Big Dumb Droids

Those giant Android tab-phone things with the super bright low-res screens are pretty annoying. Everyone thinks they are the UPS guy walking around with those plastic monsters.

Choice is good, so I don’t want everyone with the same kind of phone. But I laugh when I see those monstrous boxes full of half-working software and average hardware. They aren’t quite as ridiculous as the ‘convertible’ laptops that want to be tablets, but they are close.

In the states people get these droid phones for almost nothing, and spend most of their time trying to figure out how android works (or what android is) and where their data just went. They break often and get a new one of a different brand and start over. Droids are the new wannabe phone, with Droid users often seeking approval or even adoration from iPhone folks. It’s 24/7 tech support and staring at that giant thing, no slipping it in a pocket.

Usage style/case is my sticking point. A “phone” is a portable communication device, usually pocketable or in a purse. It is designed specifically to be used while in motion – standing, driving, etc.. You can pack a lot of features in there these days, but holding one to your ear and comfortably talking should be the primary one.

A tablet is a portable screen that can do most/all of what a smart phone can, plus a screen that’s just big enough to make it a usable from 5-15 feet away. Those of us with good tablets (iPads) know that they get used in every room of the house to bring internet, gaming, newspapers, ebooks, email, etc. to wherever you happen to be resting in the house. Mine does probably 100 things a day, some pretty important.

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Apple went down this route and has been very successful – a phone is for your pocket/purse and your viewing only, a tablet is book-sized, displays, and travels. A laptop/desktop is for production or power-user work. These are 3 usage cases.

I think Apple might stick with 3 modes, but I think the iWatch could take the slot from the iPhone if they can get enough battery life out of it. The days of a private viewing slab that lives in your pocket might be ending. If the watch device holds the cell radio, using wifi or bluetooth it could go back to being the personal communicator device, and the iPad mini or biggie becomes your screen for general purpose use. Hopefully Apple people won’t put iPad minis to their ear and look nearly as stupid as giant droids.

More on these ideas later.