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Android For Dummies
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Android For Dummies

There are some things that don’t make sense to me. The things people do that are so idiotic yet they don’t seem to notice. And when you point out how stupid and redundant their actions are, they give you that smile that says, “Whatever. Now back to what I was doing.”

One of those things is in regard to the Ideos Android phone that has gained so much popularity here in Kenya. Before I tell you about the idiocy behind it, let me tell you a little something about the Ideos phone and the Android operating system behind it, so that you may see where I’m coming from.

Firstly, what is Android? In this context, we are talking about the open-source operating system that is used on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet PCs. In very simple English, an operating system is the software that is installed on a computer to instruct it on how to perform tasks. An example of an operating system everyone can relate to is Microsoft Windows. This is the software that tells the computer to cut power from circulating in it and turn off, when you click on the shutdown button. Or the software that tells the ATM computer how many notes to dispense when you press the ATM screen for a withdrawal. You could say that software is the translator between computer language and human language.

So when it comes to phones, all phones are running on certain Operating Systems. Android is one of the most common operating systems for smart phones. The beauty of Android is the vast number of apps (short for applications) that run on it. Apps are software that are installed or added onto an operating system to add to its functionality. Like Adobe Acrobat application is installed on the Windows or Android operating system to add the functionality of reading PDF documents. Android comes with only the basic apps like Office, Browser and Acrobat Reader. It also comes with an app called Market. This app is a portal to Google Play, formerly known as Android Market, where there is a vast collection of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of apps for download. These apps vary in usage from databases, games, timers, calendars to music players. You can search for apps to do almost anything.

Some of the most ingenuous apps are Internet-based. This means that that rely on the Internet for them to work. An example is the Gmail app that delivers your email like SMSs. Or WhatsApp that allows you to send text messages to contacts on your phone that have the same app installed on their phone, at a close to 2cents per message. For these apps to work they Must have an open internet connection.

Here is the downside to Android phones in general. The more devices you use on your phone(Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-fi, etc) the faster your battery drains. I think the reason they are called smart phones is because they are smart and need to be utilized in a smart way. For instance, if I were traveling and notice my phone charge is getting low, I would turn off the wi-fi, that I’m definitely not using, and use only 2G internet connection to conserve the battery. That is smart use of a smart phone.

At the beginning I talked about idiocy or “Dumb-Ass-ery”. What is the sense of buying an Android phone for KShs 9000.00, not install a single app, not have an email account, keep the wi-fi and mobile internet off for the whole time you own the phone? Some say that they do it so that the battery lasts an extra day. Are they saying that they can only charge their phones once every two days? Or can’t they afford the KShs 1/= a day cost of charging their phones? In essence you have bought a KShs 9000 phone to do the job of a KShs 1000 phone. That is not smart use of your intelligence, let alone your smart phone.

People, lets lead smart lives. Merv The Gardener.


Street Talk

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