The Changing Definition of “Mobile”

UMPC2.jpgMore and more it becomes clear that the definition of “mobile” in our market is changing. From wi-fi connectivity on the Nintendo DS to more obvious candidates like the iPhone, mobile computing is evolving before our very eyes.

My mobile future? Personally I use my UMPC for everything, have a Windows Mobile Smartphone, and a dedicated MP3 player right now. I also wear two USB drives (one of which is a U3 device) around my neck almost all the time…it’s a little like I’ve got some sort of technological talismans protecting me from the demons of the disconnected world! :)  My laptop meanwhile sits gathering dust in the corner and my poor Toshiba E800, with all it’s high-res glory, spends more time running Dockware than anything else.

So where is the mobile revolution taking you? What devices are finding their way into your backpack, pocket, and purse as we move into the future?

 PS: Sorry for the long pause between posts!! As the folks in our beta team know we have some new stuff coming down the pipe and as Product Manager it’s eating up a fair bit of my time! Hopefully I can start writing more regularly again!

4 thoughts on “The Changing Definition of “Mobile”

  1. Kevin White

    One thing I’ve noticed (besides being immensely busy due to eWallet and NewsBreak updates :) ) is that I’m not the intended user of a ‘smart phone’.

    I really, really like having my phone and PDA in the same unit. It forces me to have both of them with me when I go places, since I refuse to get in a car without a cell phone. Since my PDA is part of my phone, then it goes along for the ride. Then, I end up having an excuse to actually use my PDA. Some people don’t like having their phone be part of their PDA, but considering that my new Pocket PC phone is a better phone than my ‘just a phone’ was….

    A lot of the really fancy stuff like Push Email, always-on high-speed internet, etc. don’t really help me do anything because I don’t go anywhere. I drive a couple miles to work in my car, go grocery shopping, hang out with friends, work, or am at home. Windows Mobile devices seem to be aimed at business people who need email RIGHT NOW, or need to do some sort of last-minute critically-important thing related to their job.

    Watching television on my phone is kind of pointless when I’m never ‘somewhere else’ that has no computer or television.. and I don’t like TV anyway.. :) I have an iPod for listening to my music, and I wouldn’t mind it being part of my phone, but I already have an iPod and a car stereo hookup for it…

    Mobile internet’s kind of an exception; when I end up waiting for an hour and a half at the vet for a cat checkup, being able to browse news in NewsBreak, surf the web, or IM my friends is very welcome. Being able to get driving directions to restaurants or traffic-enabled maps on my phone is also a huge plus. The simple fact that it’s there and I don’t have to pay ‘by the byte’ also encourages me to use it for random things.

    Having a laptop at home now has the added benefit of giving me a place to write where I can force myself to focus by not installing IM software (doh), and also gives me an excuse to sit somewhere else in my apartment. ( I’m one of those internet junkies. )

  2. Frank McPherson

    I wish the prices of the UMPCs would come down. It’s hard to justify buying a UMPC at >$1K when you can buy a Tablet PC or notebook for that or less. But I like the idea of a UMPC.

    I just picked up a Nokia N800. It’s a nice device, but the UI isn’t the best for mobile devices. If I could get it to play nicely with my T-Mobile Dash I would be happier.

    Oh, and I use a USB thumb drive to store and run some VMWare Player apps like MediaWiki.

  3. spmwinkel

    I’ve got my iPod for music, my laptop for every-day use, and my PPC Phone Edition for when I’m on the road and for home too, just to play. I really don’t need my PPC, I could live with a regular mobile phone and a paper calender. But I just don’t want to. ;)

    BTW – Don’t worry about the posts, the blog is a really good and fun idea, but the software has priority. ;)

  4. Simon

    I agree with Kevin – I have my phone and my PDA. My PDA is an HPC by the way – which of couse you remember? And two of my most used programs are eWallet and Listpro, so big thanks for ever, Ilium people! (I’ve been using ListPro for /years!/) I’d love to have a “modern device”, but when can we get a 6+ hour battery life, a proper keyboard, (and two spare batteries and a wifi card in my pocket?) When some serious devices come down the line – I swear I’ll buy at least one, but I haven’t seen anything where I can’t pull a better one out of my credenza at home :(

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