“Beleive it or not, George isn’t at home. Leave a messaaaaage at the beep. I must be out, or I’d pick up the phone. Where could I be? Believe it or not, I’m not home!”
“George pick-up, I know you’re screening…”
However, those days are all but gone. I mean, who even keeps the ringer on, on the landline and doesn’t use voice-mail over that antiquated answering machine? I mean, really. If I want to be available for people that matter, they know how to get in touch with me and it’s not through the landline. That line is reserved for outgoing calls and keeping the automated dialers busy.
But even this is changing. The cell phone isn’t just about making calls anymore.
The argument for most people is a simple one, “I don’t want to have to carry two things!“. Is the PDA and the cell phone such a hassle to carry, as separate devices, that the industry is doing everything they can to merge the two?
Well, no, not really.
See, it’s not really a hassle to carry the two, it’s the fact that people are less likely to buy the two. They’ll go with one or the other and typically the phone wins because of its obvious functionality for the average consumer, over the PDA. Not everyone wants to or can sync email, or take notes or wifi on a small screen. But most people do want to be able to call people from anywhere.
So the merger begins. About 6 years ago. And here we are about 6 years later and where have we landed with the cell phone/PDA merger?
-Limited performance and battery power due to bloated consumption and applications
-The smallest of screens, which limit the functionality of the web and productivity
-Applications and functionality you *need* locked to crappy cell providers
-Call quality reduction
-Software/OS compatibility issues
Was this worth it?
In fact, most anyone with a cell phone/PDA will say it’s worth it. Though, likely because they’ve come to terms with the issues. To anyone else, who hasn’t bought into the cell phone/PDA, the issues are pretty glaring.
I, for example, have a Palm IIIxe and Nokia 2190e.
I carry them both around without any hassle. The power sources are independent of each other, not requiring them to run on a single battery. If I want to work on the PDA and have a phone call, I can, no problem there. If one runs out of juice, I still have the other so no more, “woops, gota go, I just used up the battery wifi’ing in line at Panera’s”
Okay, okay. So it’s not 2000 anymore. I will admit, even I have upgraded since then. I have the Samsung Alias u740 and I am in the market for a PDA. A PDA that is a fully functioning PDA. Not a dual cell phone/PDA. Surprisingly, there aren’t many options.
And I’ve looked.
I mean, sure, you can go for that stripped down strictly PDA, however, things have changed even with the PDA market alone.
GPS enabled PDA’s are becoming the norm and really, now that a great idea (!). However, now you have to find one with a built-in quality GPS receiver and maps, otherwise you’re paying for something you’ll never really use. Some PDA’s come with great GPS functionality and others, well, not so much.
To me, this is the quintessential merger of technologies. Forget the phone part! A PDA with compatible email, wifi, bluetooth and GPS on a 3G/4G network is as far as it needs to go. App-Mobility and Web-Ability with a large touch-screen that supports 100% online functionality. Sure, you’ll still want to be able to have a video call, but if this is the case, and everyone has a PDA and 100% IP mobility, who’s going to need a cell phone anyways!?