Putting smart phones in perspective

If you look at the overall picture of mankind I am sure that many people will agree that primarily we are explorers. I am sure all people concur that at same stage in our history mankind did not have access to all this gadgetry instead understood the very basics of survival. Making a fire and the use of primitive tools. 

So from this point on, we’ve been exploring at a rapid rate. Gaining access to language and mathematics. What started off primarily as land exploration soon developed into shore trips. We quickly developed the ability to map out our surroundings and it didn’t take us too long to cross continents. We have since been exploring everything and anything and making discoveries across the board, because ultimately we are explorers.

Now there have been some really great milestones along the way which has greatly improved our quality of living. I don’t think many people in 2013 can even fathom what it would be like to live without electricity. One can easily take for granted just basic transportation.

I remember the days when the only phones were land lines. When it was cool to have a car phone. And then cell phones came into our lives and that my friends has been a massive game changer. Cellphones made the world appear smaller, and added convenience.

The early phones were fairly basic. They were basically just a dialer and an offline contact manager. Some phones included the odd game. They didn’t have internet, there was no way to load software onto them, but they did do 1 thing very well, they were phones!

Along came the internet, and WAP. WAP was used to create versions of a web site that could be browsed using a “dumb phone”. Let’s be honest WAP was shitty and it never really caught on. At the time mobile data was way too expensive and slow too.

Now a lot of people credit the iPhone as being the first real smart phone, but this simply isn’t true. It was indeed possibly to browse the web prior to iPhones, but the experience wasn’t very good. It was also possible with Symbian based phones to install and run applications. All of this had got there from phones taking on functions from PDA’s. However I will credit the iPhone as that moment the light bulb went on. From that point in time a phone became much more than just a phone and almost overnight PDAs died.

So what’s been happening since then? Well an extreme amount of improvement – that’s what. Phones have all but become an essential extension for busy professionals. Tons of app development, and gaming has in a massive way taken off on the mobile platform. CPU’s, Screens, Peripherals have all been upgraded multiple times. Battery life too has improved a bit. Storage space and cloud extensions all but full the gap. Big names in desktop OS’s have joined the party too. Ubuntu has tried very hard to launch Edge, and Microsoft risked alienating their entire desktop audience in an attempt to sell them a mobile platform. Hell Microsofts new server operating systems have incorporated the mobile interface!

But where are we heading with this?

Well we clearly have a winner in terms of OS, and that would be Android. Android is full of apps. The market is bursting at the seams with novelty “fart button” and “scare your friend” type of gimmick apps. There are also a fair amount of useful applications. Weather apps, readers, photo touch up apps etc.

In terms of battery life. Phone CPU’s get upgraded, Screen gets upgraded – battery life suffers. Battery life gets improved on – screen and CPU get upgraded – battery life sucks again. This seems to be the trend.

But ok enough of this, what is the actual point of all this crap?

  • Well I’m hoping that if anything it in the long term (human evolution type of way) leads to free global communication and information sharing or virtually free / cheap.
  • Advances in nano computing and bio computing
  • A strong push towards energy efficiency and bio degradable batteries
  • Cheaper electronics

I really hope we get back to the core roots of what we want to achieve in the first place with mobile development. And putting less effort in the gimmicky stuff.

All of these things can then aid us in continuing our exploration, because there is still a considerable amount to explore out there. While you’re sitting there faffing over which new phone you’ll be buying just consider that as a species we have a long way to go. We still haven’t mastered completely renewable energy. We’re still fighting wars over the remaining fossil fuels. We’re still slaves to capitalism, which means we’re still unenlightened. But in terms of grand exploration then cosmology would be the leading edge and we need to really start putting in more effort to getting off this rock! The point of life was never to get side tracked with gimmicky mobile gadgets, and it really pains me to see the enormous amount of attention mobile phones get, purely because they’re profit spinners.

No people lets put things in perspective here. When you see the latest phones coming out marketed as “Sleek and elegant with great battery life”, and yet its essentially a “dumb phone” and the kids saying “Yeah I’ll take one of those since the battery life lasts for 48 days” Then I can’t help wonder if we’ve just done a full circle. Likewise when you see 20 year old games marketed as “classic games” making their rounds, you’re left wondering why are we reiterating? Where is the progress.

What I want to see is the punky crap left behind and the real awesome stuff like true control over your phone just by using voice, including the ability to really type 120 WPM using voice! True real time language translation across continents with minimal latency. Things like this that are actually useful.