I just read this awesome post from my friend Antoine about how he met our mutual online friend Trent in real life the other day. The two apparently had a great time discussing tech, and the conversation eventually moved to something that I firmly believe in: Technology should enrich and enable your real life, and not get in the way.
Trent had noticed that his new Nexus One made it so easy – simply type in his Google username and password and all his content was downloaded from the cloud to his phone, just like that. Somewhat magical, but the process of getting setup is so simple now that it leaves plenty of room for actually using our devices.
There was a time when I changed phones multiple times per day. Even now, I have no less than 10 phones laying around, but I only swap my SIM card between three, and they each have very specific purposes. My G2 is my powerhouse – it can do anything, at any time, and I’ve got it setup to work precisely how I want it to. My HD7 is my reliable phone. It never needs to be rebooted, doesn’t lock up or get sluggish, and while it doesn’t afford me the same abilities as my G2 (yet), it’s awesome for various specific needs. My N8 is my fun phone, since I can’t put my work email on it (because it’s too stupid to be able to sync 2 Exchange accounts simultaneously). The N8, though, has the best camera and pretty darn good battery life.
As phones get smarter, they get more useful, mainly because they begin to do things FOR us. The money quote from Antoine’s blog post is this:
Those two applications made it such that my device was able to simply sit on the side until I needed it. And when I did, there was no swiping between home screens, application lists, folders, or even navigating settings. Things just worked best for me and the mobile could go back into my pocket without much fuss. Simplicity because it adapted first.
Technology that enriches and enables our real life, instead of getting in the way. It’s beautiful.
2 thoughts on “Real Life And Gadgets”
So is it time to change your tagline to “Just a dude with (10) phones” ?
As you stated on my blog, I can say similar. If it doesn’t enrich our lives, its excess that can be trimmed.
I do think that we have a different perspetive on this from those who might not be/have been in the business of reviewing mobiles (software, accessories, etc.). The ability to have your patience and ego tested by trying so many devices and trying to keep some semblance of your life together creates that moment where you become at ease with cobbling together solutions and living with certain wrinkles. And yet, we go to that point where simpler once again mattered. There are compromises in going simpler, there’s also enablements. We get it, and we can now preach it without that weight of catering to “the shiny.”
That kind of living is something that’s been so pleasant lately that I enjoy those moments that just work much more than the tech.