I’m a judgment expert who writes a lot. I may someday be one of the last people to own and use a computer. I’m amazed these days, with most the newest personal computer-related things come out as Apps. Most often, these new items only are available on portable devices, not a laptop or a regular desktop personal computer. I’m also surprised whenever I witness younger folks ignore a movie showing on a large flat-display television, and later, all crowd around a really tiny display to see that identical movie. The power and bandwidth of a portable device has risen to a surprising level. Many tablets and smart phones are being used as a computer. I bet that folks that use a smart portable device rather than a personal computer can afford the data plan and are fairly young and/or are on the road a lot.
In my job, I work at my home office, at my Mac with a 27-inch display, and I also have a Mac laptop. I’ve played with the latest Apple iPad and other new Android devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy, and although they are all cool and fast; I find work can be done a lot faster and easier with my 2 Mac computer screens. I have my iPod Touch, but I just use it to listen to music, meditation tracks, or podcasts as I am doing maintenance work; or to keep my shopping list while shopping.
Dedicated GPS device manufacturers are under pressure, although there’s an advantage to using a stand-alone GPS device, so you can multitask. Even so, it is obvious that the GPS function is moving into the realm of handheld devices, that includes portable devices, smart phones, and tablet computers.
Apps that are GPS-related like Waze and MultAply are breaking new ground. I’ve read some statistics which say the home computer will become less important to many people soon, as an example:
1) During the past three years, over 300,000 Apps were developed. In 2011, about 18 billion Apps were downloaded. By 2015, that number is estimated to rise to more than 107 billion.
2) Around 90% of smartphone owners most often keep their phones within three feet.
3) In 2011, the use of mobile units to read e-mail went up by thirty-four percent, while the use of desktop personal computers to read e-mail went down by 11%.
4) By 2015, more folks will access the internet through a smartphone or tablet than a computer.
Of course, many smart mobile units, especially tablets; include a docking port, where you can add a full keyboard, and even storage and external displays too. Once you add all these things, you are kind of back to a desktop model.
In my case, it’s difficult to imagine switching a 27-inch display for a display of between 1/20th and 1/3rd the size. Apple’s IPad and its competitors are constantly improving. Someday, there may be a mobile unit with a display large enough to lure me away from my 27-inch desktop computer display. Although the speed of portable units is important, so are their data plan prices.