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I am thinking of moving out of dinosaur mode and getting a smart phone.  I basically need the text feature to keep up with important texts.  My problem is I'm rough on phones working on the farm any good suggestions?
Secondly if I am getting a smart phone might as well put to good what are good prepping/ farming/gardening apps you guys use???

Alan Georges:

--- Quote from: Jlpayne86 on September 04, 2014, 05:59:18 AM ---My problem is I'm rough on phones working on the farm any good suggestions?

--- End quote ---
Most new smartphones are fairly fragile, but there's a big selection of after-market protective cases for them.  Otterbox is the name-brand solution here, but there are plenty of others jumping into the market.  Here's a link to start:,default,pg.html

--- Quote ---Secondly if I am getting a smart phone might as well put to good what are good prepping/ farming/gardening apps you guys use???

--- End quote ---
Intellicast has a good, free weather radar app.  It includes future projections as well, they're fairly good guesstimates of where storms are going next.

I use my phone a lot as a computer for digital ham radio comms, which may or may not be your thing.

After that, what I find most useful are the mostly generic-type apps that any non-prepper might use: an emulator for my favorite scientific calculator, flashlight, maps (google and apple's mapping apps are pretty good, once you get past a few quirks).  And of course, there's always a mp3 player (y'know, to listen to Jack's podcast).

As you said though, texting is a big deal.  It usually gets through when voice can't, so in a way it is a serious survival prep app.

I like the us army survival guide and my knot tying app has become pretty handy as well.  Both are free, even better.

Depending on which cellphone you get, OtterBox or LifeProof cases are good.

Will you need a water resistant case?  My wife had a lifeproof for her iphone and hated it.  having to "unseal" the case to plug it in for charging and needing a special adapter to use the headphone jack.

I have an otterbox, and like them.  otterbox basically has a lifetime guarantee, you break it, they'll send you a new one.  For my previous phone I went through 3 cases, due to what I believe was a design flaw.  On my new phone (Galaxy S4), I managed to break the belt clip after 6 months of use, but a new one is on the way.

Some phones are already water proof (Galaxy S5) so no need for a special case.

As far as aps, well, there's the TSP app.  Weather apps - & accu weather (I like having 2 sources for weather cause sometimes they are worlds apart from each other).  I have dropbox and google apps installed as I use both cloud sharing services for remote back ups of data (some encrypted, some not).  The dropbox account automatically syncs my photos and video I take with my phone.

There's so many good apps out there depending on what you want.  Some favorites of mine include:
a scanner app -- great for following breaking news whether it's down the street or down under
a weather app with emergency alerts -- some can be programmed to track where you are and give you the latest alerts for your current location, others alert to your zip code so you can get an alert for home even when you're at work 25 miles away
a local news app -- with breaking news alerts so you can keep apprised of what's happening around you
a international news app -- heck, I like several including the BBC, LA Times, NPR, and Washington Post
Waze -- a traffic app that uses your GPS data and the data of other users to calculate your best way through or around traffic with drive times based on the speed of other users on the same route
a topo map app -- there's several out there for both iphone and android that allow you to pre-download your local area so even if you lose service, you can still have the maps accessible
specialty apps -- as a firefighter I have apps for measuring slope, distance, direction, calculating fuel moistures, identifying hazardous materials, locating the nearest AED, and even calling for an air rescue helicopter. 

Personally, I've had an android and now have an iphone.  My primary reason to going with the iphone was convenience; I wanted my music collection with me wherever I went.  Since getting it I've found the apps work better, I have less crashes, and while there are more paid apps and fewer free ones, the apps are worth the money because they work and are more professionally polished.  That said, about the only thing I'd steer away from is the Windows Phone and Blackberrys.  Both offer too few apps and too poor of functioning apps to be all that much better than a dumb phone.


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