4 Devices, 3 Connections.
There are two personal tech trends which i find interesting. The number of devices i own and the number of internet connections to support them.
A quick chat to friends and family confirmed my suspicions. Owning multiple computers and devices is becoming normal. My partner and myself both own 4 computing devices of different types. We each own a laptop, a smartphone , and an iPad. We also share a desktop.
Each machine has its own purpose. For example we use our laptops mostly for writing and chatting online. Our smartphones for on the move browsing and listening, tablets for consumptions (films, books, watching F1) and finally the desktop for heavy tasks such as gaming and software development.
Iím not sure if combining all of these devices into one magical device would work all that well. One thing i have considered recently is to sell on my smartphone in the name of simplicity. I dont need to be able to tweet from a lift and check email on the move.
It is possible the tablet and laptop may converge. While i am happy enough tapping away on the iPad the lack of a pointing device makes writing an exercise in frustration for me. Untill i find text input more paletable the iPad wont be replacing my laptop. However, as thats all i now use my laptop for i wont be replacing it for the forseeable future. Iím genuinely hoping to get 5 years usage out of my current laptop!
Perhaps, once itís time for an update the iPad will have usurped it and it will never be replaced. Wow, thatís a moment for pause. This could possibly be my last ever personal laptopÖ.
Itís not looking all that great for the desktop either. Itís used for three main purposes (Gaming, media serving and development). Our gaming behavoiur is moving away from the desktop at a pace, i can see a future where media is served from the cloud which leaves only development. The reality is, these days i dont do much of that at home anyway.
Interestingly, the only device which i dont see being replaced in the future is the iPad. Ironic considering when i brought it i was pretty convinced i had no need for such a thing.
So in summery right now i am a 4 device guy and i see many others moving that way. However, people seem to be upgrading devices less often.
3 Net Connections.
Alongside having four devices, i have 3 net connections each with different providers. Though, i didnít engineer the diferent providers situation on purpose.
I have a landline broadband connection, a data plan for my phone and a seperate 3G dongle. All the plans are of a resonably similar price. The broadband connection is shared and costs me less than £10 a month. The 3G dongle is even less (about £5) and finally my phone data plan sits in the middle (£8 a month).
Again, these three connections provide different things. The broadband connection is my high bandwidth fast connection at home. Used for most net traffic, downloads, streaming and the like. My phone connection is always with me and offers convenience and finally the 3G modem is cheap enough itís worth keeping as a backup and for connecting my laptop on the go.
Personally i see all of these connections being combined into one device capable of providing and sharing a fast connection at home and on the move. That device may just be my next iPadÖ. If i need to download anything truly massive (such as iTunes purchases) then i can use the free connection in the local shopping centre, or in work. Though, that said, with the connections being as cheap as they are. There is no immdiate rush to be rid of them.
I suppose, where i am now may just be the limit of what i think i can handle when it comes to devices and connections. 4 devices seems pretty absurd and i expect at least one will never be replaced. 3 connections is pretty mad but then with the low cost and high convienece itís no bad thing.
In my personal future, not far out (3 years perhaps) i think i will own less devices and pay for less connections. If i had to guess i think the iPad would take over and with it a single mobile data plan for use at home and on the move.