More Things I’ve Learned About My New Phone

So it’s been about a week since I got Mr. N86 to look like it actually belonged to me. I’ve been busy, so have not had oodles and heaps of time to just sit and play with it, but here are some things I have discovered.

The first thing I discovered happened to me on the bus. Suddenly, the square scroll key seemed to have switched orientations. If I held the phone sideways and gave it a little jolt, as bumps happen to do when you’re riding the bus, the right side of the scroll key, which was now oriented upwards, was the up arrow. All the other sides of the scroll key had shifted accordingly. When I shifted it the other way, suddenly, up was up and down was down again.

I was really confused, and it took me putting it in training mode and moving it around to realize that yes, this was some kind of feature. I know I’m not a huge fan of this feature, but I can see why some might think it was cool. It kind of reminds me of the iPhone’s ability to perceive whether you want earpiece or loudspeaker mode depending on the phone’s proximity to your face.

This was the first time I had to label a graphic. For some reason, Talks didn’t recognize what this phone was using for the symbol for “unread message.” So, because I have Talks Premium which allows you to label graphics, I was able to follow some steps in the manual, and voila, problem solved! It now says “unread SMS” just fine.

This leads me to another question. My old phone used to say “key guard” when it was locked and you check the status. This one does not. Does it show a symbol for key guard? I tried looking for it to see if I could label it, but I had no luck…yet.

There’s this weird feature where you can have your texts read to you. But you know what’s funny? They don’t use the Nokia TTS. They have another voice. Here she is. She’s still muffled, but she’s clearer than Nooka Dooka.

I really think they have a neat way of displaying your text messages. If you have multiple messages in your inbox, as soon as you open one, it opens a multi-page screen, with each of your texts on another page. So you can just boop between them. This would be great if you have a fast texter who keeps bombing you while you’re replying to one. When you’re done replying, and you’re back in the body of that message, you can just left and right arrow around to the other texts that have arrived.

Man, the “you’re about to lose your battery juice” tone sounds way too peaceful for what it represents. It sings a little chord similar to, well, similar to the Victor Reader Stream’s battery charger unplugged noise. When I heard that, I thought “That doesn’t sound like a warning, it sounds like a peaceful little tune.” It doesn’t seem to give you many of those before the battery goes out, so it’s good we have the battery status indicator to look at.

It’s funny how you get used to a certain button being in a certain place. I’m used to the call button being the highest point on the phone. Not on this baby. Key 1 is. So, every time I would go to make a call, I would hit what I thought was send, and get all these stupid options. That would be because I hit “options.” Oops.

I was scrolling through the phone’s office suite of programs, and what do I see? Quick Office! This phone has Quick Office on it! I think this means I can access Word documents on the phone. I have to play with that later.

I don’t know what’s up with this new phone’s converter program. It’s a great little program. My old phone had one too. You can convert between imperial and metric for all kinds of units of measure. The one I do all the time is kilograms to pounds. Even though they tried to teach us kilograms at school, I always understood pounds better. So when I get Trixie weighed, I always take their kilograms and convert them to pounds.

When I tried to do this on the new phone, it kept filling both fields with the same amount that I put in the first field and then convert the wrong way. So instead of converting 25 kilograms to 55 pounds, it tried to convert 25 pounds ack into kilograms! Ack! I’m sure that’s just user error, because I finally did get it to make the proper conversion.

But I discovered one stinky thing. On my old phone, Talks could read the built-in help that’s on the phone. On the new phone, apparently because of something that happened with third edition phones, Talks cannot read the help files! I asked the Talks users list about this, and got this little piece of a readme file spat back at me.

• 3rd Edition FP2: Built-in Help screens are not read because they use the web browser in a way that is not yet supported by TALKS.

Booo! But I hear there is a new release of Talks coming out soon, so hopefully it will be able to handle it.

The T9 predictive text capabilities on this phone are super much smarter than the old phone. It watches what words you use more often than others, and will move them up in the list of possibilities. How cool is that? No more going about 5 words deep through stuff you never use in a million years to find, oh, say, your name.

I still can’t believe there’s no edit key on this phone. I used that key to change modes from predictive text, or for selecting things. It appears there are alternative ways to do it all, but it’s still weird that there’s no edit key. One thing that’s weird is you can’t get to numbers mode by holding down the pound key like I used to do. Now, you can either hit the pound key 4 times quickly to get there, or you can hold down each digit for an extra second and it will realize you want the number instead of a letter and put it in. Ok then.

And that’s all I’ve learned so far. I still need to install a third-party email client and get sending and receiving emails. There’s this nagging voice that’s saying “conquer the phone, bend it to your will. You’re not going fast enough.” and then the sane part of me says I’ve only had this thing for a week so the crazy loon part of me can pipe down and shut up.

I hope my journey to figuring out this phone helps someone else along the way, or is at least entertaining.

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