Last week you read of my decision and first few hours after switching from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

That was on a Thursday.

Friday, the next morning (my birthday by the way) started off with errands. I wanted to be in a good mood. But by noon, after going with one of the triplets for his restricted driving test and running around Botany, I was in a surly mood. Especially with all the fumbling around with the new phone.

I liken it to having spent years on a PC; using Microsoft and being very familiar with the software and knowing how to find the answer to things you don't know. Then you switch - without help or a manual - to a Mac. New controls. New verbiage. All new software, even with the programs you know.


Therefore I did what any smart birthday girl would have done. I turned off the phone. Got rid of the teen. Got rid of Bella, our little Chihuahua that always jumps in my handbag when she sees I'm going out and knows 5 out of 10 time I won't have the heart to leave her home. I took myself out to lunch, had a wee walk along Tamaki Drive, calmed down and went home. Then turned the phone back on.

Just like the old adage that it takes money to make money, you have to invest time to save time - and that meant allocating quiet thoughtful periods to exploring and playing with the phone. I wanted to find out how to do the things I knew the phone could do (from my IPhone years) and how to stop the pesky pains in the backside from occurring - like the search menu popping up every second because you put your finger on the corner of the phone.

I discovered that S Help (Samsung help) is an APP that has to be downloaded. I won't say how darn stupid that is, not having it installed on the phone. 56 megs and 20 minutes later having gone through it; a huge barrier had been lifted. I read through the five categories: new features, the basics, applications and settings. Most with a 'try me' feature. If you have a Galaxy - download your Help now - you'll learn a world of new things and shortcuts I'm sure.

This 20 minute investment and making the time to try and play has lifted a pretty big burden. Although, each application has what seems like infinite tweaks, settings and shortcuts of their own. It was my sister that told me in Gmail to Swipe right to archive the email while in preview. By accident I had left my finger for a moment on the first letter icon that is assigned to whom the email is from in Gmail and it turned into a check mark. That made me realise that you could then select in preview lots of emails in that manner and delete them. Where would I have found those two little shortcuts? It's not a feature of the IPhone Gmail app.

Please don't laugh at me but I wanted to switch to an Android phone for two reasons. Personally because of the size of the screen that I was raving about last week. The second is I needed to learn about the phone as it is one of the main areas I talk about in my speaking and training. As you know I am a HUGE fan of these wee objects of technology convergence in our palms. They offer significant time savings and productivity boosts to business (which I will write about next week).

My summary statement after one week? All smartphone operating systems have a phenomenal amount of built in features and capabilities. It doesn't matter if you use Microsoft Windows, Samsung Android, IPhone Apple or RIM Blackberry.

Similar to us not using even 10% of our computer software functionality, the same goes for smartphones. You'll just painfully sort out how to do the mere basics if you don't sit down and allocate time to explore, learn and try. If you think it can do something or you're having trouble, a 10 second search on your favourite browser will give you the answer.