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[Discuss] how much can i use a smartphone as a computer?

On Wed, Sep 09, 2015 at 12:25:44PM -0400, barry wrote:
> i.e. manipulate text read (and maybe type with external (bluetooth?)
> keyboard), cut and paste across apps, pdfs, manipulate files in
> directory structure, write and execute programs in, say, python
> (accessing some of the opsys capabilities?)  lets say android, lets say
> rather low end for now
> it's time for me to get new cellphone, thinking of graduating from
> simple flipfone...

Some of this stuff is extremely easy: cut and paste, read a PDF,
connect a bluetooth keyboard and type something.

Writing programs on a smartphone? You could, but you won't enjoy
the experience at all.

Android's native language is Java. Underneath all the Androidy
bits is a Linux machine, but it's not very useful because it's
not expected to be. You can install a chroot of Debian or
Ubuntu, but it's not as useful as ssh'ing to a real machine.

The lower-end the device, the less happy you'll be. That said,
low price is not the same as low-end. There are several very
good phones for $350 - $450, contract-free, that are as powerful
as you can expect these days. If you are willing to buy a used
phone, you can get something very nice for under $200.


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