Weekend Discussion: What Do You Want Your Mobile Device To Do?

Wow. I blow out a knee and spend a portion of the day dealing with that and some real amazing discussions break out here on GBM. Rob has highlighted them both but I want to use them in a tangential way to springboard into this weekend’s discussion topic. There are two really fascinating and informative discussions going on in comments to previous posts here on GBM that are worth paying attention to. Yesterday Rob posted that The Tablet PC Is Taking Quite a Beating These Days and there are some great responses from a number of readers there. Rob’s also actively soliciting Bill Gates to come have a chat on Rob’s next trip to Redmond about Tablet PCs and how we move forward.

Two days or so ago, Rob put together a great list of possible multi-touch usage scenarios in response to the All Father of Tablet PCs, James Kendrick’s post wherein jk was looking for a multi-touch usage scenario that fit his own usage model. Again, some great thoughts and comments there. There are also some good comments on James’ original post as well.


Mark “Sumocat” Sumimoto has extended that latter conversation with a great essay on his blog, Sumocat’s Scribbles. It is quite a long read, but well worth it and it involves downloading a document to get the entire thing. (You can download the file here in Word format or here in PDF format.)

The passions and the thoughts being tossed about in both conversations remind me of the early days on Tablet PC Buzz when folks were discussing the viability, the attacks on, and the real possibilities of Tablet PCs and I think that is a fantastic thing. Microsoft certainly isn’t making its case for the Tablet PC platform these days behind its Sinofosky wall of silence, and beyond recycled Microsoft Surface demos on a Tablet PC as a teaser for Windows 7, it isn’t doing much to explain why multi-touch could be of much use either.

So, once again, it is left up to the community to do the case building, and perhaps left up to others (Apple? OLPC?) to help define the market. But let’s move on to the weekend discussion topic.


Let’s forget about specific devices and specific form factors. Let’s forget about limitations and marketing miscues. Here’s your chance to dream a little. In your scenario, what do you want and need to do with a mobile device? I’m not going to define mobile device here and I ask you not to as well. Let’s just call them a mobile device in this discussion. Think of the things you need and want to accomplish and spell it out in the comments.


Here’s my list to kick it off.

  1. Be a note taking device.
  2. Be able to search those notes.
  3. Browse the web and be able to connect anywhere.
  4. Write and read email.
  5. Create documents.
  6. Consume media.
  7. Record media.
  8. Share data with other devices.
  9. Have GPS connectivity.

Oh, and by the way, keep those comments coming in those other threads.