Missionary Smart Phone/PDA Ideas

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
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Postby mkmurray » Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:02 pm

Ya know, I think I'm a little guilty of this too, but I guess we should stay away from policy and stick to technology. This "cell phone/PDA" discussion I imagine has gone on at Church Headquarters a number of times already. The ultimate decision will always be based on revelation and not weighing advantages/disadvantages or by popular vote.

I'm not saying anyone's comments here are out of line or distasteful. Just that this thread is beginning to go in a wrong direction, in my opinion.


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Postby JamesAnderson » Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:22 pm

There's another hurdle to consider as well, and that is that no one wireless provider is in all areas right now, and there are different features on different handsets, or other equipment, and some of those features won't work on many other providers, maybe only the one for the provider that sold the device. Some features you can find on wireless handsets in Europe that are far more advanced than we have here are in fact in cases disabled by the wireless providers on the exact same equipment available in this country.

It's not like a landline phone, where everything pretty much works with everything, and we take that universal functionality for granted. Discovered all this earlier today doing something else online, and what I found may affect things in ways that could make at least some of the things proposed in the original post universally available no matter whose handsets or what wireless provider you used maybe.

Then and not until these interoperability matters are resolved will we see things develop to the point where these things are not only possible, but universally available to all.

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Postby WelchTC » Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:52 am

I think that we are all speculating with our debates. What is cool is to offer up the suggestions and talk about the challenges. At the end of the day, those in charge of the mission program will make the decisions. ALso, we should not pigeon hole ourselves into thinking that one solution fits all missionaries. With different regions of the world, different needs, and so forth, we may find unique high tech solutions for certain areas.


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Postby jeffphil-p40 » Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:12 am

tomw wrote:ALso, we should not pigeon hole ourselves into thinking that one solution fits all missionaries. With different regions of the world, different needs, and so forth, we may find unique high tech solutions for certain areas.

Certainly true, even on a local level. In our neighboring ward the majority of missionary work is concentrated within a single city and the missionaries get by okay with a land line in their apartment. But then again, they can get back to their apartment quite easily to check messages and make calls at lunch, etc. Out here in our branch adjacent to theirs, the investigators are scattered all across the county and beyond. The level of need for even a basic cell phone verses a land line can be dramatically different even in neighboring units.

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Postby bhofmann-p40 » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:23 am

tomw wrote:What is cool is to offer up the suggestions and talk about the challenges.

I agree that this has been an interesting discussion, regardless of what the mission department decides to do.

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Postby BlackRG » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:44 pm

A lot of these ideas seem really good and valid, particularly ones involving mapping resources so the missionaries have a better idea of where they "may" be able to be more effective (given that travel is such an issue for them, being able to easily identify that several needs are in close proximity and take care of them at the same time can be quite valuable).

I do think it's important to keep in mind that missionaries are entitled to revelation to direct their efforts though.

Possible abuses of the technology aren't really important or relevant because, well, simply put, where there's a will - there's a way. Those who want to will find a way, those who don't want to were never a concern anyway.

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Postby ejcosta » Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:39 pm

The WindowsCE platform for smarphones or pocket PCs is a such a flexible platform and so modular, that the church could very easily choose to create a build with only the modules it needs, leaving out applications such as media players, etc, and keeping only the modules needed to support a core set of applications and functionality, needed to implement the features a missionary would need.

The level of funcionality needed to support something like this in a pocket pc phone would be very common. GPS is available everywhere. GSM is available everywhere, and since these phones are basically, tri or quad band, making them effectively a world phone, this would not be an issue. GPRS/EDGE is also available almost everywhere, so, data communications would also not be a problem.

HTC is the maker of smartphones/pocket PC phones such as the T-Mobile MDA, aka as QTek 9100 in Europe or Wizard in other countries. This is basically a very open pocket pc platform with phone support and used by almost all providers in Europe, US, ASIAPAC, etc. I'm pretty sure that if the church ever decided to move forward with something like this, it could negotiate pretty good prices for these devices, as well as good rates with the telecom providers.

I'm an avid Pocket PC Phone user and I can see how this platform would be such an awesome tool on my mission long ago. I would love to be involved in a project for the church leverage these technologies to help the work of the Lord in the missionary field and in other areas of the church. I have developed before for mobile devices. I would love to use my experience in the area for the church. It's a whole new world that the church could leverage.


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Re: Missionary Smart Phone/PDA Ideas

Postby cnykreim » Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:06 pm

Stumbled accross this old conversation! Funny now so many missionaries are using tablets and I am pretty sure most have cell phones! So much has changed in 10 years!

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