Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Sometimes a phone is just a phone and a web site is just a web site...

Sometimes a phone is just a phone and a web site is just a web site...

By Dennis D. McDonald, Ph.D.

Published August 13, 2010

I’ve been researching which smartphone to buy after my current Verizon agreement (and its associated dumbphone) expire. I’m not interested in broadcasting my whereabouts to everyone (no Foursquare for me) but I do recognize the value of mobile maps, search, and occasional email on the go.

I know the world is going mobile just as I know that young folks don’t like talking on the phone. With my eyesight, though, I really need a big screen, and with my frequent document creation work, I don’t see using a device with a 4” screen and a toy keyboard to do serious writing (Twitter not included).

I want a reliable phone with occasional web and email access. But reading the Android fanboy literature about all the different Android incarnations out there is troubling. I know full well I’ll be buying a computer and I resist having to deal with another platform and learning curve, like the early days of Windows and hardware-enabled bifurcations that enabled.

I’m not a software developer. I just want to work and communicate without having to worry whether the next app I download is going to lock up my phone when I most need it.

I’m reminded of the time I landed with my family in Frankfurt, rented a shiny new German car — and couldn’t figure out how to start the engine. I just want to, as they say, “grab the phone and go.”

As far as on-the-go social networking is concerned, I admit I’ll probably be carrying over my current level of activity and engagement. But web access on the go is critical. That’s where I’m coming from on the saying “sometimes a web site is just a web site.” I don’t want to have to register, become a member of a network, and decide on differing levels of privacy every time I go to a new site. If I’m on the go I just want to go there, do my thing, and leave, and that does not include getting locked into a Google or Facebook infrastructure. (Not that Apple doesn’t lock you in either…)

It’s like shopping — I avoid shopping malls whenever I can; meandering around from shoe store to shoe store drives me nuts. Let me find a store that has what I want, I’ll go and buy it, and leave.

The web’s the same. Sometimes I’m into “social,” sometimes I’m not.

Don’t force me into quicksand when I just want to skate along the surface!

Copyright (c) 2010 by Dennis D. McDonald

“… and a good cigar is a smoke.”


on 2010-08-13 23:10 by Dennis D. McDonald

#1 Son, when I asked him about this, was quite supportive of Android, and he’s a current iPhone customer. I think he thinks I’m more interested in “tweaking” opportunities which the various Android flavors provide, but one question I couldn’t answer was — what would I do with my iPod and iTunes (which I manage on a Windows 7 laptop)?

If I get an iPhone I can continue to manage my nusic and podcasts on the iPhone via the Windows version of iTunes. If I go with one of the various Android instances, what do I do about iTunes and my iPod music?

Needed: Managing Variety in Technology Adoption Rates

Needed: Managing Variety in Technology Adoption Rates

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