Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday’s thoughts on phones, tablets, and laptops.

First let me say that I think desktop computers are really a thing of the past. Today’s laptops are just as powerful as the desktops of the past (or more so). Today, with the addition of an external monitor or two, laptops do exceedingly well. So let’s just really look at phones, tablets, laptops.

I think I have mentioned before that I am getting somewhat bored with the lack of good applications across all these devices. One’s that sync easily and will perform the same on any device. Could we call this ubiquitous app’s? 

An example would be Evernote.

I love Evernote. On my Windows laptop Evernote is fantastic. The synchronization is fantastic. Background: I used OneNote for 5 years before switching.

I like to make notes, highlight things, use bullets, as well as color to emphasize. I like to do preliminary writing on Evernote, prep for a blog post, thoughts, etc. On my Android phone, not that good.  I like my Samsung Galaxy S3 but going to Evernote on the phone from the laptop is not easy AND IT SHOULD BE.

Developers need to take the time to be sure that the user (customer) experience is great everywhere. I have the same issue’s with Evernote on my Nexus 7 and to some degree with my iPad. I am beginning to believe that Evernote favors the iOS first, Windows OS 2nd, and finally Android. In some cases it could be Windows OS first.

Unless that user experience is good across all the devices we will be continually searching to find that app that will.

An example is that I love Microsoft Word, have used it for years (1983?). Right now I am trying to find a replacement on my laptop that will work well on my phone as well as on my tablets – both Nexus 7 & iPad. There could be an upcoming Samsung Galaxy tablet and it needs to work well there.

About 2 or 3 years ago I decided the future was digital. I purchased a stylus and pushed myself to where I use my phone and tablets to take notes. I intentionally do not carry a pen or pencil and do not wear a watch. I use my laptop for finalizing writing (as in this blog), heavy duty Office work as well as for designing. I do use extensively my phone or tablet with either Skitch (from Evernote) or Sketchbook Pro (from Autodesk) to sketch or draw. I use Skitch to annotate pictures with measurements. Both really wonderful tools on the phone or the tablet. Both also work on my Windows laptop but require a pen – that I can handle. I am hoping that the touch screen will take care of this. (I haven’t gotten the touch screen past the controller).

I tend to think of purchasing a device as in buying a car or truck. I want certain colors, accessories, and power train (4 cyl., 6 cyl, diesel) however I want to be able to use the same DVD’s between cars, or hook up my phone, my tablet, and play music. I do not want a Ford with only the Microsoft Windows phone, or a Hyundai with only Apple like connections.

My apps should be able to navigate these various OS’s. I want to use Microsoft Word on my phone and my Nexus 7 and have it work the same. I understand that I will 1) pay for it, and 2) it could be a ‘lite’ version – however it should have all the basic features.

Sound pie-in-the-sky? Well maybe it is, but we should be working for this. It will be this way when Singularity is here. The first one there could win really big.

Oh, and while I am at it; Microsoft the apps do not need to fill the screen or even partially fill it. I should be able to resize that weather app and then put it where I want it. In fact my Start screen could be my app screen. Switching between desktop and Start screen is too easy not to be able to do this. I guess this would mean creating a Start screen that would allow freedom to resize app windows to arbitrary dimensions. In other words grab a corner and drag. I’ve seen that some place before.

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