Happy phone

I have a smartphone.  It’s a Samsung Galaxy S™ II, Epic™ 4G Touch, in the color Vortex Black (no but really, I think their naming schemes are almost too concise…).  I use it a lot for GPS navigation, which it’s actually pretty good at.  If I get everything set up before I’m driving (and therefore not using my phone because that’s dangerous) it’ll even tell me which way is fastest based on traffic.

I had this problem with Google Navigation (the GPS app), though: it sort of pissed me off.  Hearing it demand that I “turn left onto South 18th Street” was all good and well, until I was at, say, a complicated intersection where there were two or three different possible lefts I could make.  In that situation it felt as if my phone was as anxious (or more anxious) to get where I was going than I was, and making this stressful demand on me so it wouldn’t be late to meet my friend’s phones.

Recently, my phone was updated to Android 4 which is called Ice Cream Sandwich which sounds delicious (but trust me, the phone doesn’t taste any better now than it did before).  Google Nav’s voice was changed by the update, and it made a world of difference.  It went from a neutral mechanical sound to a cheerful, happy to be alive one.  I don’t get upset with my phone anymore, as I drive places with it.

To be clear: the directions are no better (or at least, not noticeably).  It still gives me sort of mediocre directions, sometimes.  But it makes me feel differently, now.  I no longer feel like it’s in a hurry to get where I’m going, the happier voice makes me feel like it’s cheerfully assisting me (as consumer tech ought to, in my opinion) as I go where I want to – a place that it, surely, would enjoy just as much as I.

It’s the little stuff that makes all the difference.

2 thoughts on “Happy phone

  1. When my GPS tells me it’s recalculating, it always sounds passive-aggressive. As if it’s irritated I wasn’t hanging on its every word and it can’t believe it has to work with some directionally challenged loser all day long.

    … Interacting with my GPS may be giving me a guilt complex…

  2. I’ve always maintained since April that there need to be a more chill, St. Mary’s student GPS option. Like instead of “Turn left now” something like “Turn left now.. or whenever you want or right… you know, roads they all get you some place eventually”

    and now that I’ve written in that, I’m pretty sure I’ve already told you (Ashok) about this. In other news, I got a Galaxy SIII a few weeks and I really like it so far.

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