The G1 came out. Hooray! The iPhone is the best selling phone in the US. Hooray! And, the Blackberry Storm is on its way! Hooray!
So, why do I feel like there is just nothing new in mobile? We have the rise of exciting new hardware and software environments. We are seeing the lowest common denominator in mobile capability rise exponentially. The average feature phone today is really pretty powerful. So, with all of this capability and computational power, why aren’t we seeing a radical shift in our daily lives? Why, for instance, am I writing this blog on my laptop instead of my iPhone? Come to think of it, why do I even have a laptop?
The issue, more than anything, comes down to three essential items:
- Ergonomics: My eyes are 41, and my iPhone screen just isn’t big enough to show me all that I need to see in a document or spreadsheet. The zoom is great, but it isn’t sufficient for serious working. The keyboard is the same. My typing speed on a PC is pretty poor, but on a smartphone, it is really insufficient.
- Network Speed: My EDGE-based iPhone just isn’t fast enough for real browsing. (It isn’t fast enough on WiFi either. My Blackberry (I have an old one…) and feature phones (an LG and a RAZR) are horribly slow.
- Storage: I prefer to keep things in the cloud. It just makes sense to me to have someone else worry about the hardware upkeep. On my laptop, there is ample speed to keep all of my docs in Google Docs, all of my e-mail & calendar in GMail, my Photos on Mobile Me and Flickr and my ToDos at Remember the Milk. But in a situation where access to the cloud is too slow (see #2) it means that I need to keep stuff local. My iPhone at 16G is good, but when we get to 64 or 128 it will be a lot better. The BB and phones? Forget it. There isn’t enough room to keep a decent photo, never mind mail, calendar, photos, music, etc.
So those are the reasons why I feel kind of stuck and fundamentally unexcited about new hardware that is iterative and incremental. For mobile to really, truly become the informational, social, and entertainment platform it can be, we need a breakthrough in shape, speed and size. I think that a jump in speed would be great, so maybe WiMax or LTE is the breakthrough that will change it all?
But today, I am feeling like my phones (all 6 of them) aren’t an adequate solution to my desire (need?) to be mobile, productive and informed.
I need passion and excitement, I need to hear about all of the exciting things you see in mobile today that get you jazzed. Maybe I am just missing it?