The very first cellphone I ever had was presented to me as a 16th birthday present, in a massive package the size of a cereal box, from parents who gave me that whole “well, you’re driving now, so in case there’s an emergency…” spiel. I was just overjoyed to finally get one.

The cellphone was an old Samsung model – for the life of me, I can’t remember exactly what it was, but I know it looked a lot like this (, a flip-phone designed in drab battleship gray like that vessel from Under Siege ( It had a flimsy plastic antenna that eventually got bent back into an inefficient “l” shape, and flimsy keys that eventually had to be mashed down like a carnival game. As for features … well, there was room in its contacts database for all of 150 names, a “web browser” that took about three hours to warm up (on its best days), and a Tetris-like knockoff brick-moving game that became tedious after all of five minutes.

As it is with a lot of technologies, it’s fun to think about that ancient behemoth of a cellphone when I look at my current one. I upgraded to an Android smartphone about a year ago, after my reliable old BlackBerry finally crapped out. It’s synced itself with my Facebook and Twitter network, giving me an Orwellian level of details for all 500 of my contacts. It hums along on the 3G network, delivering all the web pages I would ever want to read to me at ludicrously fast speeds, allowing me to read Deadspin and Gawker when I can escape from the office for lunch. Instead of Tetris knockoffs, I can whittle away my idle time smashing a whole bunch of evil pigs with angry birds or go back in time by playing Sonic the Hedgehog.

However, my favorite feature on my Android (by far) is the ElephantDrive application. It’s really the biggest marker of how far cellphone technology has come – from my completely basic, no-frills cellphone model has sprung this modern smartphone, bolstered into an amazing device with the ElephantDrive application. I can upload all the music and video files from my hard drive at home to the cloud and play them straight on my phone – incredibly beneficial while I’m stuck on one of the Boston subway’s epic failures. I put work documents in the cloud, and review and edit them when I’m traveling somewhere. I can even put all the pictures from my current city adventures (minus the embarrassing / incriminating ones) up on the cloud to show my parents when I’m down for a visit. It’s a wondrous tool.

So, if you’ve got an Android, be sure to download the application (it’s simple … just search for ElephantDrive on the Market application) and start to upload your files; you won’t regret it. And if you have a cellphone that looks like this ( … well, it might be time to upgrade.

Categories: General