Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™

Life and Death with the Nexus 6 (video)

Over the years, my primary smartphone and tablet have always been members of the Nexus family. I’ve had ample opportunity to try other Android-powered devices, but I always keep coming back to Nexus.

The last few weeks have been especially hard on my family. My wife’s father, Ed, fell. He hit his head and broke his hip. After a troubled night in the Trauma Unit he stabilized enough to have his hip replaced, and the neurosurgeon wasn’t particularly concerned with the bump to his head. For me this meant late nights away from home (which is when and where I do the bulk of my writing for Pocketnow), and time away from my day job helping my wife. Family comes first in my life.

Although I was in the right place doing the right things, work began to pile up. Work related issues and emergencies had to be dealt with. Luckily I had my Nexus by my side with its strong, fast data signal, and a reliable signal to ensure calls got through so I could work remotely when need be. More importantly, I had an ample charge. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the Nexus 6 Rapid Charger!

That’s when a terrible call came through

We were all excited to hear that Ed was being transported to a rehabilitation center much closer to home. He was stable. He was eating. He’d even taken a few steps on his new hip. That’s when the call came.

“Bring the kids. Quickly!”

While being taken to the ambulance that was to transport him to the new facility, Ed had a heart attack. We arrived too late. Ed had passed away.

After taking some time to mourn his passing with my wife, children, and mother-in-law, I stepped out into the hallway and began making phone calls, sending texts, and communicating with family and friends.

The hospital had great WiFi, T-Mobile’s cell signal was strong, and despite being the end of the day, I still had plenty of battery life. At the time I took the technology for granted. Perhaps that’s the best measure, when the technology is so reliable and capable that you don’t have to even think about it – it just works.

The following weeks

Ed's funeral

My wife is an only child, leaving me as the “man of the family”. With my Nexus 6 by my side we planned the funeral, arranged flights, and I even updated Ed’s obituary from anywhere.

All the while I had obligations to attend to at work. Despite being on bereavement leave, the bulk of the quarter’s projects were being finished by the rest of the team and had to be deployed before the holiday code-freeze when into place. I found myself using Microsoft’s remote desktop app to connect to my computer at work and our web server in Texas from my Nexus 6.

Once the funeral was behind us, we had to move my mother-in-law into an assisted living apartment, contact insurance companies, the Social Security and Veterans’ Administrations, disconnect Internet, phone, and television at her house, and… well, the list goes on. That’s a lot to remember, and a lot of moving parts happening all at once. Thankfully, with Evernote and my Nexus 9, I’ve been able to keeps notes about what we’ve done and decisions that have been made, keep to-do-lists of everything that we still need to get done, and even record audio of important meetings.

The future

Ed's viewing

As anyone who has lost a loved one will tell you, the healing will take time. It won’t happen overnight. It’s not supposed to.

In the meantime, and in retrospect, technology got me through, and not just any tech. Thanks to the unified look and feel of both the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9, I was able to hand-off my devices to anyone to make phone calls, research topics on the Internet, add notes to to-do list, and no one had problems with different graphical user interfaces. I was able to use the app pinning feature, new to Android Lollipop, to lend my phone or tablet to someone and not be worried about them “exploring” my phone or interrupting the RDP session connecting me to my work computer.

When preparing this article, I started out wanting to highlight exactly how the features of Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 got me through a very difficult few weeks, but the bigger take-home message, I believe, is that the tech just worked. It worked for me when I needed it. It worked for friends and family who have never used a Nexus. The Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 were reliable, powerful, and got the job done better than any smartphone or tablet I’ve used in recent months. If they can soldier through something like this, imagine what they can do during a “regular” day.

Salt Lake City LDS Temple


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