Today started with a cab ride to the San Francisco Airport. What do I do during a cab ride? I finish handling e-mail, check the news, get an update on the weather in my destination city, and access our Web databases to review the latest Web marketing data. That is exactly what a smartphone is for, and that is exactly what the T-Mobile MDA performed nicely today.
The plane took off, the plane experienced a very bumpy flight, and 10 or so hours later and 8 additional hours of time difference, the plane landed at last. I turned on the T-Mobile MDA upon landing, changed the time zone setting, and downloaded my 50+ messages (in the MDA, you actually don’t need to change the time zone, but instead, you indicate the second time zone that you are visiting).
Cathing up on e-mail using the T-Mobile MDA
Long lines and more smartphone activities
Then I arrived to the passport control area. This was a humongous room full of people waiting in long lines. These strangers were no longer strangers after you see them about 20 times as the “back-and-forth” line advances and they turn around and face you again and again. Several people were also catching up on e-mail. I saw several Treo and BlackBerry keyboards operating at full speed.
Word Mobile, the highlight of the day
Suddenly, and as the line was moving very slowly, I decided to try something different. I opened the Word Mobile application on my T-Mobile MDA and started writing my daily observations in a new Word document (T-Mobile MDA uses Windows Mobile and ships with the Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Mobile applications). I wasn’t very hopeful that I would continue using Word Mobile for more than a few minutes. But 30 or so minutes later, I just realized that I am about to be next in line, and that I have already finished documenting my observations, and started to jot down some other ideas.
T-Mobile MDA advantages
This was a situation where the T-Mobile MDA larger screen and larger keyboard really paid off. In addition, I am starting to get used to the keyboard and make less typing mistakes (especially if I remember to look at the keyboard instead of the screen). In such a situation (moving slowly in a long line) a laptop or even a paper notebook wouldn't have been useful. Even the Treo keyboard or the BlackBerry Pearl SureType™ would have been slow and not as easy to work with. I would say that the MDA is the best fit in this case, followed by the BlackBerry 8700 (which has the QWERTY keyboard and nicely spaced and firm keys), and followed by the Motorola Q.
More impressions from today
When you are in a new place, you notice more things than usual. When you have the T-Mobile MDA handy, you take more pictures (of what you notice) than usual.
So here are some of today’s impressions: Slot machines at the airport, the “male toilet”, the cafe at the airport (with more smoke than the fog we have in San Francisco), and Starbucks serving coffee is real cups! Can you tell that I am in London?
Is it Tuesday already?
At some point between the time I left San Francisco on Monday and the now, Tuesday stealthily took over. So as I step outside the airport, I will also step into Tuesday on the 81-day-experiment blog. So keep on reading.