Having watched hours of CES 2008 coverage without being really thrilled about any of the products I have seen, I want to make up a piece of tech that would actually get me excited to buy it. So lets start off by looking at the stuff I already have. I currently carry a mp3 player (ipod G5 30GB), a cellphone (Nokia E65) and a digital camera (Canon IXUS 40). These three devices together have pretty much all the features one may ask for, but one without the other is simply not enough. My intention is to come up with a list of features that, if combined in one device would make me buy it, and most importantly then not think about any compromise I hade to make by choosing the device over another. Anyhow everything written after this line is just my wild imagination and I am sure I have not though about every aspect.
The OS that is running the device should finally start to behave like an OS. A basic platform that offers and open API for software to use the gadgets features and then stop. It does not need to do anything more really. For everything else I want to have an application that is running as an application and is not deeply stuck within the OS. So for example contacts: I am a mac user I will have a Adressbook mini app that’s running on my device and then sync with my mac. If I have a pc, want a app that is designed to work with outlook. Anyhow I want to choose like on my laptop which software I use to perform a certain task. Hearing my self write it kind of sounds like android from Google. Well we haven’t really seen much of it yet but maybe it will make my wish come true.
I believe there is no way but using a touchscreen. I wrote above I want many different programs to work for me, but that means a basically different UI for every single app, which would probably result in the worst user experience every with exception of my first cellphone. So one more thing the OS should to is to provide a set of UI elements to be used in the programs. I am thinking about the component library from Flash. Those are not the best UI elements out there but they would allow a cohesive User experience, that can then be customized with themes.
Filemanagement & Memory
I want this device to have one piece of storage that will be used by all apps and that is accesable by all apps using a file management application of my choice. So If a want to attach a picture I just took to an email, the email app calls the file app to show up and let me select a file, without browsing in some proprietary gallery that is different for each filetype.
Browsing & Mobile Office
It need a web browsing app – the safari on the iphone is the best thing I have seen so far but since the system is open anyone can come up with a better app. As for the mobile office stuff I guess these apps already exist, so I only have to download them to my device which brings me to my next point.
Carrier provided Content and apps
My cellphones are packed with stuff from you carrier. For the most part these are just as annoying as the ones you get your PC with, when you buy a new one. If the carrier offers special services they should have them as web services I can access using the browser app, if I would like to do so.
Being a mac user I am a big fan of the Ipod + Itunes concept with only one point of criticism and that is DRM. Like I said above I want this to be done by certain apps, so I could imagine a little mini itunes(never gonna happen since apple wont let their superglued couple be torn apart) that does all my media and then syncs with my mac. Many people dont like itunes, so they should be able to use a different app. But both apps share the resources of the devices audio capabilities
I want a big screen( touch screen, but I will talk about that when it comes to user interface). Today I got to play with an ipod touch of a friend of mine and found this screen to be perfect. Its big enough to watch video but its not as big as other PMPs or mini Pcs that make it impossible to fit this device into your pocket. My ipod offers only limited support for video playback since I have to import and convert everything into itunes in order to view it on my ipod. Like I said for the music, its got to be open AND that would also mean for Itunes to support more video file types.
- Taking Pictures: In order to get a decent picture taken you neet two things, a camera with more than 3 megapixels and a lightsource(flash). Many mobile devices still don’t offer 3 megapixels, and most of them perform very poorly in the dark. But looking at the Nokia N95, the new LG viewety or some sony-ericsson cybershot phones we see that it is possible to pack all this tech into a small gadget.
- Viewing Pictures: This is not a very hard task. I am personally satisfied with my ipods picture viewer, and looking at the ipod touch I think there is not that much potential for innovation. Of course as this little gadgets become more and more powerfull computers photo editing is an issue. But personally I never felt the need for editing a picture right on my cellphone or camera. The screen is to small anyways.
- Managing Pictures: In my eyes the most crucial factor. I just recently switched from simply folder storage to Iphoto which I think is also great solution but only works for the few people that own a mac. So in order for the device to be really good it should behave like a simple digital camera, that mounts as a drive, and would therefor be usable across all platforms. Most of the software that comes with these cameras and cellphones is really bad and I don’t see why companies insist on creating software if their strength really is to build electronic devices.
Well I guess its pretty simple on this one. GSM,GPRS,UMTS,HSDPA,WiFi,Bluetooth,USB, IRD … did I miss one?
I developed my ideas more or less while writing the text and the further I got the more I realized I described a personal computer or tablet pc with the size of an Ipod. And thats what it should be. Give me a small computer that is simply not as powerful as my mac but fits in my pocket and does everything a pc does just on a smaller scale. I dont want a walkman phone or a nokia busniess phone with a crapy camera. Make it a small computer that can do calls, sms, mms and data with a decent camera, and by installing certain apps I decide what it exactly is.