What’s in your phone, Marie ‘maloki’ Axelsson?
Marie ‘maloki’ Axelsson is an enthusiast for tech and new services. She’s a gamer and a community manager, a Linux, Mac and PC user, with an Android phone. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest, and G+. And somewhere in Sweden.
“What’s in your phone?” is our ongoing series of interviews with women about the apps they use. (We already know what’s in your bag…)
Q: What mobile device(s) do you have and in what situations do you use them?
A: I have a smartphone, a Sony Xperia Z, which I use for everything. While walking to the bus to check when the next bus is leaving, checking how much money I have when I’m going to the store, using the GPS for Maps or for tracking my walking route. And calling and texting.
Q: What are the first apps you open every day?
A: Gmail or Libra. Gmail because there’s always been e-mail trickling in during the night, and Libra because I keep track of my weight. Might sound typical for women to track their weight and their calories, but I don’t count calories I just want to keep track of the changes. Most days I do not put in a new value.
Q: What extras do you have (covers, bags, sleeves, dangly things…)?
A: I actually do not really have any extras for my phone. Do stickers count? My previous phone had a small heart, a Flattr sticker (I used to work there) and a WebCoast sticker from last year’s conference. WebCoast is a conference that I helped start up three years ago.
Q: Do you use apps mostly for practical purposes, entertainment, creation, socializing, or something else?
A: I use my apps for all-around purposes. I like tracking stuff, so I use Libra for tracking my weight, two apps for exercising (Funbeat for the community, and Endomundo because their tracker is the best I’ve seen thus far), Goodreads for keeping track of how much I read and where I am, Bankdroid (Swedish) bank app for knowing when I get money and when money is spent.
I used to play at lot of Tower Defense games on my phone, which became more or less an obsession, like they do. Was fun to try out different types of games, but TD games are definitely the most appealing to me.
Q: In what ways have apps enhanced your life? In what ways do you think apps have enhanced society? Or hurt it?
A: “Is there an app for that” has become quite a common question. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not. The obsession with applications is interesting, and maybe it’s good. Humanity is inherently lazy which is why we’ve invented all the cool things we have, to make things easier for ourselves. However, I’ve noticed that owning a smartphone and a netbook and a computer is starting to affect my eyesight, which isn’t really a good development.
What is a really good development though, is that I now have the world in my pocket. I can snap down notes about something immediately, schedule something in the calendar, check when the next bus leaves and so forth. I think it’s a little bit of both good and bad. The dependency on your phone, but also all the cool stuff it gives.
Q: What would be your desert island app?
A: Not sure I can live without Gmail or Gtalk. Most likely the former; I can do pretty much anything I want or need with Gmail. However this would only work if I had Internet on this deserted island. Otherwise I’d go for some super scaling TD game. To keep myself occupied.
Q: What’s the most embarrassing app in your phone? ‘Fess up!
A: Looking through my apps I actually do not feel that I am embarrassed about any of them. I used to have an app for counting people’s pee breaks, which was hilarious. Basically, a friend developed it to tease another friend who always had to go to the bathroom while out having beers.
Q: If you could design the perfect app, what would it be/do?
A: Share my awesome app ideas? One app to rule them all! I think that I’d want something that could take a picture of your dinner and tell you how healthy your food is, not necessarily calorie count. That would be amazing. Don’t tell me there’s already one on the market?
Q: What advice would you give to people who haven’t adopted apps as part of their lifestyle?
A: Find what works for you, do not be afraid to experiment. My best/worst example is my mother, who got a Samsung Galaxy S3 a while back. When I got my hands on it to help her, she still had all the default widgets and apps running on it, was not logged in to any mail or Twitter (which she does use). It was very strange to me.
Before installing an application, take a quick glance at the reviews, and when you’ve installed it look through all the settings before you start using it. This way you know what your apps do.
Q: Anything else to add?
A: Being always available is definitely going to affect our society, maybe not in ways that are as positive as we hope. In the past I’ve been burned out, and when I finally started working again I got myself a smartphone. Working with a community, I ended up being always available for our users, even though I only worked part time. After about eight months of work, I had to take a vacation, where I disabled all the notifications for apps that were work related, which included email, Twitter and Facebook.
All in all, I think it’s good to take breaks from your extended brain, and let your own brain get some rest or work on its own.