Editor's Note: Dumb Phones

I remember how excited I was when I replaced my Skytel pager for a brand-new Nokia mobile phone. I was just starting college, and my new social life demanded quick communication with my colleagues. The pager, after all, meant that I’d have to search for an available pay phone, and make sure I had enough change to use it.

Now, our mobile devices are intricately tied in to everything we do. We receive our e-mails by phone, text our friends, search for nearby stores or find a nearby pizza place. Our phones can open and edit PowerPoint presentations, take pictures, play music, scan bar codes, manage our shopping lists, search the Web at broadband speed or play Texas Hold’em. There are apps for everything: searching, computing, dining, apps for managing contacts and global positioning, and even apps that help us find other apps.

Among the stories below you see some more applications for mobile devices.

But as much of a gadget guy as I am, I still believe it’s important not to forget the app that started it all — the basic phone call. Indeed, while all these mobile bells and whistles are useful — even critical, in some cases — in our everyday lives, let’s not forget that it’s still nice to reach out and touch someone every once in a while.
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