Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Do you miss the simplicity of the original Palm OS?

Did you have a Palm Treo running Palm OS? Maybe you had a PDA like the Palm V or a Sony Clie. Do you miss the simplicity of the original Palm OS?

As a I use different smartphones, I find myself often remembering how the original Palm OS was simple and elegant - perfect for low-tech physicians who tend to be late adopters of technology. I was mainly a Windows Mobile (Pocket PC) user because I didn't care about the simplicity of Palm OS. I needed a PDA that functioned like a PC. I was multitasking all the time.

As I test and use iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and webOS, I find myself thinking back to those Palm OS days. Those old Palm OS devices were meant to be used with a stylus. Today's smartphones are being built around finger touch input/navigation. The simplicity is returning because we need large icons that we can tap with our fingers. There was no multitouch concept when we were using a passive stylus on our small digital screens. Now, our finger tips act as capacitors, allowing us to input text, navigate on a web page, and control the device through creative two-finger gestures.

What will future smartphones be like? They will incorporate touch-screens, but they will also heavily rely on voice recognition and voice commands. I wonder how long we'll need to wait before that type of voice input becomes the "standard."

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