Cool Random Tech Stuff

Random ramblings of a tech enthusiast

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Consumer Electronics’ Purpose

I love technology! But who doesn’t these days? Are you on Facebook and Twitter? Have your smartphone linked to your email and constantly texting friends instead of calling someone? Me too.

Technology can be great but you must not lose site of its purpose. That’s why I’m taking some time to write down my thoughts and hope that it helps someone decide on technology they may want to purchase.

I believe consumer electronics have three basic functions: 1) Communicate, 2) Consume entertainment, and 3) Produce content for school/work/organizations/etc.

Number one is a basic human necessity. Everyone communicates in some fashion, and technology helps communication. It could be between friends or groups of friends. It could be a major advertising firm trying to communicate a message to consumers. It could be someone posting their thoughts about technology on a blogging site. Here are a few technologies I would say are primarily for communication: Email, SMS/MMS, IRC, AIM, Facebook, Twitter, Phone Calls, Skype, Flickr.

Number two is the times you sit back and observe. Watching some TV or a movie. Listening to music or learning a foreign language. Consuming entertainment and other content can be a primary function of some electronics. Examples are: DVD’s, Cable Boxes, TV, MP3’s, iPod, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, YouTube, family videos and slide shows.

Other electronics will focus on producing content instead of communication or consuming it. Everything that is in the communicating and consuming categories can be produced on a device. There are also other tools to produce content like Office products and movie editing. Plenty of content needs to be created electronically, or at least edited. Examples are: Budget/Expense reports, typed letters, movies, mixing songs, writing resumes, your coffee maker that has coffee ready at a certain time. (The last one isn’t a digital content production, but I thought it was worth mentioning).

Most devices or software are going to be used for more than one of the primary uses, but I think it is a pretty good way to think of basic functions. Everyone gets carried away with the excitement of new stuff, but try to remember the basics of the device or software you are purchasing or using. If you do that, you will probably feel better about the purchase in the long run.

My Next Smartphone Dilemma

I was looking at a Nexus One as my first smartphone but that got cancelled for Verizon, and thus I went with the Droid Incredible, which is very similar in specs. I bought the phone because it was a leader in its hardware at the time and I knew it would last me a while. I have also rooted it to extend its use to me, but I think it is time to venture into a new phone with LTE and a dual-core processor.

Android options are the finally (to be) released Droid Bionic by Motorola, rumored Nexus Prime by Samsung, or the HTC Vigor. Motorola makes great hardware, but are not particularly friendly to the development community with encrypted bootloaders and such. The HTC Vigor is rumored right now and I know that the waiting game sucks! I would have gotten a Droid Bionic if it was released in the first half of the year, but now being close to the holiday season I’m considering waiting to see about the Nexus Prime.

The Nexus Prime would allow me to have the pure Google experience that is the Nexus line. I think that’s what I really want: control over my phone from the get go.

Then there is the iPhone 5, which is rumored might be available for multiple carriers in one device. I wrote about my obsession with this concept before. European countries and carriers are like this where you can move from provider to provider with the same phone. It appeals to me, but the US carrier system doesn’t do that yet. Maybe a feature like this in the iPhone could change my mind about getting an Apple.

There is also the Nokia Windows Phones that are going to be coming out any month now… Or any of the other Windows Phone 7 Mango handsets. I can honestly say that the Windows Phone 7 OS was one of the best I’ve used in function and appearance.

All in all, it seems I’ll be playing a waiting game for the device that fits my needs.