May 29, 2007

Can the iPhone break that annoying mobile computing barrier?

It’s late in May (2007), it appears that everyone is holding their breath for the upcoming Apple iPhone. I swear that there is a new article posted every hour on the web talking about the iPhone and its features. I told myself that I am not going to jump on this bandwagon just because everyone else is. So I want to spend a little time sharing my thoughts on a topic that has upset me since the beginning of Smartphones – the annoying barrier that keeps smartphones smart!

Smartphones have come a long way. They are now being shipped with faster mobile processors, colorful LCDs with beautiful GUIs and various multimedia options (ie. Camera/Camcorder/Music/Video Players). However, all of these fancy bells and whistles are nothing but a marketing charade. There are a number of non-smartphones that can satisfy all of the features above. My personal gripe has been that no smartphones on the market today will allow me to travel independent of a laptop. Ironically, smartphones are getting bulkier and heavier, but it cannot substitute for a laptop where I have the screen real estate of 1200+ pixels and enough processing power to open 3MB+ PDF files or Excel spreadsheets topped with Macros. Beyond checking your emails, looking up stock tickers and making basic day-to-day activities (banking, checking the weather, etc.), smartphones haven’t been able to offer much.

To me, the challenge has been that designers and engineers of smartphones haven’t been able to think outside the box in terms of its device operation. They have simply taken the concept of a tablet PC and reduce its screen size, power consumption, battery, and processor. This is a bit counter-productive simply because in the real world (PCs), we have headed the other direction where we have the biggest resolution, highest memory, largest harddrive and fastest processing power than ever before! So how can we possibly do away with today’s smart devices that represent everything opposite?

In comes the iPhone. A device that has the potential to give us a break-thru in the smartphone world. While it offers a touch screen that is nothing new, its operation looks to be non-conventional. Such as sliding your finger across the screen offers a quick navigation across the reading plane gives me some hope. If this device should perform larger than its physical limitation, we may be able to reach a whole new mobile experience. I know I have given a negative review purely on iPhone’s hardware spec in the past, but I am now holding my final verdict as I will wait until I exam whether iPhones have the capacity to break that annoying barrier of mobile computing. I, too, am holding my breath.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The IT people in my organization have made my laptop essentially useless with their restrictive policies so I would gladly dump it for a powerful PDA if I could. GC