All Smartphones Should Have A Desktop Dock

Nexus One DockThe Google Nexus One is one of the most talked-about smartphones lately, and for good reason. I have yet to find anyone who dislikes it, and even better, Google released a desktop dock for the Nexus One recently.

Smartphones used to come with desktop docks, as this facilitated easy synchronization with your PC for PIM, as well as a handy charging station. Somewhere along the line, though, these desktop docks became extremely rare, so much so that it’s even tough to find an aftermarket one, much less one straight from the manufacturer. While the desktop sync feature is pretty much useless with today’s advanced and always-connected smartphones, there are still a host of great reasons to include a desktop dock, or at least make one readily available.

Nokia 8800 Arte DockFor starters, it looks classy. It brings to mind the charging dock that came with the Nokia 8800 Arte, which lit up while charging the phone with a sophisticated blue glow. When people come into your office or home, they see your smartphone proudly standing at attention, at the ready for whatever you need, as opposed to laying uselessly on the counter top. Second, having a desktop stand eliminates the hassle of grappling with charging connectors which are getting smaller and more finicky. Is that all they can do, though? Charging and display? Of course not.

As Google discovered with the Nexus One Desktop Dock, you can also use this stand to trigger specific applications and transfer multimedia to various outlets. The Nexus One Desktop Dock, which sells separately for $45, not only charges your Nexus One, but also launches the clock application automatically (and could likely be altered to launch whatever application you wanted. It would also be awesome (and probably easily accomplished) to see the dock automatically disable WiFi and close specific applications, such as a 3rd party Twitter app (as you’ve presumably launched one on your computer, and thus would like to conserve API calls).

The best part, though, is that the Google Nexus One Desktop Dock has a standard 3.5mm audio jack and a bundled 3.5mm-to-RCA cable to transmit music from the phone to your stereo system. The dock also has built-in Bluetooth connectivity, so that music is routed over A2DP from the phone to the dock, which then sends it to your stereo. Brilliant.

Now that we’ve eliminated the need to have a ‘syncing’ functionality in such a dock, we’re free to come up with more useful applications. Why not have a similar dock for my home tv, to activate the TV-Out function on my Nokia N97 and display my phone’s screen on my 46″ HDTV? The front-facing camera could then be used with gesture control to navigate through the menus to show off the photos I captured that day, for example.

What’s even better is that with solutions such as Powermat, these docks could be even easier for 3rd party manufacturers, as they wouldn’t need to worry about where the phone manufacturer had placed the charging port.

What other uses would you like to see integrated into a desktop dock for your phone?

Published by rcadden

Just a dude with a phone.

4 thoughts on “All Smartphones Should Have A Desktop Dock

  1. Eh, I was never a big fan of the PDA docs from back in the early mobile days. They were too bulky, and in many cases, just stood the device up – never offered much more. The Droid's car dock is an improvement… though I'd simply settle for a slot on my TV to place my mobile, front-camera facing, and a bit of MS Project Natal-like interactions with it. Then, docks make sense to me 😉

  2. Eh, I was never a big fan of the PDA docs from back in the early mobile days. They were too bulky, and in many cases, just stood the device up – never offered much more. The Droid's car dock is an improvement… though I'd simply settle for a slot on my TV to place my mobile, front-camera facing, and a bit of MS Project Natal-like interactions with it. Then, docks make sense to me 😉

  3. I've think I've had a dialog with you on his before…I'm also love the dock and want it to make a comeback. Even though I don't particulaly want one for the phone, I love the way Palm also does this with the Pre and their touchstone magnetic charger dock. It also activates “nightstand mode” when you dock it, and it's smart enough to put an active call on speaker when it's placed there. If I remember right, the Droid also has a set of docks (car and home) available too…Looks like they are making a comeback…the original iphone even came with one.

  4. I've think I've had a dialog with you on his before…I'm also love the dock and want it to make a comeback. Even though I don't particulaly want one for the phone, I love the way Palm also does this with the Pre and their touchstone magnetic charger dock. It also activates “nightstand mode” when you dock it, and it's smart enough to put an active call on speaker when it's placed there. If I remember right, the Droid also has a set of docks (car and home) available too…Looks like they are making a comeback…the original iphone even came with one.

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