1) Easy access to 3rd party OS enhancements (Apps) - Having a smartphone with no ... Smartphone News forum
5 things that all GREAT smartphones "should" have!
1) Easy access to 3rd party OS enhancements (Apps) - Having a smartphone with no 3rd party apps can be compared buying a house or renting an appartment with no furniture. Yes its a roof over your head, hot & cold water, heating, etc. but it is the furniture and electronics that truely brings the place to life! Similarly, mosts smartphones out-of-the-box provide you with just the basics. Therefore, 3rd party apps help to customize it to meet your needs and desires. This is number one on the list for a reason.
2) A GUI that fits "YOU" - Its prety much safe to say that currently there are no "bad" smartphone GUIs out there. Yes they all are differn't but there are fans of each! All those apps and built-in features are only as good as the GUI of each smartphone platform. Of what good are time saving features when you can't remember where to find them or getting there involves too many steps? In my view the GUI is a very core part of the OS since we have to use it for every task, every feature and to access every app. When choosing a smartphone, remember first-time GUIs take a lot of time to master so don't switch smartphone platforms if you don't have the time and patience needed. There are a variety of smartphone platforms to choose form. So make a list of features, tools, functions, etc that are most important to you, take it with you to the retail & carrier stores and then compare each smartphone against your list before purchase. Can also be done online.
3) PUSH eMail, Calendar & Contacts - All the major smartphones need to have a free or paid solution for this. However, of what use is a PUSH email if we need to forward that email to a contact not listed in our address book but instead is located on our mail server? Or, when we receive a conference call invite (*.ics) it should sync to our calender and alert us without having to click anything other than "accept". I've been enjoying this (powered by Google) as a result I must say PUSH email is not enough! Its time that ALL consumers enjoy PUSH email and remote access to Calendar and contacts. It does not matter if it's an out of the box or 3rd party solution, it just needs to work and work well. Android, BlackBerry iPhone, Nokia and Windows Mobile ALL have PUSH solutions, some free and some paid.
4) "Basic" and "Advanced" modes or for now "allowing a learning curve" - I'm yet to see this, but out of the box I believe an OS should be able to accomodate first time users. For example, a setting of "Basic" would restrict access to certain advanced features, impose stability-enhancing restrictions (eg. multitasking limitations, bandwidth saving ($$), etc.) while enabling the "Advanced" mode would offer access to system settings, debugging, tethering, limitless multitasking, etc. This would be useful in today's market because smartphone users are mostly concerned with being able to answer/make calls and message others via email or SMS. On the other hand, pros don't appreciate training wheels and restrictions. Give us access to more control! There could even be a 3rd "Developer" mode that voids warranty once enabled. (Note that there are developer versions of some smartphones)
5) Fully "capable" web browser - Recently (the last few months) you'll notice the developers at Google Mobile have released an onslaught of COOL new features for Google search and Gmail, but only for Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile and Palm Pre. You may ask, what about BlackBerry?! Well simply put the built-in BlackBerry browser does not cut it. Thankfully though - unlike Apple - there are multiple 3rd party browsers available for BlackBerry. The downside of that is that Google's developers are creating these new features only for the official browsers of the various platforms. So take for example, this update for Gmail. Although its run completely within the mobile browser, the Gmail interface feels like you've just launched an app! Yes, the future of smartphones and will include a lot more 3rd party solutions that function completely within your smartphone's web browser "Web Apps".
The typing test - How fast can you type on the smartphone in question. How important I being able to type with one hand to you? Try it before you buy it.
Don't let the hype get to you! - Sometimes, especially with long-awaited devices, there's so much buzz and excitement about the smartphone that you want to be the first to buy it. Don't. Take your time, because sometimes what you learn in 10 to 30 mins form hands-on can save you a return trip.
Also see a basic but accurate top smartphone guide here:
We hope this list was useful. Keep tapping away on those smartphones!
Great Post, good for future reference too when trying to decide on a new device.
Well done Hayden - coudln't have synthesized better. It's a very good "expectation" list for all buyers. It's a pity the manufacturers don´t all take heed !
Nice list Hayden. Since you focused on the software aspect, I'll throw it out there that I think all devices should operate on a common system so I can use my device on any carrier. Businesses and consumers are always looking for better service for less money and being locked in to a carrier just to use a device I'm comfortable with just doesn't make sense.
BlackBerry8900/18.104.22.168 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100
And remove the off buttons!
"Nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical Humans." (Spock)
I enjoyed reading this list. 1, because it has been almost a year since I became a member of pinstack, and I have to say, I ve learned SO incredibly much. I fully agree on hayden's idea of a smartphone that can become operationally more advanced as the user becomes more knowledgeable. 2. I really like the concept of being able to make a list and take it into a store that carries smartphones, and by my list, able to pick out the smartphone that's just right for me. And to be able to have a rep to set my phone to suit me individually before I leave the store would be awesome. Thank u for shring ur thoughts and ideas Hayden. It was a good read.
BlackBerry9000/22.214.171.1247 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102
Great list, Hayden, and well reasoned.
Originally Posted by MStrawder
Mstrawder, this one would also be great but it's gonna be next to never coming. 1st we need to decide on a protocol for this country, one or the other, and then it's more of a possibility. However, I fear the politics/competition among the carriers will always be in the way of getting us to any device-any carrier.
For every complex problem there is a solution, that is simple, neat, .....and wrong! (H. L. Mencken) jblackfish(at)pinstack(dot)com
Couldn't agree more.
Originally Posted by jblackfish
Here in the EU some strides have been made in uniformization of services, but the process stills smacks of favouritism, especially in favour of the operators, particularly the big players. They are the ones that dictate the politics and the policy...and they then hand over the few partial "benefits" (crumbs) to the end client, and we rejoice. (Point in question: uniform roaming costs all over the continent, long, long overdue). It's a continuous and slow process ... like a ant climbing Mount Everest !
I am afraid to say that the "SMARTPHONE" is a by-product of the above, to keep us consumers running from one to another gadget, to keep all the small players humming and working, and provide fat profits for the big guns.
Uniformization, really, of any kind of service or product is a long way off...
Is it what we really want ?
The BlackBerry world edition smartphones are a good solution/workaround for those who want to be able to connect to multiple type networks. There are a few others that offer both CMDA and GSM support correct? But yes the basic issue remains and I'm not 100% sure that its a bad thing as far a its role in new technological advancements
...it's what makes the world go round ! I mean, technological advancement. And yes, BB satisfies most.
It´s what we want, for the time being !
Geez...this sounds weird ! lol !
Should alos have: GPS, wifi, a decent camera with video capability, expansion slot for removable micro sd memeory cards, removable and user replacable batteries, full size audio jack, usb or usb mini connection for data and charging.
Come people these things are important to users!
BlackBerry8310/126.96.36.199 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102
Wifi for sure, I know the CDMA carriers are going to start carrying BBs with wifi starting with the Storm2, hopefully all their following smartphones will also have this feature!
nice break down H! Think i have all that in my BB 8900
True, devices like the Tour are a great solution for those who must have constant access. As I said in another discussion though, if you level the playing field with network type and device availability, it really forces carriers to compete in the customer service department and truly better their networks. If all carriers operated on the same system and offered the same devices, then companies like AT&T with a notoriously bad customer service image would change or fail.
Originally Posted by hayden