Mobile Phone as my Primary Computer

in nomad •  5 months ago


I've recently managed to transition to using my smartphone as my primary computer. I haven't touched my laptop in over a month because I've figured out how to do everything I need on my Android phone, including video editing and managing web servers.

As a nomad, I'm always looking for ways to reduce the amount of things I take with me, and also to minimize the bulk and weight of any items I do travel with. Transitioning to 100% smartphone for my computing needs takes me a big step towards my goal of being able to live completely out of a backpack on foot.

So let's talk about the components of my setup.

pixel2xl

First of course is the smartphone itself. I use the Pixel 2 XL. It's a higher end Android device which is necessary for the amount of video and photo editing I do. It's also got a 4k camera which is well beyond my current needs.

icleverkeyboard

The next component is the keyboard. I use the iClever Bluetooth Keyboard because it folds up super compact and is rechargeable via USB. This is really what makes this setup viable, because relying on the onscreen virtual keyboard for everything is too aggregating to be worth it. Being able to type like normal feels way more natural and frees up screen space usually taken up by the virtual keys.

logitechmouse

I also use a Logitech Bluetooth Mouse. It's not really critical for this setup, but it does prevent me from needing to lift my arm up to the reach the screen anytime I want to navigate somewhere, and it is way more precise when it comes to things like photo editing.

phoneholder

The phone, keyboard and mouse are really all I need to make this work, but it's also nice to have some sort of mount for the phone so it's placed directly in front of my face. I use a clip on mount with an adjustable neck, which allows me to turn my yurt, truck or even the shade of a tree in my office. It also has a USB powered light to illuminate my face during video calls.

defenderpad

Another nice thing to have is a flat surface to place the keyboard and mouse on. It's possible to get by with just putting them on my lap, but I use a DefenderPad I have lying around to make things more comfortable. An added bonus is that the pad is designed to block magnetic fields created by laptops to protect reproductive organs.

concealshield

I'm able to fit the phone, keyboard and mouse inside of my ConcealShield Pouch which I can carry strapped over my neck and shoulder. The pouch is made out of a material which blocks microwave radiation which protects my body from harmful Electromagnetic Frequencies.

If there is interest, I'd happily give a rundown of the apps I'm using on my phone to do everything that I need. There are actually a lot of options out there for things like Video & Photo Editing, so feel free to get in touch if you'd like advice from someone who's tried a lot of them and settled on a few.

@cahlen


Website: http://cahlen.io
Contact: mail@cahlen.io


Some links are affiliate and help to fund my lifestyle.


▶️ DTube
▶️ IPFS

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I'd like to be able to do something similar. It's nice as you don't need a power inverter, can use a much cheaper dc/dc converter to get the 5V USB voltage. I need a bigger screen though to effectively work on software. Too bad the Ubuntu phone never worked out. That would have been nice.

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Ya, I was disappointed that the Ubuntu phone fell through. I plan to covert to the CopperheadOS rom eventually so there's no proprietary Google software on the device.

Power is definitely a big win. I have a little foldable solar panel that fits in my backpack which can keep everything charged.

I bought a USB-C monitor a while ago because I thought my phone could display through it. Sadly they decided not to support that for some reason so I had to return it... maybe someday?

I've been writing HTML, CSS and Javascript on the phone with no issues, though I suppose it's probably more difficult with serious software. Might be hard to find good compilers too.

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Hmm, didn't even know there were USB-C monitors. I could always use the phone as a thin client and remote into a development linux box with all the tools on it.

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That's why I initially decided to rent a dedicated server, but I ended up using it as an IPFS gateway instead to pin content like DTube videos.

This is fantastic. I would love to ditch the computers and be able to do everything on my phone. I still have some minimizing with business to be able to complete my tasks completely on my phone.

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What kind of work do you need to do on a computer that you can't currently do on your phone?

I'm doing the same. I like that I can walk around the city using different apps. If I see something interesting snap a photo.

I've been walking around using my phone for over 5 hours sometimes. Been doing it for years, when I'm in a walkable city that is. Use to be audiobooks. Just walk around listening to interesting topics for hours. Stop in best spots for a snack and joint.

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Ya, smartphones really do have the potential to add a lot to our lives. I do worry about the invasion of privacy they currently bring with them, and the potential for addiction, but I suspect we can get through all that.

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Agree, had a point a year or two ago where I really cut back.

I think notification management is a good thing if you're disciplined. For example not getting push notifications for Messanger and just checking manually every once in a while.

Lately I'm not doing that, I just love using my phone lately and with Steem and trading on Binance app I can actually have my phone as a mobile work station. (at least for most things non-programming)

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Notification management has been key for me, it's so distracting.

I actually just signed up on Binance a few minutes ago. Seems much easier to get an account than other places. First impression is that the UI is slick. We'll see how it goes when I actually start making trades. Another good topic for a Speak Freely TV episode.

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That could be interesting. If we need to be in a common room on Discord you should join the one for https://dngo.io

https://discord.gg/z5FAHH

They want to make a platform where people get rewarded for recording public domain audio-books.

@kirkins#2351

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I joined the group but still can't find you.

Cool project idea though! Have you recorded a book?

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No I always wanted to do it for Librivox, so this will definitely add to my motivation. Not sure what book I would do yet.

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Is there a list somewhere of books people want?

It's crazy that we can do all of that on a phone. I definately could, no problem, but it's the keyboard that is the problem for me - typing on the phone is a pain, isn't it - and when you CAN touch type, one finger typing is a chore!! I'll have to get one of those. Great set up @cahlen!

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Touch typing is a slow and frustrating process for sure. I hope you enjoy the setup of you decide to try it out!

This is amazing! I have been doing this for the better part of a year now. I didn't start it because it was minimalist, though. I did it out of poverty because the laptop that was gifted to me was to old to download the latest version of Windows. So I converted to only smart phone and have been super happy since. The thing that amazes me is that this little box thing that fits in our pockets has more computing power than the vehicle that took the first humans to the moon and back!

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Nice to hear there are others making this work! It is amazing (and a little scary) how powerful artificial linear intelligence has become and a bit scary to imagine what it might be in the future. I hope it remains our tool rather than it using us as its tools.

Thanks so much for this post, love it! I've been transitioning over to fully mobile myself. Was looking for a keyboard and the iClever looks awesome.

You mentioned using dual monitors before going mobile.
Would you know of an app that can do that with two phones?
I use two handsets so I thought something like that might come in handy.

Thanks!

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I can't find an app that converts two phones to dual monitors, but there is a foldable smartphone with two screens:

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Yes! Haha I saw the review on this beast a while back, was tempting.

nice good to see your setup! i'm impressed :)

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Thanks!