It’s Time for a Change
I’ve been depressed about my mobile situation. I have the original DROID X, and it is acting like a senior citizen with dementia. It forgets it has a camera, a microphone, and needs to be rebooted twice a day. I have loved my android experience until last month, to be completely honest. I bought the phone in March of 2011, and I have really come to think of my phone as an extension of myself. That said, with carrier concerns, and the degrading performance, it is time for a new phone for me. But what phone to get?
The Samsung Galaxy SIII and the Samsung Galaxy Note II are both too large for my hands, and I’m an adult! They seem to fit the hands of sponsors like Lebron James, but I have to believe that these phones are too large for the average person. The DROID HD RAZR MAXX (outrageously named) has fantastic battery life, but is only available on Verizon, the most expensive carrier, and scored lower than competitors on screen and camera quality. Then there is the iPhone 5. Now that Google Maps has stepped in to save Apple from their Maps debacle, the phone is the only stable choice for me, it seems. But that still depresses me.
Mobile Phone Unrest
The top 3 phones out today do not excite me, they do not capture my attention, and they do not speak to me. I want to look at my phone and see an extension of myself. In the days of the early smartphone, this was easy, because the integration was seamless and unique. Now, smartphones all feel similar, familiar, and I don’t like that.
I believe that I am the customer that wants to be the odd man out, with a heavily customized phone, that I have absolute control of. I want the full-featured functionality, but I also want to feel “in control”. There is an unbelievable opportunity for innovation in mobility. Android and iOS are not fighting a “Duopoly”. As we speak a storm is brewing for 3rd place in the Mobile space, and I am pleased to see that Ubuntu is making a strong showing to be a contender in that space.
Ubuntu and Me
Ubuntu is not a “Techie’s Only” operating system. I lived for two years with it as my primary operating system of choice, installed on my PC at home. It was more beautiful than all competition back then, better than Vista, and secure, and free. Ultimately, Windows 7 migrated me back to the mainstream, but I learned the power of the linux platform.
I have long been advocating for a single platform. I believe it is where I want to be as a consumer, and no one is doing it today. iCloud and similar systems come close, but I still feel like we have too many computers. Our PCs, our phones, our tablets, our gaming systems, our televisions, they all have different systems running them that don’t always talk to each other. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we had one computer, and 7 extended screens: 2 at your desk, your phone, your tablet, and your TV. True integration. Treating device proliferation as a peripheral, not a standalone device.
And now, the point. This is what excites me about the keynote from Ubuntu founder, Mark Shuttleworth, and the announcement of a unified computing platform for PC, TV, table and smartphone. This is, in my opinion, the first real step towards the level of consumer integration I dream about having someday.
Ubuntu isn’t exactly a stranger to the mobile space — it started showing off its Ubuntu for Android project in early 2012, but it wasn’t about to stop there. Not long after teasing the prospect of a touch-friendly future for its peculiarly-named OS, Canonical has officially pulled back the curtains on its Ubuntu phone OS and it looks, well, great.
I feel re-invigorated. I feel like I don’t have to settle for long. I look to the future, not just to Ubuntu, but to Sailfish, Firefox OS, and Windows Phone to wow me. I want someone to show me that the future of mobile isn’t a lawsuit lockdown to protect 5 year old features. I want platform-agnostic apps. I want it to be beautiful, fully customizable, and secure. After listening to the Ubuntu Keynote for 2013, I want an Ubuntu phone.
Maybe iPhone wasn’t the end. Maybe it truly was a beginning. We’ll see…