Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Magic of The Computer in Your Pocket

I put off having a cellphone for the longest time. Not because I'm a Luddite. I am in fact a died in the wool technofile. For me it was not that I disliked cellphones but that I wanted to be able to be out of touch. Having been on call in some form or another for various jobs for years on end led me to want to sever the wireless tether whenever possible.

Soon after I broke down and bought a cellphone I started a new job and instead of a land line and a pager they handed me a Blackberry. Email, phone, and apps all in one place. Do you know how hard it is not to be addicted to a device like the Crackberry? So while I own a simple cellphone I tend not to use it. I use the smartphone I need for work instead.

Smartphones are an interesting breed. More than a phone and less than a computer. Their history is fascinating on its own. One of the best ways to get introduced to the whole idea of the smartphone is to sit back and read Stephen Fry's personal telephonic history Devices and Desires.

One part of smartphone usage that is intriguing is the differences in usage between Europe and North America. The two continents treat smartphones differently. Or at least they did. A Tale of Two Smartphones: US vs Rest of World compared is a good overview of the divide.

I'm not sure I'd get a smartphone if work wasn't paying the bill. Canada has high phone and data rates so a truly unlimited plan with all the trimmings is not cheap. Though that's finally beginning to change. It's nice to have a small computer in the palm of my hand. I can live without one without suffering. I'm just not sure I want to anymore.

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