Misplacing my iphone is not the best way to start the day. The ringer was silenced, that I knew, so no way to call and track it, and I had no memory of turning off the phone entirely after a last check of email, the weather, a last round of electronic Scrabble, or putting it back into my purse. Encased in purple plastic, it is camouflaged in a variety of locations in my apartment. I have misplaced it before—who hasn’t—and called it, heard it vibrate, and still couldn’t find it. Finally, I understood why so many people have zinger covers—zebra patterns, neon. I’ll have to think about this.
The phone was gone, for more than an hour. The sense of loss was complete. In fact, I was so distraught I could not write in my journal, or read, or plan the rest of my day, or eat breakfast, or get to work. It occurred to me that I have become co-dependent with my very smart phone which, as we all know, is a mini-computer. Is this a good or a bad thing? Both, I’d say, not the co-dependent part—not that—but the practicality of the phone, the use we make of it as a tool. It really is a splendid invention.
Here are the free apps particularly valuable for writers:
1. Dictionaries, including a translation dictionary from any language you can imagine into and out of English. I gave away all my hard cover dictionaries. If the system ever crashes—in an emergency say—I’ll have to head to the library.
2. The Kindle app. Best use, a movie theater during the endless commercials before the show begins.
3. Notes. Writers write anywhere on any—thing all day long.
4. Safari and Chrome. Writers can find out anything, anywhere, at any time.
And these are just four. Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments. And if you still have a flip phone, I commiserate.