Cell-Phones: An Easy-to-Use Evil

I read a blog post recently on Planet Larry, which describes only one facet of how cell-phones are disgusting. It reminded me that I’ll have to get one soon. All the same, it’s nice to see I’m not the only one who hates it.

It feels like the cell-phone world is moving at a snails pace. Sure, the iPhone stepped it up a notch. It introduced a certain amount of flexibility never before seen in cell-phones. However, the price for it is unbelievable, it’s still using the ancient idea of calling numbers, which are hardly memorable, it’s still locked down so that you can’t do anything creative with it, and the service itself won’t work with any device except the phones provided.

Why can’t cell-phone companies open their API’s so that more hardware can be produced which can log into and use the cell-phone system? Why can’t the cell-phone system either take on more features, or back off and start over with a better foundation for generic data (like mobile broadband already does) so that more information than just calls can be sent over the network? It seems like a no-brainer, and a way to make your network very, very popular.

I wonder if the iPhone is such a success because people feel the limitations of their phones. I think more can be done to break us free of a locked down system that is rigid and hardly feature-rich anymore. Unfortunately, people find it hard to get out of certain ruts when it comes to technology and move on to better systems. The current system is easy enough to use and can do just enough to stay useful. That’s going to make it hard to move on, and harder for companies to see the point.

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Comments

  • numerodix  On August 10, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I beg to differ. Cell phones are not easy to use. They should be, but they’re not. I repress the pain I have to go through when I need to type an sms on my phone. First I have to turn off predictive text and uppercase/capitalizing mode. Then I start typing. If I need a special character I go into another menu, and when I come out of it again predictive text and uppercase are back on. Needless to say there’s no setting to turn that stuff off. It’s so poorly thought out it’s not even funny.

    They look nice, sure. But that’s pretty much their biggest asset. Usability is terrible most of the time. Sometimes it’s merely bad.

    • javaJake  On August 14, 2009 at 7:45 am

      Well, it’s a system everyone’s familiar with, and it’s just easy enough so that people won’t really care enough to move quite as fast as needed for companies to see the need to change.

      Edit: So, really we’re saying nearly the same thing. šŸ˜‰

  • sharper16  On August 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Although I think I can recognize your points, I don’t understand how they at all make cell phones “evil”.

    • javaJake  On August 13, 2009 at 9:37 pm

      It’s strong language because that’s how I feel. (And I feel that way because I’m being forced into buying a cell-phone from, and paying the bills of a system I’d much rather not support.)

      • sharper16  On August 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm

        You don’t HAVE to buy one. =P There are ways to avoid it.

      • javaJake  On August 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm

        Iā€™d very much like to know how to avoid cell-phones. Skype isn’t a possibility… yet.

  • NeedANAP  On August 29, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Seems like a lot of people are hating on their cell. Brings to mind a funny clip I saw about cell phones being evil. Check it out at http://www.celldefense.com..lol

Trackbacks

  • By RSS Digest #119 on August 11, 2009 at 3:22 am

    […] to the iPhone and iPod Touch C4[3]: premier Midwest Mac dev conference already sold out (Updated) Cell-Phones: An Easy-to-Use Evil Off the clock? Hyperconnected workers sue employers Opinion: Microsoft should follow Apple lead on […]

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