Thursday, January 13, 2011

Two mobile device test still underway

Image representing Google Voice as depicted in...
Image via CrunchBase
This past week I have been testing a two mobile device concept I wrote about yesterday. I've been using my Android phone just for data, and a Boost Mobile phone for my voice communications. For the second line, it doesn't really matter what service you use; I chose Boost because I don't want to have another line with a contract for this experiment. 

My public phone number is a Google Voice number, so all incoming calls, or most, get routed to the Boost phone without callers knowing any better. If I need to make calls, I use the mobile web version of Google Voice to find a contact and initiate the call. Google Voice then calls me on the Boost phone and the person with whom I want to speak is also called simultaneously.

The advantage of this setup is that I can write notes, search for information, or any number of tasks on the Android phone while I am on a call. This isn't possible when using the Android for calls unless I have a bluetooth headset or earphones. And even then, if the phone drops my 3G connection during the call, it won't reconnect until after the call has ended. Using the two device approach means that the data connection will remain while on a call.

Another annoyance of having a smartphone is that you can be working or playing with an app, then a voice call pops up. If you're lucky, there's autosave. Otherwise, you have to start over. Dammit, I should be able to play Parallel Kingdom and talk on the phone at the same time.

For those of you who bought the iPad with a 3G connection, you probably already have experienced the benefits of separating your voice calls from your smart device. This is exactly what I am attempting to duplicate before committing money to a tablet device.

I must say that I find the setup very liberating. I have no doubt that I may very well end up ditching the smartphone for a tablet device and a cheap phone. The best way to describe the experience thus far is that it just seems natural.

If I were the type to focus on problems, I'd probably focus on the need for separate chargers for each device. On the other hand, batteries last longer when they aren't powering calls and data. There's also the issue of carrying two devices; but, it's still better than carrying a phone and a laptop. 
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