Could you do almost everything with your smartphone?
I am trying to do almost all my work with my phone. I really am. I haven’t succeeded yet, but I am slowly getting there. A short time ago I decided that my desknote was not worth taking everywhere… therefore I either needed a Netbook or a larger keyboard for my Windows Phone. I decided for the latter and in the process I ended up finding what I consider to be a much better solution. You can see my conclusions on that decision in my article about the RedFly [here]. After that, I would have to find whatever tools I needed in order to achieve my goals. For every tool I use in my PC, I would have to find a replacement tool for my phone.
This article ended up being too long so I decided to split it into 5 parts. I will be releasing the next 4 following this one later today.
Hardware-wise, I went with what now is a run-of-the-mill Windows Mobile 6.1 phone and a Celio Corp RedFly C8N. You could do the same with different hardware available out there. While the particular software may be different; most major platforms can do what I am about to describe in this article. Windows Phone is my personal favorite, but you can do the same with Android and BlackBerry. The iPhone and Nokia smartphones cannot be included in this group because you cannot extend the size of their screens onto another device. This is not a hardware limitation, it just happens to be a limitation that the OS vendors themselves decide to put on their products. The iPad, for example, makes this obvious since it uses the same OS as the iPhone and has a much higher resolution screen than the iPhone. It proves beyond any doubt that the iPhone technically could be extended to a higher resolution and use a physical keyboard. Companies such as Celio Corp are not allowed to extend the iPhone because then, the iPhone and the iPad would pretty much be competing with each other. These limitations are mostly imposed arbitrarily by the Apples and Nokias of the world, they limit what software can or cannot be developed on their platforms as an excuse to protect themselves against competing products (both software and hardware), but I believe that they are only harming themselves.
You may argue that all the tablets popping out here and there are in a completely different category than smartphones, they obviously are. On the other hand, I am not about to ditch my trusty old notebook to get another device that pretty much will do the same for me. You see, the issue here is not what these devices will be able to do for me, but that I will use them for. So; if I am planning to keep my notebook on a desk and use my smartphone as a mobile replacement for it, I am not really looking at lugging around yet another device that is not converged with all the features I want and all the tasks I want to do on the run.
Some say that a killer feature for these devices is eBook readers, but I have been reading ebooks for over 10 years, first on Windows CE, Pocket PCs and Windows Phone. While in a short stint with Palm devices I was also able to read eBooks in them too. I can resize the font to any size I want and I normally don’t lay in the sun to read books, so readability outdoors is not a real issue for me. The killer feature would have to be something else (other than eBook readers) for me to see some attractive in tablets. I consider that new features does not necessarily equate the devices being used in a different way, but they certainly help.
Now, in reality, I know I will not be able to do absolutely everything with my Windows Phone. For someone who does application and web development, this would be a completely unrealistic goal. So, what I’ll do is leave programming out of my little project and keep using my other devices for development work. The idea is that this way, I will be able to complete 80% of what I normally do online by carrying 20% of the weight. How happy would you be if this were possible for you?
I will do the work, research, compare software, analyze different options and report back to you as soon as I come to some of the conclusions.