Sunday, April 5, 2009

About mobile apps and mobile computing

In the last 3 or 4 weeks since I had my new mobile phone, I have re-discovered a whole new world of computing. The mobile phone is indeed an alluring little gadget. There are so many interesting mini applications in the web. I could spend hours surfing endlessly for all kind of applications that are designed on my phone's Symbian platform. Among the more unusual and unexpected apps I saw was a drum kit application that actually works like a real drum machine. I have also come across a metronome, a music tuner, a software that can turn the mobile into a Wifi hotspot, as well as one that can constantly monitor for wifi hotspots wherever you do. I just installed QReader today, which can read any .txt file in a mobile-friendly way. Really, the possibilities are practically endless. It is not just about apps you can put into the phone, but it is about what you can carry with you on the go.

After many days of spending hours at a stretch scouring the web for new apps, I begin to ask myself whether I am enjoying my new phone more or whether I am simply hooked on looking for new apps. The little apps are so much more appealing than the big software packages that one installs on a desktop computer. The mini apps are fast to download, and simple to install. Instructions, if needed, are often short and simple. If you don't like what you have installed, removing it is equally quick and easy. Caution: this is very addictive. (I am determined to stop apps surfing or at least limit my time spent on it. Yes, this is a warning to myself)

For me, true mobile computing is no longer about carrying a laptop, or a downsized netbook like the Asus Eeepc. It is about carrying a mobile phone that has now become my watch and alarm clock (I no longer wear a watch); my MP3 player and voice recorder (I have shelved my digital recorder and MP3 player); my appointment book (I used to carry a diary for appointments when I was working full time); and of course, a whole library of ebooks, plus a small collection of photos and family videos. Oh yes, it is a handy camera too. Wasn't that why I bought the N73 in the first place?

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