Smartphones Should be Less Smart, More Phone
I’m an android smartphone owner. I’m neither proud nor ashamed of this; it is a statement of fact. I carry my smartphone with me wherever I go and I get a very strong sense of dread when I am apart from it. I believe this to be an unhealthy attachment to technology, but I do get worried that an emergency will happen and I’ll be helpless, with my final words going unheard to the world. What worries me even more is something that seems to happen on a regular basis lately. Despite my best efforts to remember to charge my Android, I continually fail to do so.
When charging my phone this morning, I noticed that it took an extremely long time to go from the push of the button to a phone with a useful purpose – making a phone call. I remember that when my wife was pregnant that I was acutely aware of the nearly two minute boot time so I always left the phone on just in case I needed to call emergency services. Since the birth of my healthy baby girl, I have become somewhat complacent in my attention to this phone. It may be that in the back of my mind I believe that hours of the day should not be spent checking to see if my phone is operational, it could be that I have other things to do like change diapers or help my wife or feed the baby or write. Are these ridiculous startup times, batteries dying, screens needing to be replaced all for the sake of having a mobile communication device something that we just accept as the cost of “helpful” technology?
I bought the phone, paid a hefty sum, yet I don’t believe that startup times nearing two minutes for a device that I may need to use to call 911 for my daughter, my wife or myself, should take more than only a few seconds. With Sprint, my service provider, they add an additional amount of time in advertising. This advertising tells me that the phone that I pay hundreds of dollars a month for is a 4G phone. I know this, not because of the constant reminder, but because I bought it, I pay for it and if I really cared I would use an earth unfriendly post it note and affix it to the back of the phone to remind me.
iPhone users must have similar issues with their startup times right?
The question that I pose is this, is any amount of advertising seconds worth a life? Phone manufacturers and service providers should work to either reduce the time it takes to go from off to on to either instantaneous or under a few seconds. Those seconds count when relying on this technology for help. If someone is breaking into your house, do you really want to fiddle around with junky software that won’t let you get to the touchscreen dial option while it mocks you with some corporate reminder of who you pay a lot of money too? If you survive the home invasion that could have been prevented by a timely call to the police, would you feel the need to complain to your provider or the phone’s manufacturer or would you accept it as something that can’t be changed?
EVO Start Time
Are ways available to reduce these startup times? Yes, but should scouring the internet for ways to hack phones to make them useful be the responsibility of the end user for the sake of corporate advertising? H-E- Double Hockey Sticks no. It is a generally held belief that by reducing the amount of apps that are loaded on the device that the times will be reduced. This has been shown to be true with the EVO starting from factory settings the times are nearly half. However, it is important to note that some phone manufacturers actually have their boot times reduced to only a few seconds and definitely under a minute. Do I long for the days where my Cingular phone would never die, keep its charge for days, could be dropped from 300 ft and still survive and never prevent me from making a phone call because it didn’t have a touchscreen? In a way, yes, I miss when phones were just phones and didn’t require so much attention. I want my cellphone to be a phone for games online, gambling, but not this meld of a computer and a phone.