Time was that the release of a new phone, PDA or tablet had the geeks of the world running around in circles with excitement. No matter how small the change, whether it be a bigger screen or a slightly faster processor, there was a large crowd of people for whom constant upgrades were a way of life. I was of course one of those people, but over the past few years that has all stopped. Give me something that works and I am happy to stick with it until (Apple tells me to upgrade) a new phone is released that feels worthy of my money.
This is something I have witnessed with many others who used to upgrade as often as I did. We have settled down and are no longer involved in the pointless chasing of the perfect device which will never appear anyway. We use our devices to do things and do not buy them just to have the latest and greatest, and this is of course how it should be. It’s a bit like owning a PC. If I bought the latest iMac tomorrow with the wonderful new screen, I would likely be extremely impressed for the first few hours and then get some work done on it, and the new screen and design would become an invisible part of my life.
Phones have followed the same route for me. I got the iPhone 6, was impressed by the slim design and bigger screen, and now it is just an object I use for multiple tasks every day. I am constantly impressed by it in a sub-conscious way and I feel no need to change. There is little novelty involved in the process and thus less emotion, and I suspect that many of you who used to hanker for the next Palm PDA or Sony Clie feel the same.
Ironically, the people who do get excited by the next big phone or tablet are not geeks. They are perfectly normal people who have discovered that mobile technology can be transformative and highly beneficial. I am making a presumption here because it cannot possibly be true that all of the hype is just because Apple is involved. Can it really be the case that Apple has created a phenomenon where anything the company releases is greeted with lines and lines of people desperate to get their hands on the product? Notwithstanding the scalpers who have people waiting queuing for them every day, when a new iPhone is launched people around me talk about it and know what is coming, people who have no real interest in phones.
Mobile technology has taken over the world and left those of us who were in the ‘geek club’ as a small group in millions rather than just being a small group who others thought were strange. It has also reached the point where there is no longer such a need for support and these devices do, on the whole, tend to work without any problems no matter what competency level the owner is at.
Apps have been a major talking point over the years, but I for one am finding that I have a core set of tools that I use and it is very difficult for new releases to make it to my home screen. There are countless apps available for every conceivable task and thousands of games in every genre so it can feel as though everything new is just a variation on a theme. Many, many good quality apps are still being released every week, but it has reached the level where it is difficult to find the good ones so maybe some help is needed there.
What I am thinking about is what to write about on a daily basis for the site. I get that there is still some excitement for all of the new Android phones that get released so often, but I struggle to muster any excitement at all for them. I don’t know why because I should love the flexibility and the constant striving to make the technology better, but I just don’t. I don’t hate it at all, but I don’t have the motivation to keep changing and to keep tweaking phones and tablets. My motivation has changed to doing things with my devices and getting use out of them; emails, navigation, podcasts, music, reading and so on. That’s what I want and my phone can do it all perfectly well so why move to something new?
How about you? Where are you in your mobile evolution? Are you still excited by what is being released now and in the near future or are you like me, content with what you have?