HTC has introduced what many are laughing at, which is a companion device to a very large phone. A phone that solidly would be considered a “phablet”, a phone and tablet in one. Although I agree that having a little cordless phone device in addition to your “phone” sounds funny, there is something about this general concept that feels correct to me.
A few weeks ago I bought an iPad Mini and it has changed the way I work and browse and read. It’s ULTRA-portable. It makes the full-size iPad look clunky and feel so heavy. The iPad Mini is perfectly sized and is feather light. I have stopped using my phone as much as a result. When I got my first iPad I would constantly think to myself, “I’d rather just be doing this on my iPhone.” The roles have now switched with the iPad Mini.
It works so well at everything, it makes me wish it could take calls. Calls?! If you think people who talk on their Galaxy Notes are ridiculous, wait till you see people holding their iPads to their ears. It’ll never happen. But I do want an option to take calls on the iPad. So what is the solution?
There are certain things that are so natively human that we never question them. I believe that speaking in to an object that you are holding up to your face isn’t one of them. It’s weird, right? We seem cool with the idea of holding our phones, which are getting larger and larger, to our faces for now, but I believe this will change. It has to. It has simply been grandfathered in from another time where the future didn’t exist. But today it does. We don’t have to hold these things on our faces anymore, we just do it because there isn’t a better option yet.
HTC has introduced a plausible solution. One that may come across as ridiculous right now, but that is only because it challenges the status quo and is coming from a company very few people respect as an innovator. They have released a companion phone device for their phablet. Their solution looks like a cordless phone. Buttons for dialing, a small screen, and a speaker and receiver.
I don’t think this will be the final solution, but I will say that this idea greatly interests me and solves a problem with device size. Talking on the phone isn’t just another app. It needs to be dealt with in a unique way, different from the other native and app functionalities of our smartphones.
In fact they are even called smartPHONES, even though we email, Facebook, text, and do other things far more frequently that talk on them. The phone is different. And as our devices begin homogenizing, companion devices will become the norm.