Sunday, July 28, 2013

My son's mobile, post-computer lifestyle

Here is another post from my son, Joal.  Today he explained to me that at home he has completely stopped using his laptop computer and switched over to mobile devices.  At work Joal uses a laptop every day.  He has a docking station which has a very high monitor and an external keyboard on his large desk - for him this allows him to maintain the perfect posture when using the computer at work.  However he says he has stopped using a laptop at home because he is a tall person and found that when he is relaxing (for example in an armchair or on a settee)  it is difficult for him to use a laptop because when the screen is at the right level for viewing then the keyboard is too high, or else when the laptop is on his knee he can't see the screen so easily and so tends to bend over it.

"Because of the restrictive feeling I have when using a computer, I haven't opened my laptop at home for the past few months.  I now feel I live at home in a post-PC era and this has had quite an effect on my lifestyle.   For example, I don't watch live TV anymore, but I watch shows and programmes on a Smart TV using iPlayer.  I use my TV to display the internet or relevant players such as YouTube or 4OD, and I use my remote speakers to play content from my iPad or iPod.  All my podcasts now come through to my phone, which I listen to on my commute.  All my emails come to my phone and anything that is important and needs a reply I do from my iPad.

"The things I used to do on my computer have changed.  One big change for me is not watching American TV shows such as The Daily Show.  I used to watch it online on my laptop using Flash Player, now I just don't watch it at all, and I don't miss it.  I don't purchase any music any more either.  Instead I stream it either via YouTube or via Spotify if I'm listening to an album or playlist.

"I don't miss much because I 've created my own solutions by using my TV as a second monitor and I use an Airport Express for all my sound.  I think without these I would be quite frustrated by the lack of capacity of the iPad - for example the small screen and the poor quality sound.  That said, beaming things across to my TV feels like second nature now.

"I think one thing I'd like to see in the future is being able to send video from my iPad to the TV and still be able to use the iPad to multi-task, for example to take notes.  One thing I've noticed is that the iPad has almost completely limited multi-tasking for me - whereas while I was at university I would have the document open that I was reading, the app for taking notes open, Facebook and Messenger in the background and a TV show on which I would try to work through.  Now I look back and realize this was ridiculous.  I think I used the TV show to get me though the boring bits of the work.  It might not have been the most productive way of doing things, but it did keep me engaged longer.  Now I don't have the option of doing this and I feel it's probably a good thing as I feel I'm more productive when I'm not multi-tasking, though I feel that I commit to tasks now for a shorter period of time now (maybe because I get more done).

"The one thing that really changed my behaviour was the use of a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad, which means I am now able to reply to long emails and to set up my home office how I want it.  I can have the keyboard on my lap and the screen on a table.  They keyboard and screen are now separate and both are where they feel comfortable for me.  I think there are still problems in trying not to have a laptop or computer at all.  Before I had a bluetooth keyboard I would never have even considered moving across to my iPad full time as I would have had problems replying to long emails or doing anything that required any typing.  I don't find it easy to use a virtual keyboard.  However I do think there have been good developments in terms of voice recognition.  When I use Google Chrome's voice recognition function on the iPad I find it about 95% accurate.   I don't think I've ever had a problem with it unless someone is talking in the background.

"I never used anything on my laptop that was super-intensive on CPU processing power such as video editing.  I don't use iPhoto either - now I use my phone with Instagram to take all my photos.  The laptop that I bought when I went to university is now 4 years old and I'm not intending to buy a new one anytime soon.  At university I replaced the CD drive with a 1 TB hard drive as I used to download all my films and music, but now between my phone and my iPad I have just 32 GB of storage and I simply stream everything and keep all my files in the cloud using Dropbox."

Have you given up using a desktop or laptop in favour of a mobile device?  What has your experience been?  What do you miss the most?  What do you like better?

Photo Credit: mbiebusch via Compfight cc

No comments:

Post a Comment