Things you may not know that you can do with your mobile device
Many of these can be done with a simple mobile phone, a sophisticated web browing phone is not required. (Make sure you have an unlimited data plan or you will get a huge bill!)
- Send a text message to Google (phone 46645 which is GOOGL) and get an answer back. Good for finding local restaurants, etc.
- Send a text message to an e-mail address. (Good for sending a reference question to libraries)
- Text Amazon to search for books, compare prices with those of a bookstore, and buy them.
- Use LibraryThing Mobile to check if you already own a book.
- Read a Wikipedia article using their special mobile interface.
- Use eBuddy Lite Messanger to get a Web interface to search engines.
- Install Google Maps for Mobiles to get directions, etc. (If you have a GPS enabled phone, you don’t need to tell it where you are.) You can even get traffic and street views (don’t use while driving!).
- Photograph barcodes and use them on scanners, library checkouts, etc.
Encyclopodia has developed Sourceforge software for loading Wikipedia on iPods. How would university students use such a service? Jim Hahn from the University of Illinois did a research project that surveyed students who used such iPods. Resuts were:
- Students used the devices mainly for recreational questions.
- Average use of the iPod was once or twice a month, with heaviest usage in the first month of the term.
- One student used the iPod to do research for a paper.
- Power was drained quickly, and when it ran low, the date and time were automatically reset.
Mobile device services are rapidly advancing; we can expect to see many similar studies in the future.
Columnist, Information Today and CIL 2009 Blog Coordinator