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Quote of the Day - If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there. - Lewis Carroll

Another Class Action; Another Useless Feature?

For years I've been bellyaching for an all-in-one phone device that gets and sends email and text messages, surfs the web, runs like a small computer, handles maps, allows me to dictate, take notes, keeps my calendar and contacts all in one place, works no matter what country I'm in and surprisingly enough, in my house (something my current Verizon cell phone doesn't do), allows me to read books, listen to books-on-tape, plays my music and movies and, oh yes, make calls with a speakerphone. 

I'm not asking for too much, am I?

So far, even the iPhone doesn't handle all those requirements well, although it comes close.  I'm just too clumsy with my fingers (can hardly type), and it doesn't boot into Windows.  It's already difficult enough learning all the programs we have at the firm.  Not to mention learning an entirely different operating system, which by way of the long-cut short-cut roundabout the barn brings me to two points.

First, if you're running Windows and are thinking about switching to Vista, I have just one question and one piece of advice.  Why learn another operating system?   And don't.

XP works just fine, and as proof, just about everything else in our firm and at my home works well with it.  After all, it took us just five years to get all the bugs worked out, all the programs synchronizing with each other, and we still have some glitches.  So why switch to something that has more glitches?  Like I said, don't.

Second, while my list of requirements for a cellular phone is shorter than many, the GPS feature on my phone is a treat.  It works fairly well with Microsoft Pocket Streets and hopefully soon with the SigAlert system, which shows traffic jams.  Even Google can't match the SigAlert system, which is still in the process of being perfected. 

Google's traffic feature doesn't work on cell phones.  Which is great if you're driving your car around your home or office desktop or can take your computer and monitor  with you on the road.  I still haven't hooked up my Tablet in my car, but I'm getting close.  The SigAlert traffic system is accessible on a cell phone, but unfortunately it doesn't have a zoom feature. Yet. 

They tell me they're working on it.  As it stands now, however, it's a real problem.  While the SigAlert map is easy enough to see on a desktop monitor, imagine taking that same map and shrinking it down to fit on a cell phone screen.  At that very small size, every time I look at it I don't want to go anywhere because everything in LA looks jammed. 

Recently, I read that a Blackberry owner in San Diego filed a class action against Verizon because the company allegedly advertised Blackberry phones with GPS, then surreptitiously turned the GPS feature off and would reactivate it only if you purchased Verizon's fee-based GPS service.  

While you may be surprised, why anyone would want GPS on their cell phone, we may not quite be there yet, unless you're lost and want the rescuers to find you somewhere on Mount Baldy.  The traffic feature on the maps really doesn't work that well, and there's not really too much else you can do with it.  Soon we'll get there, but not quite yet. 

Now if I could only find where I put my cell phone. 

Posted by J. Craig Williams on 12/9/2007 at 21:44 Comments (0)


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