Martine Rolls: Feeding smartphone appetite

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It's interesting how quick my phone fills up with apps. Not all of them are as functional as I thought they would be . Just take the Nike + IPod workout app for example, and just conveniently forget that no one but me is to blame for its lack of usefulness.

Of all the things I now carry around with me on my electronic gadget, I certainly have a few favourites.

One of them, and this is a Tauranga first, is the app from Syndicate Bay & Restaurant on The Strand. It has discounts, specials and loyalty coupons.

The latest I loaded is a game called Wordfeud. I got introduced to it when I was visiting my mum in the Netherlands, and I'm slowly but surely getting addicted to it.

My mum is not that old but she does not use a smartphone or email. She has a laptop but finds it hard to work with.

Texting is not her thing either. She has a cell phone, but uses it to call with, and then in emergencies only.

Mum feels she can manage perfectly fine without electronic tools and that's perfectly fine with me. Somehow I did talk her into buying an iPad, after convincing her that a tablet is much easier to manage than a laptop. And guess what? She loves it. Especially playing Wordfeud, which basically is Scrabble for smartphones or tablets.

What I like most, besides winning, is that you can send each other messages while playing Wordfeud. This is the way my mum and I text now and for us, it's just as efficient as the conventional way.

I am a bit different from my mother as now I have a smart phone, I'd find it incredibly hard to go back to using a normal mobile phone. I'd miss the touchscreen and easy internet access too much. It's amazing how fast technology progresses, and how quickly we get used to it.

The first time I saw someone use a mobile phone was in the early 1990s.

I went to London for the weekend and saw a business man shouting into a weird looking box on a street corner. I thought he had lost his marbles.

From there on, things moved quickly because a few years later, my then-boyfriend had bought himself a so-called GSM (the European standard was called GSM, the North American one was CDMA.) What I remember most about it is how pale he went when he received his first bill.

The first mobile phone I ever owned myself was a navy blue chunky Nokia. I had it for years and it never let me down. The battery lasted forever, which is something I can't quite say about my iPhone as that one often goes flat in the night. Because of that, the alarm didn't go off and that's not an excuse for showing up at work late.

No matter how much I like my iPhone, I am already eyeing up some of the latest smartphones that have recently hit the market. They are so sleek and beautiful.

I really do want one but let's face it, I've just been on an expensive holiday so I shouldn't even think about buying anything I don't really need. Not before the credit card debt is paid off.

Best get back to work.

This brings me back to our website, as that is what I work on every day. Our site does not have an app available yet, but we do have an excellent mobile site. To check it out, just browse for our website on your smartphone and add it to your home screen.

I'd like to remind everyone that we are always happy for our readers, local clubs, businesses and other organisations to upload contributions to our website. Plenty of people have already taken that opportunity, resulting in a great varied content on

We'd like to invite more of you to do the same.

We welcome all news stories, guest editorials and other opinion pieces, recipes, and more. Please attach a photo if you can.

To find out how to do this, look out for the "contribute" tab placed with some of our online stories. The steps to take are easy to follow.

You do need to register and your contribution will be checked by our staff and edited where needed, but please don't let that put you off. Feel free to give it a go.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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