iPhone 4S, Surface Tablet, PalmPilot: 10 Mobile Gadgets We Love - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Life
News
2/3/2015
06:20 PM
David Wagner
David Wagner
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

iPhone 4S, Surface Tablet, PalmPilot: 10 Mobile Gadgets We Love

With Valentine's Day coming up, we're waxing nostalgic about some of our most-loved mobile devices, from the PalmPilot to the iPhone4S.
Previous
1 of 13
Next

(Image: Marcin Grygiel via Wikimedia Commons)

(Image: Marcin Grygiel via Wikimedia Commons)

In honor of Valentine's Day later this month, InformationWeek is highlighting the gadgets we love. From the silly to the serious, we just adore technology, and we know you do as well. Over the course of the next week, we'll be taking a look at some of our favorite tech toys of all time. Today, we're paying homage to our favorite mobile devices.

The mobile device seems like a pretty short-lived category, but when you think about it, we've been doing our best to miniaturize and mobilize technology for decades. Our smartphones are now significantly more powerful than the computers that landed on the moon (talk about mobile technology). The iPhone is less than eight years old, but remember when you couldn't live without a PDA? They've been around since 1984. Think about that for a second. The first PDA came out the same year Apple released the Macintosh and this awesome commercial.

Anyone else find it a little eerie that the devices released Apple (and others) since then actually do make our world a little more like George Orwell's 1984, with cameras everywhere? These items even make it easier for the government to track us wherever we go.

OK, taking off our tinfoil hat, we've known since the first cave painting that we needed a mobile device. Those paintings recorded the memory of nomadic hunters and gatherers. The scenes painted on the walls told of the success of the hunt for sake of the painters -- should they ever return -- and for others who may have found the cave. The only problem was you couldn't fold up the cave wall like a map. So stories had to be shared around the camp fire. Since then, we've been on a quest to find ways to store our most important information in more efficient and more mobile means.

[Office for Android, Outlook upgrade, and more in Microsoft news.]

Of course, we could just fill a whole gallery of mobile devices with various versions of the iPhone, the iPad, and the Galaxy. That would be dull. So, the rules are that only one version of any mobile device gets into our top 10 here. And, even though it is obvious that the iPhone 6 is more powerful than earlier versions, if a device has multiple versions, we're going to pick the one that we enjoyed most during its run. Otherwise, if it stores information and you can pick it up and move it, it is fair game. Chances are, you've owned a bunch of these in your lifetime.

Click through InformationWeek's list of favorities, which runs from newest to oldest. See which of your favorites we nailed. Then hit us up in the comments section below and tell us about all the ones we missed.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 13
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/4/2015 | 2:10:44 AM
Voice dictation
I actually preferred the iPhone's voice command capabilities pre-Siri...at least in terms of dictation.  It seems that post-Siri, Apple's voice dictation's capabailities took a huge step backwards.

If only there was a way to integrate Dragon with Siri.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/4/2015 | 8:09:11 AM
Re: Voice dictation
It is amazing to think about the gap between the PDA (1984!) and the modern smart phone, and why it took so long for the PDA to evolve into the smart phone. The only reason that I can find is that like real estate agents say that location, location and location is everything, in the same way, timing, timing and timing of the ecosystem is everything for technology to take a leap forward.
soozyg
50%
50%
soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/4/2015 | 9:06:17 AM
the squeeze out
I think tablets are being squeezed out because they are actually a step back in practicality. 1) Most people do not use them for heavy typing, just light email, so they've become a popular (expensive) device for videos and games for kids. 2) Flash and other software do not work on them
soozyg
50%
50%
soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/4/2015 | 9:18:48 AM
electronic football
Ah, the oldies: Mattel Electronic Football. The players were tiny electronic lines on the screen and I don't remember if you could tell the teams apart by color or not. That was one popular game!
Li Tan
50%
50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
2/5/2015 | 12:02:12 AM
Re: Voice dictation
If I am not wrong, PDA did not last for very long and soon there is smartphones available. PDA's usage is rather limited and it seems that it has never been quite popular.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/5/2015 | 5:40:35 PM
Re: Voice dictation
Li Tan, you are absolutely correct -- the PDA never became extremely popular. And neither was Microsoft's tablet PC from the year 2000-2002 able to make this list, because its time in the ecosystem did not arrive as yet. For mobile devices, many technologies and environments had to progress before their true value could to utilized, for instance, processor technology, battery technology, screen and touch technology, connectivity (3G, etc.) and to a large extent, the cloud environment as well.

New types of mobile devices and services are only now beginning to be able to operate in the IoT because the ecosystem has progressed. However, these devices might have been invented or proposed, a long time ago.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/6/2015 | 2:09:36 AM
Re: Voice dictation
Indeed, Brian.  My dad has a saying he's fond of: "There are no bad ideas -- only bad timing."

With the PDA, cell service was still in its infancy.  Although there was a good run in the late '90s/early 2000s when executives had PDAs AND cell phones.

Of course, cell phone adoption remained low in the West for quite some time.  I remember when I went to South Korea about 15 years ago and being shocked at how EVERYONE (and I do mean everyone! including little babies with them hanging from around their necks!) had a cell phone -- when they were still an expensive toy/curiosity stateside.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/6/2015 | 2:11:23 AM
Re: the squeeze out
I think the direction for tablets is that they are becoming laptop replacements where laptops have become desktop replacements.  The goal, I think, is to one day use your tablet the same way (and with the same power with which) you would use your desktop.  Certainly this seems to be the goal with the Windows Surface Pro and even with the iPad.

(Boy, do I feel stupid for ever buying a netbook.)
soozyg
50%
50%
soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2015 | 10:21:32 AM
Re: the squeeze out
I hope tablets don't become laptop replacements. I actually have a desktop (iMac) and I totally adore it. Love the huge screen. I hate doing work on laptops and tablets.

Joe, with all the writing that you do, how much do you do on a tablet?
Technocrati
50%
50%
Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2015 | 11:16:26 AM
Re: the squeeze out
I can easily admit that I like the Surface, really a useful piece of hardware, but is the tablet done ?    I think so.  Consumers will fork out the extra money to buy a Surface as opposed to some 10" ipad or even droid, however I am still not a fan of Windows 8 and I have had it about a year now.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
News
The State of Chatbots: Pandemic Edition
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/10/2020
Commentary
Deloitte on Cloud, the Edge, and Enterprise Expectations
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/14/2020
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Slideshows
Flash Poll