Joining the 21st Century Part 1

Prices came down enough for me to finally get my first smartphone. First I learned that phone companies were giving away older iPhone models, Verizon gave me a model 5C for 99 cents! But the monthly data plans costs are lower. So I took removed all services from my landline, essentially making it an emergency-only device, and joined the 21st century.

The first week I felt like a stumbling, bumbling, visitor from the days when telephones weighed 20 pounds and you could throw them out the window and they wouldn’t break (it’s true, we all tried it). I got a little happier when I saw how easy it was to text message, access voice mail, and make phone calls. But I got truly excited for the first time when I downloaded an app called ScannerPro.

I do a lot of research, and increasingly libraries and archives want you to photograph documents instead of copy them. So if you need a copy of a 50 page document you have to take 50 separate pictures, and then go home and import 50 separate pictures into, for me, iPhoto, then process 50 separate pictures, and finally print out 50 separate pictures. Takes freaking FOREVER.

With ScannerPro you scan the pages, which it does so well it goes quickly, and then it automatically converts it into a 50 page pdf, which would be enough to dance in the streets about right there, but then with a tap you can upload it to Dropbox (or Google drive or email, et.) and you’re done!

The first time I used it I practically sobbed. I scanned 240 pages of documents, called out “I’m done!” and blew the librarian’s mind. She was sure this would take all day at the very least.

Later I saw someone buy a cup of coffee by simply holding up their phone in the direction of the cash register. Now I’m learning about contact-less payment. And Apple Pay, except you need an iPhone 6 damnit. Already I’m behind! But I don’t care. I love the 21st century!!

What other apps should I explore? What are your favorite apps?

A very scary Easter Bunny in the window of a West Village … I think it was a barber shop.

Easter Bunny, West Village, New York City

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap