I was reading a news letter from IBM and the editor in his opening bit closed with something like “Steve Jobs you make a cute phone.” I thought to myself, yes, yes they do. The iPhone is cute. It does what it is designed to do and does it OK, but it has that Apple minimalist style and does the iPod thing so is great for a lot of people.
But the statement got me thinking about smart phones and what I want in a smart phone and why apple’s products do not have what I want in a smart phone. The last phone I had was billed as the ‘genius phone.’ It had everything you want in a smart phone but then more of what I want in a smart phone, that being computing to go. Yes the iPhone can compute. And you can add apps from the apple store but to make our own apps for it you have to sign your life away to apple and it’s not compatible with the programs or programming environments used for desktop computing.
I can’t use java on it or gnu c++ or even MS visual studio. OR my current way of making applications for my current ‘genius phone’ write the applications and compile them on the phone itself. I have a full keyboard on my current phone, a bit small but it doesn’t use up display space. OR I can use my external wireless keyboard with it. I can add sd memory to it as well and it has a half gig of memory plus the rom. I have python and Csharp on the phone.
And now other phone makers are doing what Apple has done with the smart phone, what has made it more popular than older smart phones, dumbed it down to give it more mass appeal. Yes dumbed it down. Like one Microsoft exec said, the older Pocket PCs and Windows Mobile are to ‘computery’ for most people. Yes people want to do things they do with their home computers but they want it simple. So the smart phones have web browsers and music, contacts, texting and facebook, and small games and apps but all computer attributes are hidden and made very hard to get at.
The problem is there are those of us who have been loyal smart phone users for years and we are being thrown out with the older interfaces. I hope that by the time I am to upgrade my phone that there is still an alternative out there for me that still has that computery feel and ability for me to take it and use it as my next genius phone.
So what phone do you use? Do you like the new interfaces for phones or do you wan the start menu back?