TechPublishing Now MS Certified

TechPublishing Now MS Certified
Professor Robert McMillen, MBA Microsoft Certified Trainer and Solutions Expert

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Ultimate Smart Phone

The Ultimate Smart Phone

The Ultimate Smart Phone
By Robert McMillen, Koin’s Tech Guru
“Why can’t they build a smart phone with all the features I want?” I get this question a lot from our readers. It would be part Android, iPhone, and a dash (but not too much) of Blackberry and several others. It’s frustrating for people when they look to buy a smart phone because they feel that no matter what, they will have to give up something.
Some people who email me about this topic are so frustrated they actually lose sleep over it! (These are the same people who are still trying to order dinner when the dessert tray comes around for everyone else in your party.) I don’t blame them. Although I haven’t lost any sleep over my choice, I have to admit I have contorted my face enough to worry it might freeze that way, just like my mom said it would.
So what would be the ultimate smart phone, anyway? I think it would have the speed of the Droid phone. With a 1 Ghz processor, it’s around double that of an iPhone 3Gs. Android also does a great job with their free built in GPS. Many other phone makers are charging $10 a month for this and the iPhone doesn’t have a great free one for driving. However, you can buy one from the app store.
The Android also has the advantage of being able to be put onto any piece of hardware that a manufacturer can make for it. HTC, Motorola, and others are all making phones that Android sits on. But I don’t like having to move apps in and out of usable memory. That is a pain when you reach the 256 MB limit. This is not an issue with other smart phones.
Many Android users I’ve spoken with are former iPhone users. The Android is not as big of a switch as say, going to a Blackberry.
Speaking of Blackberry, what parts from them would I stick on my ultimate smart phone? It would have to be their ability to completely control a user’s experience for business. There really isn’t much in the way of centralized configuration for any smart phone, save the Blackberry. It is so granular in its ability for a business to control a user’s experience that you can secure the phone right down to the websites it can visit. You can set up encryption, updating, how the mailbox is set up, whether or not a calendar syncs both directions or just one way, and literally hundreds of other mind bending phone tricks that most people have no idea it can do.  
I would certainly leave out the centralized email setup where everything has to go through an East Coast facility before it gets to my phone. The frequent outages affect Blackberry users nationwide when they go down. I would also not keep around the generally low quality and poor designs of the phones. Our customers break them more often than they replace the oil in their cars.
How about the Asian up and coming company called HTC? I really like the durability of these phones. But it appears they are short on innovation, and they like to copy the patents of other companies. That being said, they really make good copies that improve on the original design. They do tend to be on the heavy side, but they last a long time and have great video capability. Phones made by HTC run Android and Windows Mobile, as well as some lesser known operating systems.
Windows Mobile is coming out with their “Windows Phone 7 System.”  Although we have yet to get our hands on one, the thing I like best about this is its ability to integrate into the Cloud. This means that you can easily copy something to your computer and have the files synchronize onto your phone. This isn’t just your email and calendar, but actual files of any type. Microsoft will do this for free up to 5 gigabytes. Most Windows Mobile phones also have an expandable memory slot as well. This is something that’s missing from many smart phones, including the iPhone.
So in our ultimate phone I would definitely include cloud synchronization the way Microsoft does it. Windows Mobile runs as a separate operating system from the phone portion of the smart phone. The problem with this is that so many manufacturers have stuck Windows Mobile on their hardware without completely testing it that it crashes a lot. I would leave that portion of Windows Mobile off of my ultimate smart phone. Our phone would be completely integrated as the iPhone.
For many people, the iPhone comes about as close as it can get to an ultimate smart phone. There are hundreds of thousands of apps, and we would include them in our ultimate smart phone. There is a video and still camera on the back, and a new one that will be in the front in the next version. Stability and quality of the phone are very good, and the user experience for an iPhone is rated very high. We would take all these features, but leave out the low end processor and the inability to multitask (this will also be added in version 4). Apple has a tendency to be very militaristic in its approach to application designers and publishers. Their “it’s our way or the highway” approach has soured many companies to working with them. Many of the apps that get submitted get rejected by the thousands. The excuses can be lame and arbitrary at times. Even if an app does get accepted, Apple has been known to change their mind on a whim and pull it from the app store.
So, our ultimate smart phone would have the user experience and applications of an iPhone, the speed and video of an Android, the durability of an HTC phone, the control of a Blackberry, the cloud capabilities of a Windows phone, the battery life of a car, the weight of a feather, and the cost of a candy bar.
Build that and we will all buy it with no questions asked.
For great tips, check back here each week and listen to me on the All Tech Radio show at 9:00 Sunday mornings on AM 1360 KUIK, or listen online at http://alltechradio.com.
To buy my latest book “How to be an IT Administrator,” go to http://howtobeanitadministrator.com/
 If you would like your technical question answered here, just email rmcmillen@koin.com. Even if it doesn’t get answered in the column, I will always answer by email.
Published Monday, April 26, 2010 9:22 PM by Devereux