What are your thoughts on portable internet devices?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by roisin and mac, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. roisin and mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #1
    Hi everyone!

    The other day I was in a store that had the ipod touch on display, and I shamelessly spent a good half-hour fooling around with it :p As there wasn't much media content on it, I mostly played with the built-in browser, and was amazed at how satisfactory it was to use for something with such a small screen! So it got me thinking (and drooling, lol) about all things to do with having internet access right in a pocket.

    I googled 'portable internet devices' and looked at what there is apart from ipod Touch and iPhone, and realised that there are also other devices out there whose main purpose is to provide internet browsing in a really portable package (something no bigger than what would fit in a coat pocket). some are bigger than the iPhone and Touch, and some allow for browsing flash sites, but they are all supposed to provide a better way of going online out of the bus than squinting at your 4x6 cm phone screen, or even bigger smartphones like the blackberry.

    And I gotta say--I thought it was all sooo neat! Man, I can hardly wait 'til the kinks are worked out of these things and I can get something like that and use it. I'd have my nose in the darn thing constantly, lol!

    So basically, I decided to start this thread to discuss these developments with all of you here, see what you think about the directions in which this is going to go, and things you hope to see, and also which devices you like or would like to see. Just really yak about this I suppose. I'm so enthused really. The media player part of the touch wasn't even what made the most lasting impression, which I guess makes sense as there was not much in it for m to really be able to try it out, but I still can't imagine myself watching a movie when out and about, maybe looking at the photos but not the movies so much, and even the photos I'm not dead keen on, but the browser! Wow, it blew me away! and it's so skinny too! Possibly because they don't have to accommodate a separate physical space for the keyboard.

    If Apple were to make something that is mostly designed for going online and emailing and IM (maybe with a slightly bigger screen and copying and pasting capabilities), on their lovely touchy-feely platform (is platform the right word? not sure), I'd be right there at the launch waving my money like the most stereotypical fanboy!

    OK, I've gone on enough, tell me what you think!
     
  2. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #2
    I love it, if I have enough $$$, I would have a Nokia N810 by now.
     
  3. roisin and mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #3
    yeh, it does seem nice too, though I haven't had a chance to get my paws on one yet to play around with. Still, it seems so much clunkier than the touch/iphone, don't you think? although it looks as though the internet bit is more fleshed out, which is to be expected as it's the main purpose of the device?
     
  4. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #4
    Huge fan of them. Honestly, I like having a none location based work center, so I can move around.

    My iPhone is a great start, and I was looking at a N810, but the software isn't as great as I though( I like Safari on the iPhone more, based on the little I played with the Nokia IT) Its good, but my iPhone works to replace it. I have an Asus EEE PC, which is just great.


    Also I think Google's software solution is great for portable internet devices. You can get your files anywhere you are, I've started using Google Docs a lot more recently, and I'd love is more people did.

    My main reason for my desktop is media, which I've yet to rid a good mobile solution(iPod, but that has to sync, which works great)
     
  5. celeste808 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    #5
    I own an HTC Tytn II (aka ATT Tilt) and while it may not be as beautiful UI-wise as the iPhone, it is a 3G, GPS, smartphone running WM6 and 4GB of storage. This phone can do anything. My only wish was that the screen was a tad larger. Internet browsing just isn't 100% on it. More like 40%. I'm definitely looking forward to the 3G iPhone, but for now, I'm pretty happy with the Tilt.
     
  6. gurkenprinz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Vienna
    #6
    What I would NOT recommend for any web browsing: a Blackberry!

    Although it does have a webbrowser, it must be the worst mobile browser availabe. Worthless..
     
  7. roisin and mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #7
    I really like the EEE pc. It looks like a real alternative to all those Windows-based 'ultra-portable' notebooks, which are certainly really portable, but they're also mind-numbingly expensive, often ugly in a clunky, I'm-taking-myself-too-seriously, corporate way, and you're stuck with Windows which you may not be very pleased with :) To me though, it's less interesting, because with only a little more effort and a fairly small reduction in mobility, I can carry around my MB, which is my main computer and which allows me to do much more than the Asus. What I really drool over is the stuff that really just fits inside my pocket, which is why I fell in love with the Touch for the browser. i could stuff that baby in my teeny-tiny shoulder bag and zip around doing what I want without impediment, and just haul it out when I need to find out something. Heck, after all this, I think I'd get one to fool around with, but they're out of my price range right now. Maybe I'll keep an eye out for a second-hand, second-class 8gig machine.

    And yeah, the google docs look amazing! So do you manage to actually edit documents on the iphone using google docs?

    The other thing about the Nokia vs the iPhone is that the Nokia is THICK! I thought it was because they had a physical keyboard to accomodate, but no! It's an on-screen one, but you have to use a stylus for it, which is a bit bumming. And the thickness really makes it less portable I think, especially on this type of thing where it isn't really a great idea to make it more portable by giving it a smaller footprint, because that would mean a smaller screen. If it's skinny (and extra points for making it the same thickness all around, no bumps!), it's a lot easier to fit in a packed bag or even in a pocket.

    So far, the iPhone/Touch seems to lack java and flash (I think?). But I still managed to visit all my 'usuals' (ie all the places I go to every day first thing after I boot up/wake up: news, weather, a handful of message boards, wikipedia) without any hassles. So maybe java and flash aren't really as prominent as you might think--I once saw an article where somebody had commented that it's dumb the iPhone/Touch don't have flash, because, 'about 90% of what's worth it on the Internet is flash'. I dunno about that to be honest, generally when i come across a flash site, it's a site for some brand, like Kipling bags say, and it's mostly a pain in the neck thing that the company use to show off, so I can skip that and use it at home :) Plus, I guess there's no reason why they wouldn't put those in in a future version, right?

    Yeah, well I guess if the internet browsing bit is only about 40% satisfactory, it wouldn't do for me. But that seems like a good compromise if what you need is a phone that allows for occasional browsing, say to check out the train timetables etc. I'm really keen on these for more generalised browsing though--like I'm at the music place and trying to remember what the name of the new album is for a band I like, and I can give it a quick google and go buy it. Or I can check out the local news to see who is having the protest that just blocked the streets :rolleyes:

    Oh it is? I didn't know, I tried to use it in a mobile phone store the other day, but it wasn't connected :( Gah, it's really frustrating when they do that, how can you test these things if half the functions aren't working??

    But I didn't think it would be so great somehow, because apart from the screen being more mobile phone sized than Internet sized, it also occurred to me that people wouldn't have been going crazy drooling over the iPhone's browser like they have if there had been something almost-as-good before it came out. Safari-on-iPhone had to have been radically better than anything around by that point, ergo, the blackberry must have left a lot to be desired.
     
  8. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #8
    What I thought was an extra gimmick feature on my iPod touch has actually turned out to be it's greatest use.

    You can't understand how handy it is to have internet in your pocket until you do. I never have to go upstairs to check something on the computer, or boot up my work laptop. On trips in hotels, same thing just bam bam bam internet.

    The experience of internet without computer has completely sold me on iPhone to have internet 'everywhere'. As soon as I am not locked into Verizon, I am getting an iPhone.

    I love my iPod touch and completely underestimated how useful the browser actually would be.
     
  9. gurkenprinz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Vienna
    #9
    Quite true, and when I saw browsing on an iPhone for the first time, I was left speechless. I just didn't think it could be that good on such a small display!
    I'm not too sure about typing even half as fast on a iPhone as on a Blackberry, though and that is one downside from the many advantages of display wonder..

    I am wondering (since I am European) - are iPhones used for corporate solutions in the US of A?
     
  10. Karpfish macrumors 6502a

    Karpfish

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    #10
    Download Opera Mini, significantly better than Blackberry Browser.
     
  11. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    Aug 6, 2006
    #11
    I think the thing about Nokia N810 that attracts me is the underlying OSS OS. I can have much greater control with it over iPT, at least I know fennec (mobileFirefox) has test build for it. And im pretty sure i can have java on it..

    I am not really a person focusing a lot on the appearance. Altho it doesn't hurt to be pretty, I won't put too much weight on how it looks;)
     
  12. roisin and mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #12
    I hear you there, I think right now if I were to get one for myself it would even be mainly for the portable internet bit, and maybe the PDA functions as well, and the media player secondarily--especially the music player, since I find it more convenient to have music players I can control straight from inside my pocket without a remote--so they need to have physical buttons.

    I don't know about that, but really bug business is supposed to not be especially fond of macs. But since the iphone works with Windows too, maybe they use it? dunno. interesting question though!

    ah yes. so I guess just by trying it in a store I wouldn't be able to figure out how useable I would find it, so I guess I had better find somebody who has one to check it out in use :)

    Appearance itself doesn't matter so much (as in what it looks like in a picture), but some aspects, like how big it is, are pretty important. The fact the Touch is so thin it makes it so much easoer to carry around, which certainly affects functionality in that it is better to have something that does slightly fewer things but that you are more likely to have with you when you need it!! and there at least for me the Nokia does leave something to be desired as it's not only quite thick, but it's also uneven--there's a big bump in the back which makes it harder to arrange in a packed pocket or bag. But maybe they'll fix that, and it will be a lot better!



    By the way everyone, this thread is going nicely--thanks for contributing so much, and it;s nice because all of it is interesting! thanks!
     
  13. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #13
    one thing that Nxxx needs is more cpu power.

    as for size, its not that big in real life, as I saw in Harold and Kumar yesterday.
     
  14. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000

    Hawkeye411

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Canada EH!!!
    #14
    I just bought my touch and I am using it for the first time. I agree with an earlier post. The Internet is better than expected and, as I just said to my wife, can you imagine when the iPhone comes to Canada? We can have this sort of Internet access ANYWHERE!! I already love my touch, after only 1 hour of use, but I will get an iPhone and give this to my wife when it becomes available in Canada :)

    Cheers :)
     
  15. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #15
    Well I love how the iPhone and iPod Touch handle the internet. It's so very useable and not just thrown in as some afterthought. They really did it right, much more so than the PSP (way too slow to operate without a mouse) and the DS (screen is too small).

    Recently since I've been laid up in bed recovering, I've been keeping my PowerBook on the bedside table. At 12" it's definitely what I'd consider the biggest of portable internet, but it's entirely fully featured (Flash, Java) so it's acceptable. Very useful.
     
  16. roisin and mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #16
    Is it featured in the movie then? (You know you're obsessing about something when you consider going to watch the movie just to see the item in action, lol)

    About cpu power, does that mean it isn't as quick or powerful or whatever as the Touch, for instance? Or were you just saying this in general and not comparing to anything specific?

    Hehe, exactly my point *drool drool pant* I wish they would once do that with the Touch, sometime in the future.But even if they don't, it looks like at least in a big city, there's plenty of newtorks around; I'm looking 'round for one of the little gadgets that lets you figure out if there's any wifi in range, with a view to carrying it around for a few days to see just how many open networks there really are, because every time I've tried it with my MacBook, I've been surprised with how many I could find. Once I booted up in the car when we were stuck in a traffic jam and moving real slow (I wasn't driving myself though, lol), and there were tons!

    Some of these gadgets even come with a little screen that gives you the names of the networks and whether they're open or locked, which would be even more useful. I actually started a thread on this a few days ago, to get recommendations, but I think it went down like a ton of bricks :eek:

    But in my case, I don't really need an iphone, since I actually don't mind splitting functions, especially having a separate phone and media player: that way I can take along just my really small, cheap phone if I'm going out somewhere fancy where I want to carry a tiny bag with just some money and a key and the phone, and take the media player and internet device along only when I go out just regular during the day, to class or wherever :). Or I can take the media player when I go for a walk and leave the phone.

    Oh, I hope you get well soon! Yeah, the 12 inch powerbook would be the smallest you can go that is still a computer, but it's not something you put in your pocket all the same :)

    I'm not familiar with the PSP and DS, I'm not much of a gamer so I've never had occasion to look them up. Actually no gamer at all :p, so a device that lets you play games and go online is nowhere near as interesting as a device that lets you play media (esp music) and go online. Because I may be no gamer, but I am a music geek :D
     
  17. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #17
    haha, nice, actually I went to see the movie, Nokie N810 is just a surprise ...:D
    Its CPU is quite unsatisfying, I hope they bump it to at least 667 in next version. I haven't try it yet, so My impression might not be accurate, but I just can't imagine 400MHz would be fast. Palm TX has a 3xx or 400MHz CPU, just OK, not Fast.
     

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