Smart Phones Have To Be Dumb
I’ve been giving a Treo 600 a run for its money in the past couple of months and I’m impressed. Yes, I know that there’s a new one out and I’m way behind the curve, but my theory is that these products need to be not just good, but super reliable if they are going to fulfill their main purpose: Be a phone.
The thing is this. It’s great being able to do all this stuff on a gadget not much bigger than a cellphone, from checking email, to downloading RSS feeds, to taking photos, to playing Boggle, to instant messaging, to having SMS dialogs appear as IM chat threads. Great, wonderful. But what happens if you need to make or take a call and the whole thing freezes up?
That’s what happened to me again this morning when I was trying to take a call from my friend Colin. For sure, it was just another one of those ‘whatcha doin’?’ type calls, but what if it had been an ailing relative desperately trying to get through? Or I needed to call 911 or its local equivalent?
For me, smart phones have to be, first and foremost, dumb phones. They have to work as a phone, all the time, before they do anything else. If they don’t do that with reliability, then folk are going to start thinking twice about having everything else packed into it. Indeed, there’s still a lot to be said to having a small cellphone that just does cellphone stuff, and then another gadget that does all this other stuff.