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The week in mobile – Backward steps

By Adam Doud July 24, 2015, 10:00 am

The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world.

New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Looking back, it’s crazy to see how far the industry has come over the years – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that an increasingly awesome for gaming, music, web browsing, communication, and everything in-between.

So we had this idea that could bring back tiny nibbles of nostalgia for all, a look into the history of the mobile space. Below you will find many of the major happenings for week 30  from 2001 and forward.

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Volkswagen-eGeneration

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, what? whoa, holy, whoa, what?
So I’m perusing articles from 14 years ago and I come across “Jornadavergn”. What the freak is “Jornadavergn”? So I open it. And I find out that 14 years ago. Four. Teen. Years. Ago. Volkswagon introduced a car called the eGeneration Golf which came with an HP Jornada PDA and a Nokia 6210 cellphone. Plus these devices had docks built into the center console of the car so you could use them for maps, browsing, etc.

How have we gone backward in this people?!?

July 22, 2001 – Jornadavergn

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f12

I know tablets have been around for some time now. But every time I read about a tablet from 2004, in this case the Ultra-Portable Flybook, I’m struck by two things:

  1. I’m really glad “tablet” caught on and not “flybook”
  2. Tablets have been around for so long, but didn’t catch on until you-know-who came out with the you-know-what six years later.

What’s with that? Tablets have been trying to be a thing for over a decade now and the only company that has really gotten it right so far is Apple. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just a head scratcher.

July 22, 2004 – Ultra-Portable Flybook Review

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vista

July 21, 2005 – Microsoft to Name Longhorn “Windows Vista”?

Yes, and it will be crappy.

Anyway…

One of our editors, a Mr. Legacy who otherwise chose to remain nameless was a Pocket PC user who danced on the dark side with a Palm LifeDrive. As (presumably) he perused Palm forums he found that other Palm LifeDrive users had issues with their devices as well. This reminded me a little bit of me actually. First, I love to venture out into other platforms, just to check things out and see what the other side is cooking. But I’m also very critical of my own favorite platform – Windows Phone, or actually Windows 10 mobile now. So I guess what I’m saying is, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

July 18, 2005 – Is the Grass Ever Really Greener?

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HTCStarTrek_starfleet

So, I included our first story because, well, Star Trek. Ya know? HTC released a Star Trek phone back in 2006. It was a cute little guy which Adam Lein reviewed. But it’s also Star Trek, so it gets mentioned.

Our second story comes to use from former Editor in Chief Brandon Miniman who was found lamenting the lack of additional form factors in smartphones back in 2006. Yeah. Wonder how he feels about them today? Candy bar, candy bar, candy bar. Yummy, but not very diverse.

July 25, 2006 – HTC Star Trek Review

July 25, 2006 – The Missing Form Factors

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samsung-mobile-gt-i8520-feature-projector

Brandon one again graces these pages as he asked about including a projector into your phone and whether it would be a useful feature or a novelty. To be honest, I’m surprised Samsung hasn’t built one of these of late. For me, I think the battery drain would be awful and the loss of resolution by projecting onto a huge screen would be unacceptable in today’s work of 4K TV’s. This line in particular makes me giggle:

“The PicoP projector sports a resolution of 854×480 pixels, which is ideal for photo viewing and even watching a movie”

Lolwut? Bottom line, for me it’d be a gimmick, not to mention controlling a touch screen device on something that isn’t a touchscreen would be clunky, unless Kinnect-like controls could be built in as well. I just don’t see it.

July 27, 2007 – A Projector in Your Cell Phone: A Useful Feature, or a Novelty?

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