I used to hate technology.
I was a late cell phone adopter, and I had no idea really what the difference between a Mac and a PC was. I wrote all of my appointments in a Day-Timer (some of you may have to Google what that is) and kept a (very loose) running total of my bank account balances in my check register. I rarely checked email after college and if I ordered a pizza, it was by looking the phone number up in a phone book (again, Google may apply here for some) and calling the pizza place on a landline. Am I dating myself here?
About 10 years ago I finally caved and got a cell phone. And then went back to school in a field that was based on use of computers (graphic & publication design). I quickly learned the difference between a Mac & a PC, btw. From there it was a slippery slope and I soon traded in my cell phone for a Razr–which at the time was the most futuristic thing I owned—which I then traded up for a (gasp!) smartphone. And can I just say… I really, really love my phone. Like a lot. Maybe too much?
My phone is one of the things in my life that can make things easier. I am a working mom who is trying to be a good wife, have a clean(ish) house, serve nutricious(ish) meals to my son, all while trying to maintain somewhat of a social life… and btw, lose 40 lbs. (no ‘ish’ there). So, there is very little time for doing things like pulling out a phone book to look up a phone number. (And really, does anyone even have phone books anymore?) I am constantly looking for ways to shave minutes off of monotonous daily activities so that I can put more energy and time into the things in my life that really matter.
Right now, three of my favorite features on my phone are:
- Amazon Prime Now
- Starbucks Mobile Order
- Apple Pay
Amazon Prime Now is available to us in Portland, OR, as one of a few select test markets. It’s a service that allows Amazon Prime users to download the Prime Now app, and then order products thru that app to their doorstep WITHIN AN HOUR. I mean, c’mon. Mind- blown. Did I mention they will deliver groceries from quality stores like New Seasons and World Foods… and cupcakes (yes, CUPCAKES!) from the yummy Cupcake Jones. All to your door within the hour. I do not live in New York City so this phenomenon is very exciting to me and one that I hope to use a lot, as taking a toddler to the grocery store can be a bit of a, ahem, CHALLENGE sometimes.
I should note that they do have limited stock, hours and delivery zip codes, but overall- what a great idea!
Starbucks Mobile Order is just about the most brilliant thing Sbux has done in a while. Customers can use the feature in the Starbucks app to order custom drinks, pay, and then (in 3-7 minutes) pick up ready-to-go drinks in the bar area. Today, I placed my drink order immediately after dropping my son off at daycare. I then picked my drink up 3 minutes later, a few miles down the road on my commute into work. It took me longer to navigate the traffic and cross the street than it did to walk in, have the barista verify my name, and then hand me my drink. I walked right past the to-the-door line that had formed and picked up my drink. Awesomeness.
Apple Pay is also a great feature that I love using on my iPhone. Apple Pay allows iPhone 6 (or higher) and iWatch 5 (or higher) users to pay in stores (and within apps) using your fingerprint, with Touch ID technology. When you are at the checkout stand with a grabby toddler, the faster you can get through the checkout process the better! Touch ID can also be used for awesome things like logging into your online banking accounts as well (if your bank participates).
Let me just say that Kip was right when he said/sang: