Some things are better seen in long perspective. And nothing hits you with perspective harder than reading about stuff… and remembering reading exactly same stuff decade ago.
Pocket computing made most promises and delivered least. Just how much longer until we give up believing that crap?
Every single science fiction thing on TV since… since TV, has some sort of cool computer gimmick that fits in the pocket and does everything. Driving the space ship, saving the planet (universe), that kind of stuff.
Every appearance of the device will be aptly followed (or interrupted, depending on how harsh are local advertisement regulations) with ad of latest mobile phone. No, smartphone! No, mobile computer!
Come on, seriously?
Imagine your favorite sci-fi hero using his cool gadget to:
- type some thousands words;
- read a book;
- write and debug fifty lines program;
- check some prices in 20k rows spreadsheet;
- spend eight hours in front of it.
It’s not saving the universe, it’s our daily boring computing. Anything that could possibly fit in the pocket sucks at that. Really hard.
I am sucker for good screens in mobile devices. My oldish Nokia E60 has one of the most amazing high DPI 352x416 screens, even comparing to much newer phones. So when I voice-dial… Wait. So when someone calls and phone voice-synthesizes and tells who it is… Wait.
Sorry, I have no idea what for I need high resolution screen for.
Most of the usage that screen gets in recent months is play and skip buttons in media player. Wish it just had hardware buttons for that.
Every year we get sold screens larger, brighter and with more pixels. That will eat batteries even faster. Last decent innovation in how many years is OLED screens which allowed thinner (more posh) devices and were barely able to balance out energy hungry hardware.
Few times a year I read about promising battery technology that will allow amazing things and is just around the corner. In ten years that is 30-40 technologies. It is getting ridiculously crowded behind that corner.
Energy balance in pocket devices is going bankrupt.
There is obviously no way to indefinitely swap for larger screens and faster processors and feed it with same amount of energy. They still do it, slap battery test figures (that were probably done in outer space or something) on package and convince you that this mobile computer supposedly has computing power you need.
Just don’t lose sight of charger and be aware of surrounding power jacks at all times.
This part is just glorious. Do you realize that there are zero methods that allow to input reasonable amount of text in pocket device? That there are zero such methods expected in following years?
Computers experience had always had strong interaction component. Interaction is impossible without valid means of data input. Putting computing label on devices that are most capable at one-way data spewing is seriously wrong.
Gadget enthusiasts are obsessed (again – for years) with finding that right ratio of screen DPI and snappy hardware that will make full web experience fit in their pockets.
Web developers and usability experts are obsessed with hacking away most of features and content to offer downsized mobile version of sites that will be tiny bit useful in pocket device.
Mobile web will be probably big thing (Google thinks so).
Regular web in pocket devices is not happening. Let’s make peace with that and move on to pitiful mobile versions, that will do until getting to real computer and real web.
~$800 is what seems to be usual rate for new device on recent hardware platform. Some people are under $200 illusion, well let them pay remaining $600 (and more) in contract costs, their choice.
I don’t know if that is expensive or not for you personally. I know that this is price of good notebook. What you can put in your pocket for this price will be many things, but will not ever offer same computing experience as notebook. In short – it will not be a computer, no matter how hard advertisements will scream that.
I am hardly gadget fanatic, but between smartphone, Internet tablet and ebook reader I ended up above average.
Know what these devices made me want for my computing needs? Lighter notebook. :)