I really do love my phone. It is the all-in-one, do everything, personal assistant, digital communicator that I marvel at with the same sense of wonder that I did when I purchased my PalmOne Treo 600 so many years ago.
But, my how things have changed. Where the Treo was a combination of a personal organizer with a cellular phone, today’s cellular phone has become host to a multitude of other functions to include GPS routing, wifi hotspot, internet access whenever and wherever you want it, music player, camera, email master, clock, compass, calendar, productivity suite, home appliance controller, video conferencing camera, creative tool, journal, and tons more that I don’t have time to type. There’s an app for just about anything and these powerful devices are super convenient and, if you aren’t careful, super consuming.
Designs have morphed from flip style phones to candy bar shapes to thin slabs of glass and metal with almost no physical buttons whatsoever. You interact with the device via voice and/or touch and technology is moving toward devices that anticipate what you want to do before you know what you want to do based on your habits, timing or location. It’s amazing and scary all at once.
This is an amazing time for mobile technology. Carrier plans are still way too expensive but devices and service are becoming increasingly more cost effective given the competition for consumer dollars where consumers are willing to make changes despite high contract cancellation fees. Devices are offered so frequently that supply and demand dynamics require better prices to lure users away from older devices that are more than sufficient for most people to the latest and greatest devices with all the new bells and whistles.
As for me, if the tech Titans keep the innovations coming, mind my privacy concerns, and ensure that cutting edge design is balanced with robust build quality, I’ll struggle with not exploiting great new stuff that doesn’t drive me into bankruptcy.