Emmy-winning TV personality Katie Linendoll is a nerd — and proud of it. An oft-quoted tech expert, Linendoll is known for her frequent appearances on the Today Show, CNN and ESPN. She hosts All-Access Weekly on Spike TV, chronicling the latest in gaming, gadgets and comic book culture, and blogs at her website, KatieLinendoll.com (a.k.a., the Talk Nerdy to Me blog).
Off camera, Katie enjoys travel, shopping and volunteering for Candlelighters NYC, a resource center for children diagnosed with cancer. She’s a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, where she was honored in 2011 as one of the school’s distinguished alumni.
Before we ask about your smartphone, we have to find out more about Google Glass, the wearable Internet device that looks like a pair of eyeglasses. As one of the first beta users of the device, what are your impressions so far?
Take a listen: Katie describes Google Glass as, well, indescribable.
It’s so hard to describe the product. Like everybody who’s been around it is ‘Oh, can I try those on?’ and I’m like actually ‘Do try them on,’ because you only understand it when you put them on your face. Because, obviously, there are no lenses so it isn’t like a pure full-on, heads-up display; you’re looking through that little glass cube.
To me, it’s like looking at a TV far off in the distance. I haven’t found it to be too distracting like some people have said. It’s more like it’s in ‘sleep mode’ and it’s up to you to wake it up by either double-clicking the side or using voice commands and tilting your head.
I think the most phenomenal thing so far are the pictures and video. I shot a segment on Glass for Spike TV and then we brought the footage down to the edit bay — and mind you, we’re used to working in hi-def television — and the quality was very, very good. They’re 5 megapixel stills, but the 720p video was slammin’. And I’ve had a lot of different devices that are 1080p, like sunglasses with a built in camera that was 1080p, and I haven’t seen anything that comes close.
I’m also impressed with the capabilities to take pictures and video really fast. Not just by the voice command, but by the little shutter button on the side. I’ve probably been using that the most.
The developers are all working on apps for Glass right now. It’s too early to know what’s going to come out. So we’re all just waiting right now, but it’s a very interesting product.
You also had to plunk down $1,500 for Glass, right?
I sure did. My security team is around me at all times [laughs]. With taxes, it came close to about $1,700! But it’s an opportunity to be on the forefront of technology. I’ve been in technology my entire life since I was little. So, for me, it’s like part of my business and it’s worth it! It’s exciting to be on the forefront of what’s new and the next great gadget.
Tell us about your smartphone. We’re guessing you have more than one.
I do. I’m on an iPhone 5, which I use for pretty much everything. But I’m embarrassed to say— and yes, I mean embarrassed—that I am still rockin’ a Blackberry. I refuse to go to the new Blackberry. I still have my old Blackberry Bold strictly for email. For what I do, I need to respond quickly and I just have a hard time with a digital keyboard. I’ve had keyboards that I’ve attached onto the iPhone, but for me, nothing works as great as flying a message back with that QWERTY (keyboard) on the Blackberry. Although, I’m not kidding you, I’m looking at my Gmail account now and I have 27 thousand unread emails [laughs].
What apps do you like for iPhone?
Well, I have my own app, which I’m on a lot. It’s called Splatrpult. It’s a game for iOS with two different worlds and 14 different levels. There are a lot of different characters in the game—they’re little paint palettes—and I actually voice one called Purpie. We’re working on the sequel as we speak and I’m very proud of that.
I’m big into fitness so I’ve been rockin’ Armour39 recently. It’s an app-cessory and it attaches to the UnderArmour device for fitness monitoring. This one I love because it shows your workout intensity and it correlates with your heart rate and a number of other metrics. I can look down on my phone and see how hard I’m working. It has actually challenged me to work harder in a gym.
Another one of my ‘go-to’ apps is the coupon app from Retail Me Not, a company I work with. Every time I go shopping online or in the store, I pull that up and see if there’s a coupon. For fun, I mess around with Text Pics. I’m a big Emoji fan and Text Pics gives you pictures in ASCII that you can just copy and paste right into a text message pretty quickly and people are really impressed with. Photolettering is another new app I just downloaded and like a lot. It’s a cool way to send someone an image using just custom fonts. I’m also really into Vine (for posting short, looping videos) these days.
When I travel, I go all over the globe and I’m a regular church goer. No matter where I am I commit to going to church every week. And believe it or not, there is an app for that—it’s called Mass Times. I’ve literally been to hundreds, if not thousands, of churches in my work journey over the years using Mass Times.
Tell us what’s on your screensaver?
Take a listen: Katie’s screensaver is a dino.
I recently was at the Museum of Natural History, so there is a picture of myself and my friend and we are in front a T-Rex. A redic fossiled T-Rex, which I’m proud of.
I’ll tell you, too, that all of my texts are R2 or Darth Vader. So every time they go off, like in a meeting or when I’m in a cab, it’s either like “whirr-beep-bweep” or Darth Vader breathing, which really confuses people. So I’m really proud of that, too.
What’s On Your Phone? is an occasional blog series that asks business leaders, celebrities and plain ol’ folks to tell us about their smartphones and apps.