Alert
Close

Last chance – give now. Before 2014 ends, help struggling seniors. Donate

Is a Smart Phone All You Need?

It all depends on you.

person using a smart phone

— Robert Galbraith/Corbis

Let's not mince words: A smart phone—iPhone, Droid, Palm Pre, or BlackBerry—a computer, only smaller. Is it big enough for you? Consider your own hardware and software: your body and brain.

Your Body

How's your eyesight? Your manual dexterity? For all their ability to zoom in, smart-phone screens measure no more than 4 inches—the long way. Peering into one, touching tiny buttons or icons, and executing a finicky finger dance of swipes and taps could frustrate anyone.

Your Brain  

Are you primarily a communicator, a consumer, or a creator? That will help determine the right device for you. A communicator could be content with "just" a smart phone. An avid consumer of visual media might crave a bigger screen (and, to make calls with Apple's tablet-size iPad, would need a voice-over-Internet service such as Skype or Vonage). But a creator will need a full-fledged computer to display, manipulate, and store files.

 

 

*This technology guide was written by George Blooston, Peter Brown, Ron Burley, Ty Burr, Tim Carman, Annie Gottlieb, John A. House, Sharon Kay, Dolly Setton, Abby Stokes. Consulting editor: Peter Brown.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Technology
Resources

Social Networking

Step-by-step instructions on how to use some of the Web's most popular networking sites. Go

 

How to Use Your PC

Guides covering everything from setting up your desktop, to getting the most out of Excel. Go

 

Protect Your Digital Life

Keep your computer secure, your web surfing safe, and your inbox spam free with these tips. Go

Discounts & Benefits

Geek Squad Computing

Members save on Geek Squad services with Geek Squad® Tech Support & Guidance for AARP® Members.

AARP Discounts on ADT Companion Services

Members get 20% off NEW installation and activation of ADT® Personal Emergency Response System.

AARP Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones and Plans

Members save 5% on monthly service and usage charges with Consumer Cellular.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today

Featured
Groups

computer questions and tips

Computer Questions & Tips

Pick up some handy how-tos from this savvy group of techies. Discuss

 

Freebies Group

Favorite Websites & Freebies

Share your top sites for interesting information, helpful resources — and free stuff! Discuss