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Innovation

The Gear of ZDNet: How Charlie Osborne goes mobile

This final installment of the Gear of ZDNet features newcomer Charlie Osborne. She shares why simpler is better for her work on the move.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor on

The Gear of ZDNet series has been a delightful way to see what mobile tech the ZDNet tech bloggers are using and why it works. In this final installment of the series we find out what Charlie Osborne is using in her highly mobile life.

Previous installments:

Charlie is a new member of the ZDNet family, and covers the tech world from the perspective of the iGeneration. She covers this beat from the UK, but as we discover she has moved all around the globe.

JK: Welcome to ZDNet, Charlie. How would you describe who you are and what you do to the Mobile News audience?

I’m the new writer currently lurking in the iGeneration lair. I’m spending a lot of time keeping up to date with censorship law and employment legislation at the moment – especially with the current economic climate and how it may all affect students. Apart from writing I occasionally dabble in website design and promotional materials for small businesses. I also spend a fair portion of my weekends trying to learn languages (not that it gets me away from the computer screen).

JK: What is your current smartphone and why? How do you use it daily, and how is it working out for you?

My current model is an HTC Sensation XL. I was more inclined to go with an Android model as I’m an advocate of open source software – and this had more scope and potential than the iPhone. I use it daily mainly for keeping check on my emails and news reports via the Pulse application.

I have to admit I’m a new smartphone user - I made do with an old Nokia model for two years due to constant travel and the fear of a shiny, nice phone being stolen. It cost me a fortune to access email for over two years, but I don’t think in my current line of work it would have been possible to use it that much longer - with instant access and online support so important.

See also: Why I ordered an iPhone 4S

JK: You've come to the right place to keep up with smartphones, Charlie. Is there a particular phone you are jonesing for?

It was the HTC (although admittedly it was the first model I could lay my hands on after my ex-Nokia had a bad experience with a cup of tea), so not planning an upgrade yet until the next one comes out – then no doubt.

JK: Phones aside, what tablet(s) are you currently using and why? How do you like it? Does it fit in your work/lifestyle well?

I don’t as I see no requirement for it – I make do with my smartphone and a mobile laptop. On saying that I never saw a use for a smartphone before either – so perhaps if I get my hands on one then I’d probably go for an iPad.

See also: iPad 2 as a serious writing machine (how-to)Typical day in the life of the iPad 2

JK: It's refreshing to hear from someone that they don't need a tablet. If that changes, is there a particular tablet you have your eyes on?

I’d get the iPad purely out of curiosity.

JK: How has mobile technology impacted your work/life?

When I was teaching abroad (so moving across different countries every few weeks) it was crucial. It still is now, although retrospectively it does mean those trying to contact you whether work or socially have begun a ‘I expect a response now’ attitude. I also end up so in tune that if I don’t put my phone on silent at night I wake up immediately to the ‘new email’ tone!

JK: So true that the technology has made us available 24/7. How does the mobile gear you are using today play a significant role in your work?

I think it means that wherever I am I have the potential to keep on top of everything that’s going on – if there’s anything immediate then I can respond without difficulty. Sad as it may be, I feel lost if I don’t have my phone, and panic if I can’t keep tabs on my email. Sad eh?

JK: I suspect there's an actual syndrome name for that panicked feeling. What mobile accessory do you recommend to readers?

I’d recommend the Pulse app – I’m yet to find a better application for news applications.

JK: Charlie, it has been a joy talking mobile tech with you. Thanks for sharing your gear with readers.

This wraps up a great conversation with Charlie Osborne in the continuing series, the Gear of ZDNet. Be sure and check out Charlie's work on the ZDNet iGeneration blog.

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