Smart Dumb Phones: Cool Uses for Low Tech Cell Phones (NO iPhone REQUIRED!)

There’s no denying that the iPhone has become an amazing tool for taking your internet connected life mobile. However, many of its functions are available to even the lowest tech "dumb phones" on the market. This post will show you how you can use your dumb old RAZR phone to blog, tweet, podcast, facebook, HTML browse, listen to music, and Google Map just like those other iPoseurs.

Twitter/ Facebook/ WordPress/ Blogger/ Flickr via SMS or MMS?



Facebook allows you to keep up with your peeps via SMS. Twitter has it built right into the service. But my favorite way to post to several websites at once is Posterous.com.



Posterous

is a blogging tool that will auto-post to your WordPress/Twitter/Tumblr/Flickr/Facebook and many many more. People are

starting to use it as a first step in blogging because it’s so easy and reliable. Just send an email to post@posterous.com or send an SMS text message to 41411 and posterous will set up a blog for you. From that point, you can send images, video, photos, audio, and text (and probably a whole lot more) to the email address and Posterous will figure out how to post it for you. It’s an amazing service and might just help you participate in more online communities.










Podcast from your phone?



Drop.io is a great service which allows you to set up "drops" (which are basically blogs), each with its own email/SMS address, phone number, twitter ID, etc. You can set up a drop like I did at http://drop.io/smartdumbphones and then call it to record an audio voice mail. This voice mail becomes an audio post with an iTunes-ready RSS feed. Just send the feed URL to iTunes and you are in the podcasting business! Here’s mine:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

Drop.io is capable of much more than what I just described– check it out!

Google it from your phone

Google has a service called Google SMS that allows you to send any google search query via text message. Get driving directions, movie times, weather, flight information, translations, calculator– you get the idea. Just send the text and Google will text you back with your search results.


Use your phone as an MP3 player?


Most dumb phones have a memory card slot so you can store data on removable memory cards. These cards have made huge gains in storage capacity while prices continue to drop. They use flash memory, the same kind that allows iPhones to hold 8-16gb of songs.  But while an iPhone costs hundreds of dollars, you can get a 16gb SD card for about $50 on ebay.

To sync your music, movies, and photos onto your phone, you can use DoubleTwist— an iTunes-like sync utility for all kinds of phones and mobile devices. They have an extensive list of supported devices– see if yours is on there!

Of course, these are just a few ways you can smarten up a dumb phone. Is there one I missed? Discuss it in the comments!



 

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Written by

Ted Curran is a Learning Experience Designer/Developer for Autodesk. He is committed to empowering educators and learners to create transformational change through effective pedagogy and technology integration. You can follow Ted on Mastodon, LinkedIn or learn more at my 'About" page. These thoughts are my own.

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