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08042009045 - Share on OviIn the past week, I’ve written that it might be time to change my music listening habit due to the non-working music player on my primary mobile. And its true, I just have to change things until a solution (firmware update that fixes this perhaps) comes. But, this is also having me question a few deeper mobile things that I am reconsideirng changing, and the device is certainly at the core of this thinking.

The Device Selection

I am not a normal mobile device user. Since my I stumbled upon applications and Bibles for Palm Pilots, I’ve pushed the edges of what should be doable and livalbe with mobile devices. These days, my N97 serves as the communication center, and my iPad the reading center. For the most part it is a nice arrangement, but i’d really rather have a mesh of both of those environments.

Unfortunately, there are too many compromises to deal with today, hence devices that would fit my profile actually just don’t exist. In effect, the mobile marketplace for me is of such slim pickings that anything that I choose will be a compromise of some sorts.

Needs and Wants

Of primary needs, the mobile needs to be able to live without a PC (mainly). I can’t go back to relying on a PC for things such as uploading music, changing/updating websites, writing poems/reviews, or photo management. In this day and age, it makes no sense that a person should have to go to a larger PC (or laptop) for these things.

Of secondary, and dang near as primary, needs comes artifical intelligence. My N97 utterly spoils me with Nokia Bots. It is probably the simplest and most appropriate implementation of smarts that a mobile device has gotten. And the sad part is that to get close to this on other mobile platforms, you’d have to spend hours learning your routine and then programming and application to respect it. The developers of Nokia Bots get plenty of respect (and suggestions) from me for how they look at that aspect of AI – it should not introduce friction to the overall user experience. I don’t want to give that up.

Last on my list is solvable, but I’d need a convincing marketing job to do so. That would be the issue of my mobile website. Currently hosted via the nice folks at Fine Mobile Web (thanks guys/gals), this is something that I’ve not only relied on, but now has become a part of my online/mobile character. My mobile website is the digital aspect of the business card people get from me. It is a living page of those places that I am online, and one of the few near-portfolio pieces that I still have out there towards my time in the web design field. No, its not the most pretty, but man does it do the job.

Those three elements of my mobile life are hard to say that I can easily move to another platform and compromise on. Frankly speaking, I’ve got a high bar.

So What to Do

I’ve thought about taking a bite out of my meger budget (and I mean that) and going with the N900. Besides getting me some face-time with the Katana Bible Reader that I’ve helped to get some energy behind, it would give me a chance to see where that platform has been going with MeeGo coming on the scene pretty shortly for it.

Going to that device would mean that a bro would need to switch his carrier to T-Mobile or Truphone to take advantage of the 3G abilities. It is kind of a shame that the N8 is the only penta-band mobile device out, because I would really like to stay on the plan with AT&T that I have – or somehow convince Truphone to lower those data chargers (ouch!).

I could go with an Android device, but if you think that I’d like my personal – not professional – life tied to Google, then you don’t get me much. The experience of mobile is best felt both by what I can create, and what I can learn from sharing with companies. MMM teaches me Google and social networking, personal is for other play.

No, not going iPhone. It needs a PC, and I already can’t stand that aspect about the iPad. Not a fan of the overall UX, though it is smoother in places than others that copy it badily.

Windows Phone 7 devices look great. They seem like they’d be a nice fit. I’m not sure about the livability, or the device intelligence, even though I am sure that Microsoft is building that into that experience. I’m not taking that step back to wait.

There’s also HP-Palm. I’ve thought about them. Thought hard. Don’t see the web server end, but could probably get with the rest of it. It is a slick and nicely designed platform. And like Symbian, very much geared for communication. I like that – and towards how my mobile plays that role, it needs to stay that way.

That really leaves me out there with little to no choice. There’s no Symbian device for me. And the one that could be, the Nokia E7, doesn’t have enough internal space to keep the portable PC aspect going (comes close, but I’m already over 16GB used on the 32+8 setup of my N97).

A Few Wishes I Guess

I could boil this down then to a few wishes in light of this:

  • I wish the next firmware update for the N97 came not only with a fix for the music player, improved performance, even more optimized RAM, but actually had Nokia Bots built in so that it could be extended by 3rd party developers.
  • In the event that I had to move to another device: I wish that my new device folded to the size of my N97 when closed, but when opened was a dual 3.5-4in screened mobile which used an open source OS like Maemo, MeeGo, or even Symbian and kept my mobile web server use alive.
  • I wish that carriers let go of high data prices – that they let go of that premise that voice is really different from data (it isn’t).
  • I wish I had a working music player. Because Esperanza Spalding rocks and no mobile should go without that sound through its speakers. That way, I’d be less inclined to be looking for a new device, and more walking in the contentment that should come when a mobile just works.

Or maybe I just need to change my expectations and fall in line with a mobile industry that really isn’t moving that much forward either.

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