The Best Mobile Device
Just got my first look at the Android build on the Palm Pre. I’m no expert on the various mobile devices, but I thought I would offer my interpretations, which I’m sure, are slanted a bit by my love of the iPhone. It does appear that the overall potential for Android on quality equipment like the Pre qualifies for more superior mobile devices. However, with those added capabilities comes the difficult balancing act of ease of use. I fall back on my number one requirement for a successful mobile device; it needs to allow for the possibility of single hand operation. That requirement can never be marketed lest you want to open the possibility for a lawsuit. But I still think it helps to define the most important usability requirement. For me that is inconspicuously checking on information while sitting in a public gathering where I am expected to be mentally engaged. For the college student it probably means you are capable of catching up on critical information while walking between classes. But it probably forces a simplicity that attracts the largest consumer market, which in itself is the most important qualifier for success.
I believe Blackberry must deal with this dilema. The power of the BB was the scroll button that allowed single hand operation. When they have strayed from that design they have failed. The iPhone has its faults: non-removable battery, no real multitasking, video inflexibility. But the risk for not providing this does appear to be acceptable. It all comes down to what must the mobile device do for us? A question that is now being influenced by the definition of a “NetBook“.