More and more lately I’ve been looking at the smartphone and seeing new and fantastical capabilities with it, though I may not be into the same things as most. For example; I’m not sure I want an e-reader. I still like going to the bookstore, I still have a hard time reading novels, and I’m not sure I want another gadget that gives me the ability to buy a dozen $5.00 novels that I probably won’t read while I’m out at work. Don’t get me wrong, I buy plenty of RPG PDF’s, but some of them I don’t read either and any RPG I run, enevitably is purchased in the ol’fashioned Dead-Tree form for ease of reference and sharability at the game table. Often enough I have both the PDF and the DT format on-hand while running for the benefit of having multiple copies available. Thus I don’t think the ipad or another tablet is for me. I have an awesome Macbook Pro for portable media viewing and composition.
However a larger smartphone exclusively as a computer-device, that has some appeal. I have a Motorola Backflip right now which is an android smartphone with a flip-out keyboard and small touchscreen. The size is appealing and it works as an air card to connect my laptop to the internet. Text messaging is easy with it, and I can write short e-mails and check facebook. Now that I’ve got a bit of bandwidth for my data, I’m also willing to use it to check youtube.
The downside to the backflip is that while it has most of the bells and whistles the higher end smartphones have (the iphone), those bells and whistles make weak-airy noises in comparison to the big boys. Camera is hardly worth using, battery is miniscule, processing speed can’t handle the multitasking I’d want in a pocket computer either.
The thing is, I like it as a phone. As a communication device to answer calls, check e-mails, do text messaging, and facebook it’s quite adequate and the form factor is almost ideal. I like that it’s small for those things.
However, I keep my ipod touch seperate from my phone and I kind-of like it that way. However the touch being elderly and decrepit doesn’t have a camera, or a microphone or a data connection. I want all of these things in my next pocket computer. I want to be able to transfer data over bluetooth, scan objects with a camera, check the internet for information and record my voice with reasonable clarity without the battery commiting seppuku in a firey inferno after 10 minutes.
I perhaps am over-ambitious at this point, but I think that this mystical item may be appearing soon.
Also I think I’d be more interested in the ipad if the form factor wasn’t that of a flat board. I get that it’s a tablet, but in a lot of ways I’d rather have the old-style tablets with the rotating screens and the actual keyboards. Sure they’re not as pretty and sleek, and the ergonomics aren’t ideal either, but I think there is something to be said about an item that can be adjusted to fit a variety of uses.