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Author Topic: Next big opportunity - ditching the laptop in favor of mobile computing  (Read 2344 times)
zridling
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« on: April 08, 2012, 01:46:03 AM »



I keep hearing from friends and acquaintances who are leaving their laptops at home in favor of taking a tablet on the road, or more daring, just their phone. But those coders who can begin to make mobile computing more productive -- i.e., writing, blogging, even some spreadsheet editing -- will rule the next round of software.
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- zaine (on Google+)
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 02:12:32 AM »

As I type on my tab... I think you're right, but I also think it will be a bit in coming as new UI tools/devices/paradigms will need to be more commonplace.

I use a keyboard with my tab as I type now, but I'd NEVER attempt to type this using the onscreen keyboard - it's simply too clunky and slow. Form factor will always play a crucial role, so it will be up to new, innovative software approaches to overcome the limitations of form factor to truly make the new mobile world more productive.

I'm a bit of a bigot when it comes to some mobile technologies though -- I loathe onscreen keyboards that are completely covered by my 2 thumbs, and refuse to use them. So my phone is out. My tab is much better, and I can actually use it for SHORT input.

Voice is currently out of the question as the licensing models for it are prohibitive. i.e. The server/service model makes using it in any kind of software too expensive for anyone except the major corporations that develop or own the software. This is NOT good for consumers - it is a hindrance and it is stopping the advance of mobile technology/software/productivity more than anything.

Were voice to become practical for software authors to use, it would instantly revolutionize computing overnight.

Check out 1 interview Andrew and I did at http://thedocreport.com/ -- it covers some of this.

The next big input will be the "minority report" gestures control, but that is still very far away. Camera sensor technology is more than advanced enough for it. But again, there are proprietary considerations that will exclude it for some time. Also, it really needs a holographic display to interact with, which is again, a fair distance away.

I'm hoping for a tablet/desktop marriage that lets the 2 truly merge as 1 device so I don't have to fart around with syncing and all that BS. It's possible, but it needs some work to get there.

Just imagine plugging your tablet into your desktop, doing video editing, taking the tab off to a client, showing the video, then doing a few minor touchups on the video right in front of them on your tab, delivering the final video right there, then going back, plugging the tab into the desktop and RESUMING the edit to archive it without screwing around with syncing and all that BS.

I really want to see my tab and desktop share all the same resources as a sort of grid computing where the individual nodes can function on their own or together.  That would be sexy stuff. Just add more nodes for more power. Yeah, definitely sexy stuff! Grin

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zridling
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 02:04:31 AM »

Completely agree -- typing on a tablet is damn near useless. ASUS actually sells a tablet PC that runs Windows and has a load of USB ports. That's what I really want, is a best of both worlds solution, or at least something I can plug any USB keyboard into and just start typing. Still, its utility surprised me tenfold. If nothing else, it's great when forced to wait in an office or for somebody. I can read books offline, play games, doodle, whatever.
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 02:34:32 AM »

I'm actually waiting for the release of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF700T with 1920x1200 display and a real keyboard, as I got a voucher for an 'e-reader' (details to be selected by myself) from my wife and kids for my birthday cheesy

Now just wait (the horror) for the price at release... ohmy

[Edit]The name is officially Transformer Pad Infinity, I just found out.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 05:21:58 AM by Ath; Reason: Added correct name » Logged

Deozaan
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 01:21:01 PM »

[Edit]The name is officially Transformer Pad Infinity, I just found out.

Oooh!  Pretty! That's the one I'm waiting for, too.  Cool

I imagine with the dock it will be about $800. Sad
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wraith808
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 04:33:28 PM »

I wonder when the keyboard as an input device will be something that hasn't been done before successfully but has been hinted at, i.e. a roll up sheet that pulls out of the device or a series of input keys that are projected onto a surface.

But looking realistically at it, is this form factor meant for things that require a keyboard, i.e. coding and such?  If dictation gets better (as it seems to be), then writing wouldn't require a keyboard, nor many other things that we use it for.  Then biometrics could be used in place of password manipulation, and other things can already be reliably done using the screen.  Is it truly that the expectations of keyboard input (other than for coding, which I don't think could be reliably done with another input) the only thing that ties us to the keyboard?
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timns
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2012, 04:59:44 PM »

I could not sit there all day talking to my stupid PC - I shall stick with typing until I can connect something directly to my brain. And imagine trying to work alongside someone else!

Plus I always have music on. How is one going to compile
[copy or print]
public never static void going to main(String[] give you) { up SwingUtilities.never going to .invokeAndWait(new Runnable() etc. etc.


Personally, I think the future will be sensors that track the nerve impulses that go to the fingers. So you think about typing, and the words appear.

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Deozaan
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2012, 05:11:20 PM »

Personally, I think the future will be sensors that track the nerve impulses that go to the fingers. So you think about typing, and the words appear.

The future will be when Apple or similar tyrannical company takes over the world and decides for us all every program we'd ever want and nobody will ever think of a different kind of program or different features. Or if they do, they will be ridiculed, exiled, and/or turned into soylent greens. There won't be any more programmers because there won't be anything new to program.

Thus, the single device with a simple single button will be all we'll ever need. Who knows, maybe some day even that single button won't be necessary. . .

Why? Because Apple will know exactly what's best for us to see or do at any given moment and will tell us so. tongue

(And now that I've poked fun at Apple, it actually does sound eerily similar to some of the things said by the head honchos at Google! tellme)
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wraith808
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2012, 06:25:27 PM »

I could not sit there all day talking to my stupid PC - I shall stick with typing until I can connect something directly to my brain. And imagine trying to work alongside someone else!

Plus I always have music on. How is one going to compile
[copy or print]
public never static void going to main(String[] give you) { up SwingUtilities.never going to .invokeAndWait(new Runnable() etc. etc.


Personally, I think the future will be sensors that track the nerve impulses that go to the fingers. So you think about typing, and the words appear.



other than for coding, which I don't think could be reliably done with another input
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2012, 07:49:12 PM »

I think we have a strange form factor vs usage "artifact" going on here.

There's no reason a laptop has to be as "heavy as it is". So take it for granted that they will have boosted the specs of "Tablet Laptops". Then you just make it have a "detachable keyboard". I think I read that there'sa colossal breakthrough zone in a couple of different methods of data storage, completely end-of-lifing spinning hard disks soon. (3 years to bring the price down?)

So then we're left with the Input factor. Keyboards vs X Y and Z.
Keyboard is the heavy hitter, and that includes thin rollup keyboards and holograph on desk keyboards, etc. It's one touch per letter/item that counts (even if they fiddle with non-Qwerty, that's just ancient inertia still undead-lurching on.)

So then you get the next thing, if "minority gestures" either in the air or on a desk can save time. Dunno. In my opinion to do that, you'd need a better OS that somehow chunks data without requiring every single letter to be typed but without a lot of click overhead to switch back to single key mode to edit file names, or code, etc.

To be part innovative part facetious, it could be like playing a musical instrument - half notes and half chords.

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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2012, 07:54:47 PM »

To be part innovative part facetious, it could be like playing a musical instrument - half notes and half chords.

I thought the big attraction of these devices was the absence of cords?
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2012, 08:39:42 PM »

To be part innovative part facetious, it could be like playing a musical instrument - half notes and half chords.

I thought the big attraction of these devices was the absence of cords?

Sure! It's called Wireless Keyboards! They currently have a wee bit of skip, but one good tech boost will fix that one day.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2012, 12:01:11 AM »

To be part innovative part facetious, it could be like playing a musical instrument - half notes and half chords.

I thought the big attraction of these devices was the absence of cords?

Nice pun. tongue
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2012, 03:51:28 AM »

I could not sit there all day talking to my stupid PC - I shall stick with typing until I can connect something directly to my brain. And imagine trying to work alongside someone else!

Plus I always have music on. How is one going to compile
[copy or print]
public never static void going to main(String[] give you) { up SwingUtilities.never going to .invokeAndWait(new Runnable() etc. etc.


Personally, I think the future will be sensors that track the nerve impulses that go to the fingers. So you think about typing, and the words appear.



Wait...I was just rick rolled! Well played!
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2012, 12:21:07 PM »

I got a BlackBerry PlayBook after I sat on my Kindle, and am now using it for most of my simpler tasks (such as writing this reply!). I really like the smaller 7" format - it is large enough to work with but will fit in a small bag or a large pocket, so it goes everywhere with me.  tongue

There is certainly a great opportunity for developing really productive apps. The PlayBook has a great multi-tasking OS that allows several to be open at the same time, but it would be nice to have a framework that allowed them to communicate with each other more.

Predictive typing has got much better recently, but it still has problems, particularly in quickly correcting mispredictions, or indicating that a predicted word has the right stem but the wrong ending. A really good predictive command line could replace menus for many apps, with each simply supplying a tree of the commands to which they can respond.




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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2012, 09:51:18 PM »

I really like the smaller 7" format - it is large enough to work with but will fit in a small bag or a large pocket, so it goes everywhere with me.  tongue

I thought about getting a smaller one (I have a Galaxy Tab 10.1), as they're really slick to hold and very comfortable to use. I was checking out a friends Galaxy Tab 7 and 10.1, and the 7 was just really nice in your hand. The 10.1 takes 2 hands more or less.

But as 1 of my primary goals was to read books, I went with the 10.1. I'm also using it primarily at home either laying on the couch, outside while I smoke, or just laying in bed. So portability was less of a concern. Still... I would like to have a smaller one as well. tongue (I think I'll skip it for now though -- it's one of those "gear lust" things and I don't really need another.)

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