I am an ‘app neophyte’

I’ve enjoyed the use of an iPad Mini for a little over a year now. I’m not sure I would have gone out and bought one. But I was fortunate—and delighted—to be given one. And it hasn’t left my side ever since. I probably spend too much time browsing news, views, and videos of kittens.

I don’t have a smart phone, just a humble Nokia. I don’t even remember the model.


I have a simple SIM-only plan, that costs me about £3 a month, adequate for my mobile phone usage, both calls and messages. When I visited the USA recently, I couldn’t even connect to any local provider. And for the amount of usage it gets, I certainly cannot justify the cost of a smart phone. I just did a price comparison, and an iPhone 6 plus could cost almost £50 a month with one supplier! Wow!

But for how much longer can I resist?

I took my iPad along when we made a short trip recently from St Paul, Minnesota to Chicago. My iPad is not a cellular model. Wi-Fi only, which was fine while we were at our hotel. I certainly didn’t take it out and about with me. But it was a tremendous asset each evening to be able to plan the next day’s itinerary, using Google Maps, and finding places of interest to visit. Now of course I’ve used Google Maps for many years now (as regular readers of my blog will know, as I often include links to maps in many of my posts).

But this Chicago trip was the first time I’d used Google Maps ‘live’ to find somewhere to dine each evening, to check out a review, and make an online reservation, all at the ‘click of an app’. Smartphone users do this all the time. It was a novel experience for me.

What have I been doing with my life until now? How long before I succumb to reality and get my first smart phone? What became so clear to me during our three days in Chicago is that many businesses now assume everyone has a smart phone and will use their app. I was much taken with Chicago’s bike rental scheme, but I overheard one user explaining to another that you needed to use an app to be able to book or check details, or something to that effect.

I use apps on my iPad all the time, from banking, to news, to weather, Facebook, email or whatever. All Wi-Fi based. While using an app ‘on the go’ has become the norm, I’m not there yet.

Am I a mobile phone dinosaur?

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