Update: Is the Smartphone Becoming the PC Replacement?

Last December, I wrote the following in this newsletter at http://bit.ly/2nNh4gC:

“Today, the smartphone can become a person’s only computer, used alone when away from home or the office, then used with a “docking station” when at home or at the office. Of course, most smartphones already have internal cameras, even webcams. With a docking station to accommodate a keyboard, a larger screen, stereo speakers, printers, scanners, and more, today’s home computer may soon become a thing of the past.”

I also wrote:

“Will your next PC be a smartphone? Do you really need a desktop computer for checking email, surfing the web, or doing genealogy research? The smartphones of today will do most everything your present desktop computer can do.”

It looks like some people agree with me. One company with plans for converting a smartphone into a desktop or laptop computer is a rather well-known producer of personal computers and of smartphones: Apple.

A new patent application from Apple shows the company is toying with the idea of a laptop powered by an iPhone that’s docked face up where the touchpad is normally positioned.

Apple calls the laptop an “accessory device.” That is, the computer with memory, storage space, and wireless networking is in the smartphone while the “accessory device” adds a bigger display, a full sized screen, and a real keyboard.

In the drawing above, you can see the smartphone (which we can assume is an iPhone) simply drops into a cavity in the “laptop” and supplies all the computing power, local storage, and networking. The “shell” that looks like a “shell” performs like a laptop and supplies everything else.

The user can carry the smartphone easily in a pocket or purse and have all the basic functionality of a computer with him or her at all times. Obviously, that combination will be hampered by the small screen and limited keyboard. However, the same user also could pull out the laptop “shell,” drop the smartphone into a cavity in the shell, and use it in the same manner as a laptop.

Optionally, the same user could take it home and connect a 30-inch screen or larger, a larger keyboard, and whatever peripherals he or she wishes. He or she obviously would not be limited by today’s smartphone technology.

Why purchase a smartphone AND a laptop AND a desktop computer? One device could perform all three functions, provided it had the proper accessories. I suspect the total price would be significantly cheaper than purchasing all three separate items.

As I wrote in December,

“Yes, I believe that a smartphone will become a desktop replacement within a very few years. In fact, it has become my primary computer today.

“Oh, yeah: you can also use a smartphone to make phone calls.”

17 Comments

I foresee in the future that even a ‘shell’ will be obsolete quite quickly when our phones will have the ability to ‘project’ a keyboard onto whatever surface we set our phones on, while at the same time project a larger image of our screen onto, say, a wall or other blank surface. This is already somewhat possible with my phone, the Moto Z Droid, which has a magnetic projector I can clip on to the back of the phone. The projected keyboard I propose will happen some day would be completely operable, and we can ‘virtually’ type without having to lug around a shell. I’m hoping this will be possible sooner rather than later, since I hate typing on a phone, even with the faster swype feature. I do love using voice to enter text, but there are WAY too many times when I can’t make noise (at work, etc) so have a virtual keyboard would be fantastic!!

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Apple’s design makes sense and addresses limitations with these smartphones, which nearly everyone has. This has the potential to be the next big wave in tech buying and Apple, of course, will be leading the way in capturing various segments of the marketplace.
I’d really like to see this design in action!

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One of the comments says nearly everyone has a Smartphone. No-no, not around here they don’t. Not a one of our close friends and relatives have one. I have no intention of owning one. I will use my little flip phone as along as possible. I don’t like cell phones in the first place.

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    I agree completely, Linda. In fact, my flip phone is setup to forward incoming calls directly to my land line when it’s off. I only turn it on when I’m out of the house or traveling.

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    I don’t have a portable phone of any type but I do use a laptop a lot especially for genealogy.

    Liked by 1 person

I looked at the sketch of the proposed cell phone/lap top and I really hate reaching over the cell phone to get to the keys. Other than that, it is a great idea.

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    I’m not sure there would even be a “reaching over” sensation, as the cell phone in the illustration appears to be in exactly the same place where the trackpad usually is, e.g. even on the MacBookPro I am typing this comment on, and I assume that when in place, the screen of the cell phone would provide the function of the trackpad.

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Smartphone? Not for me! Keyboard & screen way to small for my handicapped hands/eyes. Too much “stuff” on screen. Also, living in mountains, cell tower access problematic. I like having split screen access, which I ‘think’ would be disaster on a cell.

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I understand that people are chosing phones as their primary instruments, not because they are the best, but because it’s too expensive to pay for phone service and internet service. The mobility of the phones is the primary argument for them. And I’m not interested in this. I have a marvelous desktop with lots of memory and a great big screen. Have a new laptop with Windows 10, but am not interested in transferring everything to there. I will not watch movies, read books, nor organize my genealogy in a phone of any kind.

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Clarifying my previous comments: I live in the mountains and have no service (smartphone or flip phone signal) most days until I reach the office, so I kept my landlines at home. I have a desktop PC at home and at work, and a solid smartphone signal at work. Will Apple’s design do it for everyone in all situations, no. But it’s all about having more choices for your needs in a particular setting.

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From some of the comments, I think there may be a misunderstanding as to what is being advocated. Except perhaps for teenagers, I really don’t think that many people read books or watch movies on their cell phones. One point being expressed is that anything resident on a small screen device can be cast wirelessly onto a large screen device like a large monitor or a TV set. Another point being expressed is that data stored in the cloud can be accessed from any device, large or small. The best tool for the task can vary according to the task, the user, and the location, so it really doesn’t matter what size or type of devices you choose to own, as long as they suit your lifestyle and convenience, and as long as you are open to the consideration of new devices as they become available and suit you. Age or physical limitations should not limit one’s choice of devices, as often newly introduced devices, e.g. the cell phone, actually enhance one’s ability to overcome their personal challenges. That’s been my personal experience and I am 81, have usable vision in only one eye and have other challenges but am eager to always consider newly introduced devices precisely because often they make my life easier.

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Considering there is no software being made anymore for Windows then yes it is replacing it because nobody wants an OS with nothing on it. Only a small percent use PC’s and that’s primary for playing COD or the gazillion “Me Too’s” as that’s all there is now is hack and slash and even those are console ports which don’t quite get thru translation very well.

It’s actually funny reading the negative reviews on STEAM on these console port games which I don’t own I’m more of a simulator fan especially with mod support.

What this article is referring to is the millennials that never owned a PC because they missed out on their peak in the 90s and grew up only playing game consoles then moved to phones when they got older. A growing amount never even played the consoles and just went straight to smartphones.

I have an RCO (State Of Oregon) caretaker who grew up in the same era I did of gaming and we don’t like where things are going towards dumbing things down to phone levels. He has a brother who has ADD and all he knows is touch screen phone stuff so he introduced Starcraft one of the older ones that don’t need to be online and he (his little 9 year old brother) was very ecstatic that you can play games offline and not do micro payments and amazed that it’s higher quality then the smartphone graphics engine that is used in a majority of phone apps. I can tell right away without knowing the name of it that a game is using the smartphone engine.

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Since commenting requires moderator approval I am guessing it will never show up since there is likely no more support for this blog. 😦 Shame it should be mentioned if support is non existent.

Smartphones have many disadvantages such as paying thru the nose thru subscriptions. Imagine if you turned your PC on and instead of a login screen you get a prompt asking you to pay just 12.99& (I can’t find the dollar sign in the dark) a month to access your OS and get all these amazing benefits you will likely never use.

It may not seem like much to phone users as they are used to paying premium to do the slightest thing but for us old time PC users it’s a slap in the face. It means we don’t truly own access and they can do whatever they want. They aren’t even trying to hide it anymore. The global elites have all decided back in 2005 that you DO NOT deserve to own anything and they control it all. When you pay off your house it is not really yours the government still owns it but there are like 5 states where you DO completely own it and the government cannot take it away. They fought back.

Another sick thing that almost happened as part of the Obama UN deal is riverfront property both land and homes were going to become owned by the UN. NOT THE US but the UN which means they would be in control of access not you. Not even Uncle Sam.

That is sick beyond all doubt but don’t worry Trump is pulling us out of it. He has undone some of the other bad things like that which would’ve handed full control away TO THE UN.

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Would you rather have a gazillion stupid apps that drain your battery life (with only 3 being useful) or decent programs for your computer/laptop that are fully supported?

I have gotten old software to work on Virtual Box in ways that VB never designed to work. VB always has gotten a low rep for not handling games very well but what I did was Dad installed 98 for me and then I put in necessary updates like Direct X 9.0C and an older version of Quick Time (though often programs came with QT back then or whatever player was needed usually Quick Time) and that made software/games not stutter. Also SCI Tech Display Driver gives you full color schemes so it will not look as ugly as your butt.

Also You will need Power ISO to create ISO’s out of folders as Guest Additions is NOT supported and VB does not care about anything past XP. Virtual Box has closed their ears to any requests about getting 98 with more support.

There is a site called Adventure Legends that has a lot of old software (not just adventure titles) here. http://legendsworld.net/adventure/news For example click on the mid 90s and Microsoft has all sorts of cool programs which are on there. Some of the downloads requires you to have a 4 Shared account which the site should mention but there is no author contact.

What do you call a site with no author contact or support?

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