn’t have an Android operating system then it won’t work like that. They keep coming out with more cool apps, and more cool ‘toys’ to use with the Android operating system, such as e-book readers, etc., so who knows what’s coming out next. I had a Windows Smart Phone, and left it in my jeans pocket. It didn’t survive the wash, spin, and dry cycle… I’ve been more careful with the Droid.

      If you aren’t in a hurry to get a new phone/smart phone, then waiting a few months will probably mean there is a whole new wonderful crop of phone with a lot of new things to do with them. I can upgrade in June, and was actually planning on it, till I got to thinking about what if I don’t actually like the newer model as well as I like this one, so I may not! Because there are only two things I don’t like about my phone, the battery life is really terrible! And sometimes I hit the volume level and turn the ringer off when I want it on, or on when I want it off, otherwise, it works well as a phone, and is very handy to carry as well.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • I’m so intrigued by the Droid but I don’t know if I could live without my iPhone! Next time my contract is up I may look into my Droid options, especially after your glowing review! 🙂

    • Hi! I really do love my Droid, but I suspect they are much alike in what they will/won’t do. It is the apps that make me love it, honestly, and I’ve heard that the iPhone has even more, though the Droid is rapidly catching up, and now that there are Droid e-book readers, I’m guessing the gap will close very fast.

      I’ve never even checked out the iPhones because when I got my Droid, A, T, & T was the only carrier offering them, and Alltel (now Verizon) has the best phone coverage in my rural area.

      I do like it, though. Good sound, good speaker for a tiny little phone, decent camera for a phone, have been on the phone and surfed the web, and there are some cool apps, which I know the iPhone has as well.

      Two things that I am not 100% crazy about, terrible battery life if you are doing more than just talking, and I always am, and I’m always hitting the volume button and turning it down or up. Other than that, I’m completely satisfied with it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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