Linked by David Adams on Mon 28th Mar 2016 19:23 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless The release of the iPhone SE is emblematic of the "boringness" of the smartphone landscape. For the last few years, the only thing exciting about new smartphone releases was that they kept getting bigger. Now the tide has turned. An article at the Atlantic makes an interesting parallel: the codex, or the innovation now known as "the book" hasn't seen many innovations in centuries, but that doesn't mean that books are boring. It just means that the innovation is at the edges. The article points at the release of the Caterpillar S60 smartphone, designed for industrial use and featuring a thermal imaging camera, as indicative of a new trend of specialization that might make the mobile computing market interesting as it extends into ever more narrow niches.
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Sensors and gadgets
by jgagnon on Mon 28th Mar 2016 20:06 UTC
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What will help, in my opinion, is adding more sensors and gadgets that allow phones to do more things and replace other gadgets/tools. There are a million and one ways to improve the cameras (infra-red, resolution, color depth, object detection, etc.), batteries, storage, etc. Having standardized expansion/gadgets via wireless and/or wired connections would be a good start. Turn the cell phone into a mobile computing platform that allows simple, standardized expansion instead of locking people into some fixed physical configuration.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Sensors and gadgets
by Pro-Competition on Tue 29th Mar 2016 19:30 UTC in reply to "Sensors and gadgets"
Pro-Competition Member since:

I completely agree with this. Everyone has different priorities for the various features, so IMO modularity is the only solution that makes sense, especially once the market plateaus.

It's also ridiculous to have to buy a new phone instead of upgrade a part. (Not just for cost, but from the environmental perspective as well.)

Reply Score: 2

Rugged phones
by Kochise on Mon 28th Mar 2016 20:06 UTC
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I own a HTC Evo 3D with a OtterBox Defender case. I'm for rugged smartphones with huge battery. It is a communication tool before everything else, so I don't get phones that last less than a day up.

Instead of a thermal camera, a nightshot IR camera would have been great ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Rugged phones
by ilovebeer on Mon 28th Mar 2016 23:17 UTC in reply to "Rugged phones"
ilovebeer Member since:

It would be cool if my phone had night vision, but it would be purely novelty for me. The only thing I can think of right now that would actually be useful to have would be a distance measuring laser. Then again I don't like the idea of carrying around a cellphone any more than necessary. Cellphones these days feel as much of a burden as they do a convenience.

Reply Score: 2

Oh my ...
by acobar on Mon 28th Mar 2016 20:15 UTC
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lets correct things, at least from the perspective of most users (or so I think so, please, repeat after me): desktops and smartphones are tools ! That they happen to be so flexible that they can be used for lots of things is a BONUS ! Your use of them is what makes them boring not them by themselves !

In my case and for lots of people I know, they are cool, well, for some they are even addictive !

Please, stop to spread things from the wrong perspective, even if only the headline is intentionally made for clickbait purposes and the rest of the article is not.

Edited 2016-03-28 20:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Oh my ...
by Kochise on Mon 28th Mar 2016 20:30 UTC in reply to "Oh my ..."
Kochise Member since:

Well, the headline is true in the sense that smartphone have reached full maturity a couple years back. It's only dpi, ram size and form factor that now makes a difference.

But as a user, I recall the days of my Nokia N95 that lasted two days without charge (without internet too, but that's another point)

Edited 2016-03-28 20:30 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Mon 28th Mar 2016 21:15 UTC
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I want a boring phone.

The design of the book is boring, while content they contain that makes it books exciting is external to the design of the book. The book is a mature design, though. There isn't much you can do to enhance a book's design.

In the same vein, I want my smartphone to be boring, because that means it's reached a point of useful maturity. All the exciting stuff is external to the design of the phone.

That said, I'm digging my LG G4 that I just purchased (Steep discount, too, since the G5 is just about out)

Reply Score: 6

by WorknMan on Mon 28th Mar 2016 21:54 UTC
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As someone who prefers small phones that are very pocket friendly, the iPhone SE is the most exciting release since the 5S, as it appears no Android vendors want to make a 4" phone that's worth a shit ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Boring?
by leos on Mon 28th Mar 2016 23:07 UTC in reply to "Boring?"
leos Member since:

Exactly. SE is awesome. I love my 5s and this has all the performance of a 6s in a manageable body size. Perfect really and no camera bump! Will be upgrading soon.

The SE is probably the fastest phone Apple makes given it has all the power and fewer pixels to push. Also gives it the best battery life. A phone that will last me the next 4 years.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Boring?
by Jonteponte7112 on Tue 29th Mar 2016 08:01 UTC in reply to "Boring?"
Jonteponte7112 Member since:

It really is amazing that anti-apple people are pissing all over this since the platform of infinite choice (Android) does not even have two decent picks in this category. And that is not even taking price into consideration. My guess is that they abandoned this category and went all-in on huge-ass phablets beacuse it was the easy way out. Making high-end compact phones with decent battery life is *hard* and therefore expensive. Not something low-margin market-share seeking OEM's would be interested in.

If this is even a moderate success though expect a shit-load of Android OEM's at least *trying* to go the same route as Apple. That is just the ebb-and-flow of the "leading by following" innovation in this business...

Edited 2016-03-29 08:03 UTC

Reply Score: 1

by judgen on Mon 28th Mar 2016 22:51 UTC
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JLG said: "I like the tool is am using to be more of a kitchen knife than a swiss army knife. The kitcen knife serves a specific purpose, and whilst you can still can do lots of things with the swiss army knife, it sucks at all of them"

Reply Score: 2

by nicubunu on Tue 29th Mar 2016 05:48 UTC
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Make the battery charge lasts for a whole week and then we can talk about adding even more gimmicky features.

Reply Score: 4

RE: battery
by darknexus on Tue 29th Mar 2016 11:36 UTC in reply to "battery"
darknexus Member since:

Make the battery charge lasts for a whole week and then we can talk about adding even more gimmicky features.

Then lose the week's battery charge in a day because of those "features."

Reply Score: 2

book innovation
by sweisman66 on Tue 29th Mar 2016 09:39 UTC
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The author is totally ignorant. Of course "book technology" has seen major innovation, in just the last century. The mass-market paperback was a major, even revolutionary, advance in reducing the cost and increasing the distribution of the written word.

Reply Score: 2

RE: book innovation
by David on Thu 31st Mar 2016 03:53 UTC in reply to "book innovation"
David Member since:

Actually the author mentioned mass market paperbacks and more niche innovations such as spiral binding. Nevertheless, I think you can count those as being evolutionary from a basic form factor perspective, rather than the initial revolutionary improvement over the scroll and clay tablet.

Reply Score: 1