This article has nothing to do with genealogy, other than many genealogists are sensitive about changes in the world around themselves as well as what the worlds of their ancestors were like. Indeed, the world is changing rapidly today.
If you are looking for true genealogy articles, you might want to skip this one.
Are you mobile?
It seems the current trend of the online world is moving to small, handheld devices. Sales of laptop computers are stagnant while sales of desktop computers have been dropping for several years. Yet the sales of tablet computers and so-called “smartphones” is exploding. I admit that I spend more time on the Internet and with email with my smartphone than I do with the computer with a 27-inch monitor that sits on my desk back home.
Now a report from Return Path says that more than half of emails worldwide (55%) are opened in a mobile environment in 2017, significantly more than either webmail (28%) or desktop (16%). Mobile has emerged as the dominant email environment since Return Path last conducted its survey in 2012, when only 29% of emails were opened on a mobile device, and webmail clients were the most popular method of accessing such electronic missives. Return Path also found that Apple’s iOS was dominant among mobile email users worldwide, with 79% of mobile emails opened on either an iPhone or iPad this year. While only 20% of emails were opened on a device running Android, that was actually an increase of 6 percentage points from 2012’s figure.
The report by Return Path only covers email but I suspect similar usage patterns are true for web sites and even more so for text messaging/instant messaging.
I can identify with that. I check email more often with the smartphone than I do with a desktop computer.
By the way, as I have written before, I also save all my files and all my old email messages in at least two different file storage services in the cloud. As a result, I can quickly access any of my saved information when I am at home, in a hotel room with the laptop, or when in a store and using the smartphone. I find I am using mobile capabilities more and more every day.
Example: From a recent conversation at Bed, Bath, and Beyond: the store clerk asked, “What size curtains do you need for your bedroom windows?” I had the answer within a few seconds simply by tapping a few icons on my smartphone.
In “the old days” before I used cloud storage, my answer would have been, “Gee, I’ll have to go home and measure them.”
Thanks to data storage in the cloud, I had measured those windows years ago and stored the measurements in the cloud, along with thousands of other bits of information from my life. Retrieving that information only requires a few seconds, thanks to the “search all files” capabilities of the cloud-based file storage services.
The same thing is true for genealogy information: having easy access to my entire family tree, including all my notes and references, is very handy when visiting a new archive or library.