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A Day in the Life of a Smartphone

Why you really don't want to leave home without one

En Español | One of the questions I'm often asked is, "Do I really need to switch from a cellphone to a smartphone?" My general response is that it depends on what you're going to do with it. A recent road trip from San Francisco north to Eureka, Calif., made the case that these gadgets are not only useful but indispensable in this day and age. 

Navigation map screenshot - iPhone application

The Navigon app for iPhone provides real-time GPS navigation directions. — Photo by Gary M. Kaye

My best friend of more than 40 years and I were able to put together a rare weekend without wives or business to head up to visit his daughter at Humboldt State College in Arcata, Calif. I had my iPhone4. He was traveling with an LG 4G LTE Revolution. Where we were headed, however, there were plenty of spots where we'd be lucky to get any service.

We headed north from Berkeley in a blinding rainstorm, comparing directions from the VZ Navigator on the LG and the navigation program from Navigon on the iPhone.

Hotel listings and ratings shown in Eureka, California via Safari's mobile browser for iPhone

The author used on his smartphone to find a place to bed down for the night. — Photo by Gary M. Kaye

Once we swung over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge past San Quentin, it was straight up U.S. Route 101 for hours

En route, we figured we'd better look for some place to stay, so I googled for a motel in the Eureka-Arcata area. We finally agreed on a Quality Inn right off the freeway in Arcata. With a couple of clicks, we made our reservations and were set to go.





Next: Use the Yelp! app to find a good restaurant. >>

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