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    Is mobile internet all that?


    OK so there's a big buzz these days about mobile devices and being able to access the internet wirelessly from anywhere. Lots of talk about iPhone apps and web services on phones etc.

    But what do you guys make of it personally? I don't have a particularly fancy phone, I like the fact that I can use it as an MP3 player but I really dont see the need to have constant web connectivity. In fact I spend far too much time with computers and on the internet already so I'd rather not bring that with me wherever I go.

    I don't really see how being able to check emails or facebook on the move would be a great improvement to my life. I already have a phone, so if someone needs instant contact with me they know what to do.

    I'm young too, but I really dont see the need for this stuff, I like to experience life outside of the world of technology!! I enjoy being on holiday and not constantly being contactable!

    Am I a (young) dinosaur? Or does anyone else feel the same?
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    Originally Posted by sestech
    But what do you guys make of it personally? I don't have a particularly fancy phone, I like the fact that I can use it as an MP3 player but I really dont see the need to have constant web connectivity. In fact I spend far too much time with computers and on the internet already so I'd rather not bring that with me wherever I go.

    I don't really see how being able to check emails or facebook on the move would be a great improvement to my life. I already have a phone, so if someone needs instant contact with me they know what to do.
    There's more to the internet than facebook and other social networking sites. I use the internet on my phone a lot for looking up phone numbers... Much easier than dialing 411, which costs money, and less time consuming than dialing 800-FREE411.... Just open up google, and type in the name of the business, city, and state... and voila.

    As for checking email, I dont like staring at the computer all day... I'm constantly on the move, so having my emails delivered directly to me definitely helps. Besides, I run a computer company, so having emails come to me as soon as I receive them makes my clients receive quicker response times... which they all enjoy.

    I enjoy being on holiday and not constantly being contactable!
    Turn off your phone if you dont want to be contacted.
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    I don't have a particularly fancy phone ... I spend far too much time with computers and on the internet already so I'd rather not bring that with me wherever I go.
    I felt the same way a year ago and now I'm completely addicted.

    On my way to the train station I can get a schedule on the fly to see if I need to rush to catch my train or if I should casually finish my cigarette instead.

    The maps and directions (including walking and transit directions) are incredible.

    It's great for email too, just not for typing out long replies.

    I don't use facebook anyway.

    I don't do much internet surfing but the apps are cool and if I want some quick info from the Internet I can get it.

    My girlfriend has a Mac laptop but she doesn't have an internet connection at her house so she uses the iPhone pretty much as her primary computer. So there's always that aspect of it too.
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    I primarly use my phone's network capabilites for checking email or checking for business numbers etc. It is not great for casual browsing or reading news articles like you see on the commercials, looking at such a tiny screen, so close to your face for so long will really hurt your eyes after a while. Quick glances at important information is about the tip of it's usefulness.

    Originally Posted by medialint
    My girlfriend has a Mac laptop but she doesn't have an internet connection at her house so she uses the iPhone pretty much as her primary computer. So there's always that aspect of it too.
    I've done this with other smart phones, I'm not sure if the iphone lets you (being that apple purposely cuts you off from a lot of potential), but I have used my phone as a backup modem in the past via a USB cable. It is kind of like having dialup all over again, but if you absolutely need the connection on your computer it can work.
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    In a few years, your primary computer will be kept in your pocket. Or at least the primary computer for 95% of the people. Developers, gamers and a few others may need what is currently considered a computer, but for most folks, computers are email and the web.

    While the Android G1 is a beta product, by Christmas, there will be lots of cool products fighting the iPhone. Competition is critical.

    Its the future, and we developers had better be ready to build software for the computers that the world wants

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    It is not great for casual browsing or reading news articles like you see on the commercials, looking at such a tiny screen, so close to your face for so long will really hurt your eyes after a while.
    Depends on the site really. I'll probably find that baseball prospectus site works well on it if I ever get around to that. But I don't have a problem reading on it (see: The Fountainhead, I've done 3000+ iPhone pages of that book so far) I don't hold it close to my face. I usually hold it about 2-3 feet away from my eyes. I might even say it's in some ways easier than a book because you don't have to deal with the folds of the book and you don't have to find improvisational paperweights to read it with one (or no) hands.
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    I don't think pocket sized computers of any kind will replace actual computers for some time. If the extent of your computer needs is tossing around quick messages to others (ie you're a teenager), then the pocket computer may have already taken over.

    Pocket computers would need a way to project display into the air like R2D2 can do. and also provide privacy if your reading emails etc.

    I'll never prefer a tiny screen over a book, the constant scrolling bothers me too much, wheras in a book or magazine you subconsciously go down to the next line, and you don't have to think about it until you turn the page.
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    Originally Posted by misterdanny
    (ie you're a teenager)
    I'm a 1968 Aquarius but yeah, tossing around quick messages to people is really convenient. I don't want to use something like this for work, but for some it's irreplaceable (see: Obama). You can make plans during the day for what you'll do after work. Whatever. I'm generally not texting nonsense.

    Pocket computers would need a way to project display into the air like R2D2 can do. and also provide privacy if your reading emails etc.
    The screens are fine now and will only improve. Privacy comes by the way you hold your phone.

    I'll never prefer a tiny screen over a book, the constant scrolling bothers me too much, wheras in a book or magazine you subconsciously go down to the next line, and you don't have to think about it until you turn the page.
    I don't scroll. I have it set up as one page then one tap and you're on the next page. You can set the app I use for books up differently, Judy prefers to scroll vs tap but I don't.

    I agree though I do still like paper books. It's not the same. But on the other hand I never would have carried around a book this big everywhere I went so I am actually reading it faster than I would otherwise. Whenever I'm waiting for a take out order or having a smoke or something I read a few pages. I wouldn't want to read off it more than 15 minutes or so, you're right, but I generally can't devote more time than that with paper books either.
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    I agree with those that have said using mobile devices to read for any length of time is not fun. I definately prefer a book. The only advantage of mobile device in that respect is the sheer access you have to so many books and sites etc.

    But its not the same as lugging a book around with you, turning those pages (in the case of library books from my university, maybe the exact pages other great minds have poured over). And I'd feel a bit silly taking a pocket PC or iPhone with me to read on the toilet, I mean everyone is used to the idea can read a book while taking a dump - not sure about computers though!

    I do see the point of using such things for work - I can understand how useful it is in that sense, but even so I'd only ever want to use it for work when it was convenient to me. I reckon the more your clients get used to instant access from you, the more they expect it. Not everyone has consideration for the fact that you may have a life outside computing!
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    Originally Posted by sestech
    I reckon the more your clients get used to instant access from you, the more they expect it. Not everyone has consideration for the fact that you may have a life outside computing!
    Perhaps the best feature of these devices is you can turn them off. Anywhere, any time for any reason :-)
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    Originally Posted by misterdanny
    I've done this with other smart phones, I'm not sure if the iphone lets you (being that apple purposely cuts you off from a lot of potential), but I have used my phone as a backup modem in the past via a USB cable. It is kind of like having dialup all over again, but if you absolutely need the connection on your computer it can work.
    You could do it at one point with an app that was available for the iPhone, but I'm pretty sure Apple actually pulled the app, Netshare, off of iTunes. Apparently you can still use your phone as a tethered modem if you jailbreak it.

    Edit: Found the article I remembered reading...

    http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/?p=4487
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    Originally Posted by fishtoprecords
    In a few years, your primary computer will be kept in your pocket. Or at least the primary computer for 95% of the people. Developers, gamers and a few others may need what is currently considered a computer, but for most folks, computers are email and the web.
    I can definitely see this. I look at my cell phone now and the 400mhz processor in it is over 6 times faster than my first computer! I'd say in 10 years the cell phones should be as powerful as modern computers now.

    Originally Posted by misterdanny
    I don't think pocket sized computers of any kind will replace actual computers for some time. If the extent of your computer needs is tossing around quick messages to others (ie you're a teenager), then the pocket computer may have already taken over.
    Why wouldn't it? At home you'd have some sort of docking station you'd hook it up to with a keyboard, mouse, and a decent size monitor. I doubt anyone would just use the tiny keyboard and screen. Then when you're done you undock it and go with it.
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    The main reason it couldn't happen (at least not for a long time, maybe about the time Martian colonists have their revolutionary war against Earth) is simple. Phones aren't powerful enough. If we were to add better hardware, we would face battery life issues, and the problem of not being able to fit it in our pocket.

    I think it would be cool if small personal devices could replace the PC and Laptop, to have a neat little personal device that contains your wallet, keys, email, projects, etc, etc, but I think the idea is a bit too far from reality, much like flying cars. (Weren't supposed to have those already?)
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    Originally Posted by misterdanny
    The main reason it couldn't happen (at least not for a long time, maybe about the time Martian colonists have their revolutionary war against Earth) is simple. Phones aren't powerful enough. If we were to add better hardware, we would face battery life issues, and the problem of not being able to fit it in our pocket.
    And I said that. It's going to take at least 10 years before they are. Looking at Moore's law they will get exponentially faster. I mean if in 15 years my 400mhz phone is 6 times faster than my 66mhz 486 I had, who's to say in 10 years that a cell phone won't be around 2ghz? This would be plenty fast enough to run pretty much anything a basic user would ever need.
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    There are many constraints that will hold back this design, battery life being one of them, ergonomic issues another (too damn small to be useful), but look at the sales of netbooks, which are basically low powered 7" laptops, there definitely on the rise, and I regret not reviewing a few and getting a good supplier, even if you only made €30/€40 per sale with the speed they're shifting at, wouldn't be long before you had a nice lift.

    The phone being all powerful/all capable - this to me is too many eggs in the one basket, a single point of failure for too many critical functions. Whatever as a secondary source, I for one would not treat a phone as my primary unit - what happens when a call comes in - you get annoyed, even if you had decided not to answer it...

    I think it's a while away yet, but then those bastards in marketing have been quiet for a while ...
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