I thoroughly enjoy my cellphone, a Samsung Blackjack hooked to AT&T’s network. It’s more than a phone. It’s really a little, cumbersome, computer with a too tiny screen.
I use the Internet connection nearly every day. There’s always something I want to look up when I’m away from a ‘real’ PC. That’s especially true at dinner, which I usually have with the rest of our anchor team.
Last night we were looking for the lyrics to a song (the iconic Route 66), but it’s also been used to find the cast of a movie or a direct quote from a story that was on the wires (a now quaint appellation). I even use the Internet connection to pass photos I’ve taken to Flickr, where they’re easily integrated into this blog.
Stef dates a musician. I show his Youtube video to friends on my phone.
You really have to want to use Internet functions on the Blackjack, because there is not one easy or dependable step along the way!
It’s common to press two of the small keys at once, or the wrong one. Sometimes the Internet will stop responding, though the phone says there is Internet availability.
Most web pages are formatted for PC monitors. The much more narrow Blackjack screen forces multi-column pages to become long single column streams, or just extend off the edge of the screen entirely. Navigation is a nightmare, made more difficult because a useful roller controller is on the wrong side for left handed users… like me
While ‘thumbing’ the keyboard, people will often come to me and ask if it’s a Blackberry? Score one for RIM in really working their brand name. These poor, innocent souls look at what I’m doing as if I’ve just dropped in from outer space.
Is there better evidence that this that most of the smart phones are really ‘pocketware,’ too kludgey to use as advertised? If people were really using their Blackberrys to surf the web, what I’m doing wouldn’t stand out.
In fact, that point is supported by quantified real world experience. This revelation is from AppleInsider.
Google’s contention is every smartphone, other than the iPhone, is underused. I agree.
Let’s go back to my opening sentence: “I thoroughly enjoy my cellphone, a Samsung Blackjack hooked to AT&T’s network”. That’s no lie. If I had the purchase to do over again, I’d still make it and the Blackjack would still be my choice (even over its successor, the Blackjack II)
What I’m getting at is, the power of having all this information available everywhere is so powerful, it trumps a lackluster platform and all the hurdles one must jump.
The iPhone is certainly a step ahead (as born out by the usage data), but it’s still not the answer. It is throttled by its dependence on AT&T’s older, slower data network and it’s lack of a real keyboard with tactile feedback.
We are still at least one breakthrough away from the real breakout in portable computing. When that time comes, usage will be unleashed in a torrent.