What phone do you use for business?

I’m considering a smart phone upgrade. I’ve been using a G1 for almost two years, and it’s been good for me overall. After constant usage though, the battery is about to die, and frankly I think I’m ready for some new tech that will be a bit faster in the internet speed department. I use T-Mobile as my service provider and I’m strongly considering the new G2 phone since I’ve liked the G1 so much. The G1 was of course Google’s first phone unveiled under the Android umbrella.

The features on my current phone that have come in most handy for me while I’m on the road with my real estate appraisal business are: Google Maps, Google Voice, camera (it takes really great pictures actually),  preview of PDF documents, physical keyboard to quickly return emails and text messages to clients, tremendous Gmail integration, and apps for Facebook and Twitter. Oh, and let me state the obvious that the phone has worked very well and I’ve not had a problem with dropped calls. 

What type of phone are you using for business? Any suggestions for me? Also, what apps and functions have become essential for your business?

Comments

  1. says

    Hey Ryan, Great Post! Thank you for sharing Google Voice with us in the past, it’s helped me.

    I’ve used my iPhone 3 and now 4 successfully for appraisal, especially the camera ( and now the video). I’ve turned in many final inspection photos on-site for closings. Love the mail client, Facebook app, the Maps feature for finding subjects and comps, monitoring online orders, ebay, uploading photos to Flickr. I’ve tried to use Davinci on it, but the screen is too small for me for sketching. Maybe an iPad is in my future.

    My wife like the Maps app and camera so much that that’s why she bought me the 4 so she could have my 3.

    The quality of the iphone photos is amazing. And, on the 4, the quality is 4x’s better with “HDR”. We don’t even use regular cameras any longer.

    The main reason I went with the iPhone 4 on upgrade is the Hd video capability. I have the iMovie app, “Movie Extras” adds impressive backgrounds and templates to your videos and the “Video Edit” app. And, with the camera mount and audio in mic adapter, I’ll be shooting future video from it, editing and uploading on- site.

    So, for me, the iPhone is great for appraising and for marketing all on the same device!

    Appreciate You! Bill

    • says

      Thanks, Bill. I really appreciate it. I hear amazing things about the iPhone. I think the video capabilities are superior to the G1 also (I’ll be curious to do a comparison with the G2). I’ve never shot a video for work using my phone, though I’d like to do that if the quality can be good enough. I used to use Microsoft Movie Maker for quick editing, but Google videos on my phone would not work with that program, so I never really tested it out much. The G1 videos may work with Sony Vegas though, which is what I currently use. I should check that out.

      I’m like you in that I’ve used my camera exclusively for photos sometimes while out in the field – especially if my still camera runs out of batteries on the spot.

      Thanks Bill.

      • says

        Ryan, I forgot to mention the new “Skyfire” app, which plays flash video on iphone. The app is $2.99 and launched last Tuesday and within 5 hours was taken off iTunes because it “sold out”, sold out because it was only able to handle so much server space. Well, they quickly took care of that problem and it was back on iTunes yesterday morning. They’re only selling it as they achieve more server capability to handle the users. I downloaded it yesterday morning and was watching the TBWS Big Announcement flash video from their site on my iphone. So far, the app works great. Bill

          • says

            Ryan, without the Skyfire app, an iPhone can’t play flash video. It goes back to Steve Job’s hating Adobe and not allowing apple products to play flash video. Yes, to me, it was well worth the $2.99. On Tuesday, it was top selling and top grossing app in quite a while. I know you don’t have this problem on a droid phone, which is a plus. Bill

  2. says

    Ryan,
    I don’t have much to offer, I am still using a dinosaur of a phone (not a smart phone). I am wanting to upgrade too, and I too am a T-Mobile user. I am going to keep up with what you choose to see if you like it. The iPhone is trying to lure (sp?) me in its direction, but not sure about that since I would have to change carriers and I really don’t want to. Good luck and keep us informed.

    • says

      Tom, you’ll be amazed at the difference when you get a smart phone. However, the one downfall is that it takes discipline to turn things off. I won’t hold myself up as the example in that department, though sometimes I intentionally leave my cell phone behind on the weekends because otherwise I have too much accessibility from so many different directions. I signed up for T-Mobile years ago and no other plan can match the minutes I get with them, so switching is not an option for me for the time being.

  3. Gary Bradford says

    Hey Ryan!

    I use a Blackberry Curve 8530 that is provided by my employer (State of California). Prior to starting with the State a year ago, I had my own, older Curve that I gave it up to save costs. The Curve 8530 meets all of the needs that I have for business which is pretty much just mobile email access.

    Beyond email access, the Blackberry Curve (even the new 8530) really lacks in capability. Web access is slow and difficult. Available applications are limited. The camera has no flash and often takes blurry pictures. I use Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook frequently and while there is a great Twitter app for Blackberry called Ubertwitter, the Facebook and Foursquare apps lack the functionality of iPhone and Android versions. While the Twitter app is great because the browser sucks, it is difficult to follow links in Tweets, so I pretty much mark them as a favorite and then follow them from a desktop browser instead.

    All of that to say that while the Blackberry does meet my official business needs (which aren’t much), it doesn’t even come close to my personal and “community life” needs. My wife recently upgraded her personal Curve 8330 to a Sprint Epic 4G (Android). Every single day, I have to stop myself from going to the Sprint store and getting myself one.

    Actually, I’m just waiting for a small bump in pay (as the State furloughs go away) as the justification I need to go and spend the $80 a month to get myself one. I’ll give the Blackberry back to the State and use my new personal phone instead. With the amount of time and social media I do on the phone, it will be work forking out my own money.

    I am considering another option. I’m going to check out the Samsung Galaxy Tab (http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/galaxy-tab) when it comes out in a week or so as the monthly charge would be cheaper than the phone and it could meet my needs. Depending on how I feel about the size and where I could take it, I may keep my State issued Blackberry for a phone and carry the Tab for my data services.

    • says

      Thanks for the feedback, Gary. I know exactly what to stay away from now. It is nice you get one for work. Every time you tweet me, I’ll imagine your State of California phone now. 🙂 On another note, good for you to stop yourself from heading to the Sprint store. It takes real discipline to refrain from purchases – especially when dealing with technology that’s not making the cut. Keep me posted if you hear anything about the Samsung phone.

  4. says

    Hello Ryan.

    I’ve used the iPhone 3GS for the last two years, and love it. Although it lacks a physical keyboard, it doesn’t take long to get used to typing on the screen. I mostly use the phone for email, monitoring online orders, and news apps like CNBC.
    As soon as I “accidentally” drop this one in the toilet, I plan to upgrade to the new model.

    • says

      Phillip, thanks for the comment. I’ve heard similar things from friends about the screen keyboard – that it’s easy to get the hang of. My phone also has the screen, but since I have the physical keyboard, I’ve never actually typed much on the screen. The one thing I really do like about the iPhone (without the keyboard) is that it is thinner. I don’t feel like the G1 is a car phone from 1983 (size), but the keyboard certainly widens it a bit. Hopefully you won’t “accidently” need a new one soon, but if you do, it’s a good thing.

  5. says

    Sorry, left my comment in the wrong place! So I have a droid and I love it. But to be honest, if Verizon had the iPhone I would probably get it. This is really only because I am a mac snob…to be honest I think the Droid really is almost neck and neck with the iphone.

    • says

      Be careful, Rachel. I think big Apple fans might be disappointed that you are keeping a foot in the Mac and Droid world. 🙂 Thank you for the comment. I think you’re right that the iPhone and Droid are really competing for the top spot. That’s a great thing too because it’ll be so much better for us as consumers. Competition will breed new technology for us (and hopefully lower prices…..).

      Thanks for the link, Rachel. I’ll check out that article. It really is amazing to see how Google has taken such a large share of the market over the past two years.

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