Mobile Regressions

For all the attention paid to mobile computing these days and all the progress that has been made, sometimes I feel like we’re going backwards in some areas.

  • Customizable launch/home screens, input mechanisms, etc. The Palm Pilot had this capability back in the late 90s, the iPhone, Palm Pre etc. only have it via jailbreak or patches. I understand Android is better here, but haven’t tested it.
  • My Palm V + Omnisky with SnapperMail had direct IMAP access back in 2001. The BlackBerry devices I used for the last 3 years had to go through a proxy (which was down more than my mail servers were).
  • Battery life has gone from 2-4 days back in the Treo 300/600 days down to less than 24 hours for the iPhone, Palm Pre, Droid and NexusOne.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled at the things these devices can do, but I also look forward to the day they can do so without as many tradeoffs.