Some people on the planet feel the need to bring some balance to this debate. Not that there is much debate. Everyone seems sure that mobile devices will conquer the planet. Apps are growing like mushrooms. Many with less meaningful content than an edible fungus. This doesn’t stop marketing departments investing in mobile platforms for everything. Everything.
Don’t get me wrong. I am happy that this is leading to some interoperability. (Not so happy we are wasting a lot of global energy pandering to a very small minority of …well whatever Apple dreams up of, often on its own little island. We should be talking about “tablet compatible” things, not “iPad” compatible.) It is great that websites are getting better to navigate from different resolution screens. I have been a road warrior and smart phone user since the days when this involved carrying a brick in my back pocket and being laughed at in meetings for using it.
I have done work on a mobile phone. Back in the days when you could find a phone with a decent keyboard I would even write thoughts like this on one. But real individual information processing work gets done on a PC. Unless you are in the business of only reading stuff or killing pigs by throwing birds at them from a slingshot.
There are some rock solid obstructions to a mobile device being truly capable: 1. Screen resolution. I struggle with netbooks because the 600 pixel limitation to the height makes getting anything done on the internet difficult. Even 768 on many laptops is annoying. 2. Screen size. Some of us are lucky enough to not mind ridiculously small fonts. Not everyone. The Galaxy Note is a step in the right direction. 3. Keyboard. Again netbooks are a good example. Read reviews and all the complaints people make about smaller keyboards. For anyone that writes to make their living this is serious. Virtual keyboards on touch screen never, ever, ever come even close and voice recognition remains a problem in the real world. 4. Multi tasking. Even if Alt-tab isn’t your second nature, when you are working you are very often multitasking. I’m not talking about an iPhone finally being able to run essential tasks simultaneously. I am talking about 5 spreadsheets, 8 browser windows, a business app and a few other things running at the same time because I need to them to put something together. Even a simple presentation will often demand 6 or 7 software applications running concurrently. 5. Speed. When we are talking about serious work, the speed of the device is essentially stalling your thought process. I am annoyed at upgrading to an 18 megapixel DSLR because it takes that much longer for my Core i7, SSD laptop to process the images. Time is money and mobile devices are wasteful in this respect. Unless they are a laptop. Mobile enough!
The list continues with other major or minor niggles. “Niggles” being things that bother you. Like the room being too cold. Like your chair not being comfortable. Like all those things you don’t want bothering you when you actually try to get some work done. For anyone wanting to focus on a task involving the use of technology, a PC will continue to be the best place to get it done.