I dare you to visit a tech site and not immediately find some article praising mobile and celebrating the death of the desktop. Could it really be true? Is mobile computing the future? It’s definitely convenient, but it’s not the same as working with a a full sized desktop or laptop. As with most tech trends, mobile is still relatively new and exciting, but it’s not the take over tech many see it as.
After reading one such article about how our entire lives will be entirely mobile in the near future, I couldn’t help but start thinking of all the reasons it simply won’t work.
Data Limits Block Mobile Growth
Almost everything you do with your mobile device requires data. Even if you’re just playing a harmless card game with no ads, other apps are running the background, tracking your usage or syncing apps to the cloud. Regardless, you’re using data. For most mobile users, the days of unlimited mobile data are long gone, making mobile a little less convenient than it once was.
Unless you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can’t really stream music, watch videos, download large apps or regularly use data intensive apps. It’s no secret cable companies are trying to find ways to limit data usage. If the data hoarding by mobile and broadband companies continue, mobile won’t really have much of a purpose outside of the original cell phone – calling and texting.
More Fun Than Function
I discovered one of the hardest things to do on a smartphone is actually make a call. I know, I’m old fashioned, but if I’m holding a phone, I prefer to call instead of type to someone. But overall, think about how you use your phone or tablet. You probably play games, text, check social media, stream music, watch YouTube and check email. The last is the only non-entertainment one on the list.
Sure, companies are incorporating tablets and phones into their business. They’re great for checking email, replying to clients, updating a report, checking company data or getting directions for a meeting. It’s convenient and ideal for on the go workers, but the regular employees are still using laptops and desktops because their more ergonomic and easier to use.
For the most part, our mobile devices are entertaining. For those who need more power and function, the standard PC is still king.
Increasing Health Issues
We’ve all heard about standing or walking desks to help ease the strain from sitting all day using a computer. If using a full sized computer is bad for us, what our mobile devices doing to us? Typing on a tiny screen is tedious and equals a future of aching, possibly unusable thumbs. Constantly reading the smaller text on a smartphone or even tablet is hard on the eyes. Plus, no one ever thinks about posture as they’re hunched over their screen.
Of course, there are keyboards you can add to your device. You can connect your device to TV for a larger screen. If you have to do all that, wouldn’t a large screen laptop better? No extra equipment to buy. No being tethered to your TV. Better yet, an all-in-one desktop with an ergonomic wireless keyboard and the beautiful 30-inch screen.
There’s no denying we’re facing far more health issues than ever with a mobile-centric world.
No Real Data Storage
Another issue many users have run into is the lack of storage space. With many devices and operating systems no longer supporting additional storage via microSD, you’re limited to the hard drive on your device. You can upload files to the cloud, but try accessing them when you’re somewhere without Wi-Fi and you’re over your data limit. With a desktop, you boot up and poof! Your files are right where you left them.
Once again, you could get an external hard drive, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of mobile? The whole idea is you don’t need anything but your device. No peripherals of any sort. If you have to buy all the extras, why not save a few hundred and get a laptop or desktop? A cheap smartphone will work great for on the go calling, texting and time killing apps.
Mobile Keeps Growing
I’m not talking about popularity. Mobile screen sizes keep getting bigger. If you’ve ever watched computing trends, screen sizes start small and then start increasing. Eventually, they reach a point where users revert back to the old standards. After all, before you know it, you’re carrying around a glorified 15.6 inch laptop in your bag. Not exactly as convenient as the pocket sized devices they started out as.
What Is the Future of Computing?
There will always be fads in computing. Some are even saying mobile devices will fall by the wayside to make room for wearable tech. Think about it this way. What single trend has lasted ever since the home user had access to their own personal computer? That’s right. For productivity, gaming and more comfortable browsing, desktops and laptops are still king.
Even though the numbers say mobile devices far outsell their less mobile counterparts, the reason is simple – mobile devices don’t last. They’re outdated in no time and easily damaged. Desktops and laptops have perfected themselves to the point they physically last longer and it takes 5-10 years before they’re truly outdated.
Seems like the future is already here and all the other supposed futures are just fun trends to give us more access to the Internet when we’re away from home.