Last week my GPS stopped working for 30 minutes when driving. I was annoyed, irrationally so, and then I got to thinking about how things have changed. I used to wait for ages for GPS to get a connection and the software would often get mixed up and lose connection on longer trips. A loss of connection happens about once every 2 months now and my software never gets mixed up. I have near perfect traffic monitoring and it all just works. It all just works and the time when I used to have to fiddle with my PDA, GPS receiver and the software just to get somewhere is but a distant memory.
We carried around a phone ‘and’ a PDA and we put up with hunting and pecking on a tiny virtual keyboard to input text. Think back and remember what it was like, and then think about what we have today. It is markedly different and so much better in so many ways.
It wasn’t all bad of course because there were some genuine highlights- Palm Graffiti, Psion multi-tasking and the 5MX keyboard, the Loox 720 (basically everything about it at the time) and some other small glimmers of ‘ahead of their time’ design.
However, when we look at what we have now it soon becomes clear that the industry and other aspects including mobile data speeds, battery performance, screens, apps and their pricing, and almost everything else has massively improved over the past 4 years. The next time you have a small problem with your smartphone or tablet, think back a few years and forgive it for the occasional downfall.