Things that weren’t sold this past holiday season

The announcement of a long-expected Verizon iPhone has highlighted my own frustration with handheld gadgets. And while it is too late (or way too early) to compile a holiday shopping list, it does seem as if the tech industry is MIA this past holiday season. To wit:

— I want a smartphone that I can use as a Wifi hot spot to easily tether (as the term is called) at least a couple of computers to use its broadband Internet connection. The word “easily” is the challenge. Yes, there are Android phones that can do this, but the process is fraught with bad software. Yes, there is the Sprint MyFi that is yet another separate device and data plan. And I don’t want to hire a lawyer and an accountant to figure out what the charges and which data plan I will need to do this, either.

— I want an eReader from someone other than Amazon that allows me to effortlessly add and share my eBooks with others. The Barnes and Noble Nook comes closest, but its sharing features also require the lawyer to read all the fine print, exceptions and limitations. Why not just buy the Kindle and wait until Amazon gets its sharing act together? I want to give someone else a chance and support my local bookstores at the same time. The Google eBooks uses Adobe rights management, which is also bad software. For some eBook downloads, I need three separate accounts to start reading my selection. This is a mess. None of these devices will keep Borders afloat.

— I want a 7-inch tablet from someone other than Apple (yes, I know the iPad has a bigger screen but it is only a matter of time before they have something smaller) that doesn’t require a data plan or a two-year subscription to reduce its $600 price tag. It defies all things reasonable that I can I buy two netbook computers with bigger screens for the same money, just because they are running the non-touch versions of XP or even Windows 7.

— I want Google to figure out which browser-based OS is going to win: Android or Chrome. They need to put all their might behind one of them if they are going to get anywhere with Microsoft. This perplexes me and I wonder why no one else has raised this issue.

Yes, I know I am being ornery and difficult. But it does seem that the tech industry really continues to miss the mark. I shouldn’t complain, because these misses just mean more work for me to explain why all this other stuff doesn’t work as intended.

2 thoughts on “Things that weren’t sold this past holiday season

  1. How about e-books that cost the same as the ones you can buy at the store. Buying an e-book for $10, when the print book is $5 at the store is absurd. When will the retailers (and publishers) realize what a poor marketing strategy this is?

  2. From one of my readers; He points out that I said:
    > Yes, there are Android phones that can do this, but the process is
    > fraught with bad software

    Not true, we use the built-in mobile hotspot feature regularly on Verizon (HTC
    Incredible, Android 2.2). It is rock solid, easy to understand, reliable, and
    allows you to pick and choose who is using your hotspot. We run
    on it for days while at conferences, and friends have shared my data on and off.
    The hacks that predate the real thing that comes with 2.2 are indeed “fraught
    with bad software”, but that’s old news. Verizon charges are simple, a flat
    monthly fee for wireless hotspot.

    I should also note that I regularly use a SIP/VoIP phone on my Android that is a
    dream come true. It’s an extension on our office VoIP switch (3CX). It
    integrates with the dialer and contacts, offering you the choice of mobile or
    VoIP for a call. Yeah, sometimes the call quality sucks due to slow net speed or
    major lag, but hey sometimes mobile calls suck too.

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