Sitting comfortably just now on the top deck of a big red bus, I was listening (for the sixth time on the short journey) to the Old Etonian tones of Mayor Boris (suitably dumbed down for the hoipolloi): “Hi folks, this is the Mayor of London. With the vaaaaaast number of people travelling, your journey could take longer than it usually does…..”
Dead right, Boris. But I was otherwise occupied, focused on the bright and vaaaaaast screen of a Samsung thingamajig sitting in the next seat.
I liked it. And it got me thinking about just what size of screen we really need in a portable device these days. Up to now, any discission on the subject has been heresy, with burning at the stake in front of One Infinite Loop the penalty for conjecture:
Thou shalt be happy with thy tiny 3½-in screen. Thou mayest verily use it well with thy fingers, even though they be not sanded down. Thou shalt not mention seven inches because thy fingers are verily too big. If thou desirest something vaster thou shalt buy my ten-inch tablet. For it shall never be diminished in size.
And so on. Now we know that the iPhone is growing by half an inch and the iPad is about to sprout a 7.xx-inch baby. We are all sanding down our fingers in anticipation.
For the future, though, the real question is what sort of device do we want to carry around in our pockets to act as the everywhere communications device. Dedicated phones are yesterday’s fad. Now we want a connected pocket computer that may, on rare occasions, be called upon to facilitate a telephone call. Most of the time we are browsing, texting, tweeting and planning, so why call it a phone?
I shall be first in the queue for both the five-inch iPhone and the 7.xx-in iPad. I’ve said it before, the current iPad is too big to carry around, though it is ideal as a lap-top and media-consumption device at home. The current iPhone is a tad too small, even though I use it much more than the iPad and have adopted it as my book reader of choice. It is adequate but not ideal.
If, however, Apple produced a hybrid device that had a big enough screen but could still fit in my pocket, then I would probably espouse it as the one-size-fits-all always-in-my-pocket companion. I would need neither mini phone nor maxi tablet. My fingers would rise to the occasion.
Something like that five-inch Samsung would do nicely, come to think of it.