Vivek Haldar

Patterns of use

I find a clear pattern emerging in the way I use various computing devices.

Laptops and desktops–I put them in the same category because they are heavy, power hungry, and have full size keyboards–are factory machines. They are what I use to get serious work done, the kind that gives me a paycheck. I almost never reach for them outside work situations.

On the other end of the spectrum are phones. I don’t know why we still call them phones because I never use them to make phone calls, because in general I never make phone calls. They are rude, disruptive, and synchronous. There is a single digit number of people on the planet from whom I will accept phone calls. But these “phones” are perfect for being our assistants out in the physical world, where we need maps and directions and traffic updates. And that’s mostly what I use my phone for. I almost never use it indoors. Except as a camera. Because the crappy camera you have at arms reach–and they’re getting less crappy by the day–beats the expensive one in your closet.

Which leaves the great big middle of… everything else. This is where the tablet comes in. It has become my main non-work device. I use it for reading–tons of reading. I use it for writing. Gesture typing on Android has greatly improved the speed and accuracy with which I can heave words into the device. I probably spend as much time on the N7 as my laptop/desktop combined. And I think it will only grow. If we start seeing new interesting interfaces that make it viable to actually code on tablets–and we’re beginning to–that will be another blow to laptops and desktops.