Friday, May 22, 2015

Mi Band & Smart Phone Update

I'm enjoying my Mi Band and slowly (painfully slowly) learning how to use the smart phone. Now that I've joined the ranks of smart phone users, the only hold-outs I know are my Schwiegermutter and my mother, whose purse was stolen the other day from a hotel lobby but her cell phone was discarded into an elevator. When she asked my daughter why someone would do that, my daughter told her "No one wants a phone like that."

[Side note: the purse was recovered the next day because the thief had tossed it into a public mailbox after removing the cash. Mom had to pay the U.S. post office $5.95 "postage due" to get it back.]

M showed me how to get a photo from the phone to my laptop where my photos are stored, but I wasn't impressed enough with the phone's camera to use it again. It will still be handy if when I get into a car accident and want to document the damage.

The photo I took: Pfingstrosen (peonies) in our garden

I do not know how you people thumb-type and so quickly too, but I do now understand why few people seem able to manage sending messages without tons of errors. Everytime I want N, I get M, and finding punctuation is a pain ("Ahh...That's why so many people don't bother with punctuation and capital letters! Because you have to hit an extra button or two..."). I spend more time on the backspace key than any other.

a note about your privacy:
"You don't have any. Press 'accept and continue'."

The apps I use most on my tablet are installed -, unit converter, and list master - and of course the Mi Fit app. I was going to install the Esslingen app as well, but since I have my Schwiegermutter, I really don't need it. No phone would have the storage space to contain the information she has in her head, and the app can't answer questions.

I also installed the Kindle app in case of emergency (= I'm on the train and finish the actual book I brought with me), and I just downloaded a book I could read 1000 times and never tire of - Black Beauty.

The Mi Band and its app aren't exactly accurate, but there are some advantages. This morning, for instance, I walked from my bed to the WC to the sofa, and the Mi Band registered 197 steps. It was more like 40.

The advantage, though, is that so far I am more motivated to walk - enough to make sure I meet my wimpy current goal of 10,000 steps in a day. The other day the train strike prevented me from getting all the way home to Horb, so I took the S-Bahn to Herrenberg where M picked me up. I had to wait about 20 minutes for him, and because of the Mi Band on my wrist taunting me and reminding me I was only at 8000+ steps, I spent that time walking around the parking lot, down a street and back, around the Bahnhof, and through the parking lot again rather than just standing there reading.

It was no surprise to learn that I sleep very well and long enough. The Mi Band tells me what time I fell asleep, what time I woke up, and how many of those hours and minutes were deep sleep and half sleep. If I got up for any reason during the night, it tells me how many minutes I was up. I can't judge the accuracy of the sleep report, but I will say that it usually nails the time I go to sleep and the time I get up. I can also see my averages for the week.

I can't see any indication of the nap I took yesterday afternoon, though. I wonder if there's a nap app. I'll have to check into that.

I wonder if six months or a year from now I will be as skilled with my smart phone as everyone else seems to be with theirs. This is doubtful, since the other day I couldn't even figure out how to find "recent calls" on my old phone - and I've had that phone for 2 years.

M warned me already that I'll have to get used to charging the phone every night. I charged my old phone once every 2 weeks or so, so that will take some getting used to. Remember the days when we didn't have to charge anything we used? (I do!!) We just had to change our watch batteries every few years.

For those who already have a smart phone, the Mi Band is a very good deal for about €17 and free shipping from Tiny Deal.  You get some feedback about how much you move (or don't move) during the day and your sleeping patterns, and it might motivate you to park at the far end of the parking lot and get in some extra steps wherever you can.

And speaking of that, since it's already nearly 14:00 and I have only logged 3200 steps, I better get my sorry self off this chair and outside! Since the Mi Band counts steps through movement, I could just go into the kitchen and grate potatoes and carrots - but I don't want to start cheating this early in the game.


  1. I only have a BlackBerry, which is technically a smartphone but a terrible one. I don't have to charge it every night though because it can't do anything so its battery never gets run down ;-) I do have a tbalet, but I only charge that every 2-3 days.

    My old Nokia could go about 10 days without being charged! I still miss it.

  2. Ah, then I'm not the only one. I remember the BlackBerry (or rather I remember other people having them). I remember wondering why anyone would need such a thing! I really think I was born at least a century too late.

    1. My sister gave me mine and I started using it because my poor Nokia got soaked and then died. I didn't need it so much as not want to go to the shop and buy a new phone ;-)
      I think a lot of business people "need" smartphones because their bosses expect them to be available all the time, even on weekends. To avoid going into the office, they take the office with them via smartphone.

    2. I'm sure that's true. I have the smart phone but no data plan, so I'm still not available all the time, and that's the way I want it. I have the advantage of not having a boss who expects me to be available, though. It's definitely nice not to have to pay for a new phone - I would have appreciated the BlackBerry also!