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“.

About ghsmith76

Greg Smith is currently the Interim CIO at Western Washington University. Prior to WWU Greg was the CIO at Missouri S&T, and before that the CIO for George Fox University in Newberg, OR. Greg went to the Northwest from the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology in Indianapolis, IN. where he served as the Director of IT for 8 years. Prior to the IT career in Academia, Greg was a Systems Consultant with Hewlett-Packard primarily with the Analytical Group working out of San Francisco,Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Greg's passion as a CIO in Higher Education comes from his belief that Technology can benefit Teaching & Learning.

Posted on January 28, 2009, in Mobile Computing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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