Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Going mobile

I don't claim to know a lot about the cellular market but I do get riled up over how phones have been progressing. I've mentioned this to friends and colleagues alike: when I look at cellular devices, I view it --first and foremost-- as a "notification tool". Not a platform to compete with portable gaming devices. Not a device to let me surf web pages. Not a device that recites GPS navigational charts to me. I think of it as a device intended for me to designate what information is important to me and when I should be notified about it.

When I'm sleeping, I want the phone not to ring with the exception if my girlfriend is calling. When I'm in transit, I want it to vibrate. When I'm at work, I don't need it notify me about work emails because I'm already in front of a computer. When I'm in a meeting, I want this phone completely silent with no vibration; just blink a light if an email comes from a specific person. The phone I need must have multiple levels of notification preferences based on location, time, event, recipient, content, priority and personal preference.

There aren't many devices that can do this, let alone do this natively and out-of-the-box. I've been told on countless ocassions that the iPhone is a "better" device and I vehemently do not agree. If someone were to make that argument, they're probably approaching the device more as a multimedia, entertainment or mobile internet device than a notification tool. It's important to recognize that a telephony-capable MID isn't the same as a device built for alertion; but seeing that this line is slowly blurring, is it necessarily wrong to compare the two?

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