Originally Posted by PXT
I agree with your comments about having a heavy-lifting computer at home combined with mobile devices.
The current iPhone comes real near to handling all that light weight stuff but a couple of Apple decisions make what could be an ideal device a little short on usability.
A number of points come to mind:
We need an alternative to the model of having mobile computers with all our content on them. I like the iPhone model where you side-load 90% of its contents and then 'top-up' via mobile networks. The cloud should be a personal cloud that includes content served from Apple and also content served from our own wifi/internet connected hardware back at base.
This I disagree with completely. One of the biggest short comings with iPhone is the inability to store stuff on board for easy access when you can't get a network connection. I don't care if that is a 3G or Wifi connection, the lack of easy access to the devices file system is a huge negative when it comes to professional uses. I currently have both the iDisk and the Evernote app installed and neither one of them really solve the problem.
As to space, demand there will only grow, in fact I can see people becoming more demanding of Apple not less.
The idea of smart content, such as playlists, smart folders, should be used to intelligently decide what content gets side-loaded for use when out of the house/office. Users then tweak their rules accordingly, just like we do with smart playlists.
That is fine for media and such but what if you have a whole hierarchy of business data you want to transfer over and maintain structure? Or for that matter pics you don't want to have shrunk because somebody at Apple thinks it is a good idea? The problem is there are lots of examples where canned functions don't work.
What would make a huge difference is if one could simply designate a directory structure for transfer and have that accessible to apps. It would make iPhone/Touch one hell of a lot more useful for business use and even for the storage of personal data such as photos.
Personally I don't know what Apple was thinking with respect to shrinking photos before transfer to the Touch devices. I mean really you don't expect your Mac to shrink photos due to the screen size there.
The side-loading process could include some optimization to reduce data/processing load on the mobile device. The mobile loading could take this even further with MobileMe running full-scale webkit and then reformatting for minimum processing on the mobile device.
I'm not sure what you mean by that. In any event what could be easier than simply transferring the data you have nicely set up on your Mac over to the Touch device. It shouldn't be anymore difficult than a right click and a menu selection.
The mobile computer then needs less power and can therefore be smaller, cheaper and have better battery life because it doesn't need super-computer processing or massive storage. ( eg: it might only need to process one video format ).
I have a whole bunch of smaller and cheaper devices, PDAs and such, that I never really used. The reason is clear the extra power on the iPhone and the much better interface makes for a finer experience.
Its funny that this should come up but I was cleaning out my desk yesterday and found two of those devices that I never really adopted. They can be held up as perfect examples of what Apple shouldn't do. If anything the iPhone/Touch need to be more powerfully and more user accessible. That includes not just more on board flash be all around improvements.
The mobile computer then can be in a number of formats - iPhone, tablet, netbook - whichever suits the user from an ergonomic point of view. The computer back at base can then be a content server, connected to the internet like a time capsule but running OSX. Some might choose the netbook for the home, and an iphone for the road, but the model remains the same.
I bought my laptop before iPhone and can honestly say it has changed my opinion about the need for a laptop. I'm not sure what side of the fence I sit on right now but if Apple added the ability for Safari to save files locally and gave me better access to the file system, including the ability to store full size pictures it wold very much tip the scales in favor of getting rid of the laptop. The thing is right now I can't use the iPhone to back up my Camera on a trip or even to save the camera images to the net. I/m sure an app could be written for that but there is an issue of a lack of ports.
In a nutshell iPhone needs to be more powerful and accessible to do those sorts of things. At that point the need for a laptop really starts to dwindle.