Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cell Phones, the new computer?

Yesterday, two of my kids upgraded their cell phones to new models. One got an android phone and with it, had to pay the extra for the upgraded monthly service. This got me to thinking that the cell phone is the new computer for these kids' generation. Their connection to the outside world is through the cell phone and not really the phone part. Do you notice that they actually never make phone calls? Their communication is through the texting and services like Facebook and Twitter. I have a work cell phone only and find that I use it frequently to connect with the outside world. I think that the cell phone will continue to be the device which is most used by generations.

The tablet, you say? Well for those with 4G plans, it's really just a big cell phone. The only difference is that the phone part has been removed. I know for my kids, except for calls from their parents, the phone part could be removed from their devices and they wouldn't even miss it.

Perhaps we should rename the cell phone? After all the phone is so infrequently used that it is becoming less and less relevant. Perhaps we should call them slates, mini-tabs, or cell thumbs since kids use their thumbs for texting so frequently that there's even a new condition named after the carpal tunnel like pains that sometimes occur due to frequent use.

Either way, they are a third place which has to be considered in the design of websites and services in today's world.

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