Friday, May 3, 2013

Tablets–Where Are We Going In The Next 5 Years?

Recently there has been a great deal of discussion regarding comments made by BlackBerry’s CEO Thorsten Heins. The article I first found, Blackberry CEO’s comments ignite debate on future of personal computing also reflects on many thought regarding what may have been in his mind.

I believe the original story was related to an interview with Bloomberg; BlackBerry CEO Questions Future of Tablets. There is another story by Roger Cheng at C|Net; BlackBerry CEO says tablets will be useless in five years.

Throughout all of these stories there is a great deal of speculation about what we could have in the next 5 years.

Samsung G S3Some say our Smartphone will be it. Personally I do not see that happening unless (as some said) we can connect to a larger screen when walking into a room, any room, or area. Some say we will have other types of devices, wearable computing, Google Glasses.

I have my doubts if we will swing over to smartphones connecting to large screens in 5 years. In some ways this can be easily accomplished today, and some have done this, I have. However what do you do when you are in your car? Or at Starbucks? The library, MacDonald's, or in the living room? Or worse, the doctors waiting room?  This may ultimately be one way but I do not see it in the near future (5 years?). Currently I read on my smartphone but it is way too small for constant use (only Dr’s waiting room).

Let’s look at tablets. I started with a Samsung Galaxy Tab and moved to an iPad and then to a Nexus 7. I really pushed that Nexus 7 because I wanted it to work, I am back to the iPad. Why? Screen size. The Nexus 7 might be a really good note taker with it’s small size but not the best for magazines and web surfing. As for note taking I do have to admit, having seen the Samsun Galaxy Note (phone), that this could be the best note taker. I think they will be around for longer than the next 5 years.

Personally I like the larger tablet for reading my books (Kindle App) as well as my magazines – both iTunes apps and Kindle. Watching video is best on the larger device and it is easier to share. I like working on it and presently the iPad with Pages has the best word processing around.

Now what would be the best for me?

I like the upcoming Samsung thought about a smartphone that will connect with a 10” tablet (or close to 10” inSamsung Combination size). In the case of Samsung that could really be great with it being able to connect to my TV and my laptop as well. Since I really like my Samsung Galaxy S III phone I am suspecting that I will continue along that line. So far the only Samsung product I am not sold on is the laptop and that primarily because I cannot customize when purchasing.

At present the only thing missing for me on the tablet are apps of significance – like a Word or Excel - as in Microsoft. If someone develops an app that will allow me to work with Word or Excel documents I am in. Admittedly my ability on Skydrive with the iPad has been sketchy at best and I have not tried it with the Nexus 7 due to size. I am not enamored with any of the Microsoft tablets as of this time.

I might add that an app with some of the same capabilities as Word or Excel might also make me move my allegiance to those two products. I don’t really see a need in the future for PowerPoint since we can do our presentations now with whatever software/app we want to show/demonstrate. Outlook may be the best email app however we can live with some of the lesser ones.

As for my Nexus 7; it  has been relegated to being the basement Internet connection while working in my shop – check email and get text messages. It’s cool just not what my eyes like.

So, is the tablet dead? Long live the tablet!