Smartphone Interfaces and Uses

If today’s smartphones are as powerful as our desktop machines were 5 years ago, the question emerges – why do smartphones have all of these apps written for them, whereas traditional desktop and laptop computers usually have a much smaller number of more generalized, less specialized programs installed?

Compared to the traditional laptop or desktop computer, the smartphone is with the user much more of the time. The smartphone has built-in location awareness, which the typical full-fledged computer does not have.

The smartphone has a very different interface than the full-fledged computer, dictated by its pocket form factor. That pocket form factor dictates a different interface interaction that demands bits and pieces of software to make specific uses easier. Because of always-on Internet access, smartphones can easily pull just the data they need instantly on demand for very specific purposes.

Here’s what can be surmised about the ideal future smartphone devices:

Ultimately, it’s a phone slash computer that fits into a pocket with an always-on connection to the Internet. The touch screen should be as large as possible, but still be able to fit into a shirt pocket. The battery life should be as good as possible. The memory should be as large as possible, the Internet access should be as fast and as reliable as possible. The processing, camera and phone performances should be as good as possible. The device should contain all of the current popular consumer wireless protocols. Overall the device should be as light as possible, and be as rugged and durable as possible.

In short, the smartphone should be able to do everything we expect, and do it well. Surprisingly, some of these devices are getting closer to meeting some of these ideals.