Mobile is killing PC, just not soon

I don’t know what you do for a living and I don’t know where you do it. But while you might be using your phones and tablets to help you do a part of your work, you likely still have something to do with a computer. A box with a screen attached to it, plus a keyboard and mouse. You know, one of those things.

Indeed, white collar work has and will increasingly rely on people not in an office. Okay, sure, that’s high-minded and all that, but what I really want to know is whether or not you’re going to use your phone for every single thing in your damn life. Is it possible? At some point, yes. Yes, of course it will. It’s just engineering, as they say. A five-inch screen can fold out into one that’s twenty inches. Or better yet, augmented reality everywhere with flying 3D contextual boxes. Whoosh. Great. Perfect. Done.

Okay, a bit much. For my purposes, since I don’t game much, we’re focusing on productivity in general.

Advantage: Desktop

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Alright, I’m being very crude and one-sided, but all this new-fangled technology might take a while to not rely on desktop computers to run themselves. Computers are still widely available in the market for your gaming purposes to her enterprise uses to his security reasons. Several huge platforms — Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, down all the way to the base stuff of UNIX — have street cred and legacies that have influenced what the homescreens on our phones look like. And while these huge hulks have taken their time sizing down, they are more compact than ever inside an office.

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2015-02-20An office. You know, where some people still need to be near each other for productivity reasons? Nevermind.

Though, we do have say that even with more lenient bring-your-own-devices policies being established at workplaces so you can take laptops, tablets and phones with you to work, it’s very often that you’ll see some desktop with heavy, proprietary software that you have to use for 3D modelling, archive cataloging and storage or media manipulation. Those PC purposes can have their end products stuck on your smartphone.

Huge pieces of hardware and intense software help us run university research, television control rooms, nuclear reactors (and other types of energy generator sites), military bases and other places with stationery centers of attraction where you need all the room you can get to do what you need to do. We’re talking physical buttons, switches, levers and contacts that are preferable to software triggers via smartphones.

There’s a reason that these seemingly archaic objects exist.

Disadvantage: Mobile

BES-Bringing Android to Work

Screenshot_2015-07-17-07-28-12Right now, even word processing can be a little janky on mobile. I tried writing up a bit of an article on WordPress app, only not to be able to access our site’s backend through that app. I resorted to the desktop web version (logging in to the mobile web version gives me the same problem – it sends me back to the login page each time I login) and when I got to the workspace and started to type. I’ve found that smaller screens — we’re talking the five-inch, 720p screens, here — are impossible to type entries on. Since HTML5 recognizes when a keyboard flies onto the screen, it adjusts modules on-screen accordingly. This results in a text window reduced down to nothing.

Note-taking apps are pretty good for quick, personal-use scrawlings. But in order to convert that into anything useful, compile and format pictures to go along with that and then make sure that you’re publishing with the full suite of configurations you need … I would argue that while tablets and accompanying keyboards might be closer to parity, smartphones have a ways to go.

Software on mobile still leads to dead ends sometimes when it comes to interacting between large network infrastructures. We’re making some progress in the infancy of the Internet of Things, but we’re waiting until about the 2020s before we see wider enterprise use.

universal-display-flexible-amoled_01Then again, with some pretty crude apps, I’ve been able to file deadline text news stories and have experimented with editing audio actualities on my phone. If there’s one concession I’ll make to my smartphone or tablet replacing my computer soon, it’s that I don’t need to drag around a mouse anymore. Not only anywhere I go, but continuously across a surface.

Now, until we can get some of that technology I mentioned earlier to enhance our mobile hardware, maybe we can finally get phones that can kill the personal computer. Of course, we could say using your smartphone is a form of personal computing. We just don’t call it that because it’s lame.

Now, I may just be a curmudgeon on a rant, but I’d like to see why I’m wrong and how soon you think mobile can kill the PC. There’s already a lot of communication and filesharing that happens with mobile, but how soon can we fully and more easily manipulate those files? Tell me below.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.