Single or Multiple Device?

I’m clearly in the two piece camp at this stage of my mobile life.  Andy talks about the Camps of One or Many today  and links to another post written by Alan Reiter on the same topic.  Today I use the N95 with the N800.  I recognize the benefits of each as well as the overlaps but choose to use one of the other to maximize my enjoyment or enhance the experience across the two.  I’ve tried all in one with the iPhone and lasted a few months … A few years ago, I was a heavy Treo user and pushed that to the limits as well.

While I really see the enhanced benefits of browsing, reading and viewing photos and video on a larger screen, I also use my devices so heavily that having a second thing ready to back me up when the battery in one fades is quite helpful.  As we see the release of MIDs with embedded WWAN like the WiMax units shown at CES or the alluded to but not yet seen WiMax N810 from Nokia things will get even more interesting.

My normal day works something like this:

  • Wake up with the N95 alarm, and then check email and Jaiku on the phone right out of bed.
  • On the one hourtrain into NYC, I fire of the N95′s music player and listen to music or podcasts (which I update over the air through the day)
  • The N800 usually then slides out of my pocket and I tether to the N95 to start diving into my feed reading.  I usually also fire up IM, Email and Mauku, a Jaiku client.
  • Depending on which device happens to be capturing my attention at the time, I check in with Jaiku, Gmail, Twitter and Google Reader.
  • During the day I swap the N800 for a work issued blackberry as the second device in my pocket but really only use it for email as it actually sucks (yes sucks) at most other things.
  • My return trip is pretty similar to the morning though I’ve watching a fair bit of video over the past few months instead of feed reading on the N800.  I do multi-task with the N95 and find myself staying connected with Jaiku and email.

I also sporadically snap photos, shoot video (which upload or stream as they are captured).  3G service (ATT) kicks in after about 20 minutes in my ride towards NYC and substantially enhances the overall online experience…

I could probably do all of this on the N95, though it is actually more convenient to have two, in the same way it’s more ideal to work on two monitors.

When I had the N810, I was actually writing posts on the go, not just consuming them and that’s purely a factor of having a built in keyboard and the availability of applications like Maemo WordPy which is offline blog editor for the tablet.

Maybe it’s that I miss my Nokia N810 (still waiting to get a release version swapped with the proto I tested) or maybe it’s the sheer lack of excitement from this year’s CES, but now I really want to get a MID.  The Intel booth showed off all kinds of cool devices and for me this really is a category of interest.  I know MIDs are not likely to become mainstream in the next year (or two) but for the power user, they really fill a beautiful spot in my mobile life.

Typically  a MID is pocketable vs. a UMPC which is something you need a bag to carry.  This distinction is something that makes the experience for a mobile power user like myself.  I can’t see going to a single device anytime soon.  I think the SDK and pending apps for the iPhone are a very interesting thing to watch here, but more interesting to me would actually be a slightly larger connected tablet from Apple

7 thoughts on “Single or Multiple Device?”

  1. As someone who owns – and rarely ever uses – a tablet it’s interesting to see how you use it on a daily basis. I definitely think that if a train or bus was part of my commute I would use it more. As it stands now, the only time the N800 sees the light of day is when I’m not using my iPhone and I want to do some quick browsing in my house or back yard. I can’t even remember the last time I left my house with it!

    As for MIDs, there are a bunch that look really appealing. I’m sure after the honeymoon is over though, any MID I get would end up a dust trap along with my N800. For the time being, I’m pretty mobile-monogamous. I do switch between an iPhone and an N95-3, but I stick to one a day.

  2. a 3G iPhone with DUN, apps and a 3MP cam that can do video might get me to swing back the other way, but for now I use the phone intensely with the tablet.

    I’ve had a few phones paired with the tablets I’ve owned and the tablet’s use usually outlasts that of the phone — a major plus of the two piece plan.

  3. Great post, and in a lot of ways I can see a lot of use who are/were ocnverged moving in this direction. The key thing I think in all of this is the idea of getting off the platforms laptop/desktop and taking things mobile. Having then information that flows along with you (whether in a cloud or not) makes having such a device more of a lifestyle decsion, rather than just a productivity one.

  4. I think my usage is similar, and is moving towards being even moreso. 2 out of the three sites that I write on are WordPress, so I can easily use Wordpy to update them, and the third uses an admin that I can access easily on the tablet’s browser.

    Being able to work in such a mobile capacity has such benefits, and actually increases my productivity, really, since there’s less options for distraction on the tablet vs. a laptop.

    I’m also, however, interested in these new MIDs. The only reason I currently have a tablet is because it’s Nokia, and they’ve currently enjoyed a monopoly in this arena. It will be fascinating to watch the competition heat up n the next year.

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