In this time when everything has to be on-the-go, everything has to mobile as much as possible. Before (early 90’s I think) when you need to check an email outside your home, you need to find an internet cafÃ©, rent a computer, and then access your mail on dialup. Old school, yes. The amount you spent before you get to read your email is enough to make you old. The demand for quick internet access demands mobility and the demand for mobility calls for a change in technology. Let’s see how this demand changed the technology we have today.
Let’s start with the desktop — the mother of internet usage. Nice piece of tech. Big CPU casing, big display, big keyboard, lots of wires, LOTS of real estate. How about mobility? A big NO! That’s why they invented the laptop to make it mobile, unless you found a way to carry your desktop around. Today the laptop is the new desktop. My recent Facebook poll showed that most people access the internet through their laptops, desktop coming second, while mobile tech (smart phones, iPod Touch, Tablets) catching up. Though desktops are becoming smaller, they can’t achieve the level of mobility that laptops offer. Now that we have gaming laptops and netbooks, new desktops seem to find themselves evolved to be part of home theaters instead —the HTPC.
So where do mobile tech end up? Our mobile tech nowadays is starting to become the Jack of all Trades. Hardware wise it can’t compete much with the desktop or laptop, at least not yet. With mobile processors achieving dual cores, camera sensors reaching 12 megapixel rates, high density displays, 3G, 4G and Wifi. The differences between these devices are starting to blur out and sooner or later mobile tech will eclipse the laptop, or the digital camera. This is just hardware. How about software?
I think the real battle begins at software level. Software developers are starting to feel the demand for mobile apps and it’s very lucrative. Users like me love the App Store and the Android Market but we still tend to juggle our usage between our laptops and our smartphones, PMP, and tablets. Simple tasks like blogging can’t be easily done in a tablet much more in a smartphone. I need a full working MS Office when I write. I need to use Alt+Tab. I need easy copy paste and full multitasking. These simple problems set the boundaries on what mobile software can do, as of now. Recently Adobe released Photoshop SDK for tablet and mobile apps, allowing developers of mobile apps to interact with Photoshop CS5 and this is just a start. I’m sure other developers will follow suit. With desktop software developers extending their functionality to mobile apps, future mobile technology will be very exciting indeed. Who knows if we need to throw away our laptops and get an iPad 3, 4, 5?