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Good God no..

I'll confess, I use my phone in place of a watch. But that's largely because I don't have a watch, nor do I have any inclination to get one, and checking my phone to see the time doubles up with checking to see if I have any messages or missed calls. I am saving myself time.

Similarly, my phone offers superior functionality to an alarm clock - I can syncronise it with Outlook, and build complex patterns of alarms (i.e., at present I have an alarm at 5:55am, 6:10am and 6:30am, in addition to one that I set myself either for 5:50am or 6:00am (depending on whether I want to get up a bit early or a bit late), which are programmed to only go off on weekdays). This is fine - where the phone offers superior functionality, I'll use it.

But digital cameras.. I mean, mine is hardly awesome, and yet it still offers very clear pictures, variable focus, zoom, lighting compensation, settings for exposure length and apperture, etc.. The fact that the camera does not come any smaller suggests to me, at least, that it cannot be conveniently made smaller while retaining its functionality. Ergo, putting all that into a phone is unlikely to work.

Similarly, my MP3 player. I'm sure that if I had a naff little one then I wouldn't mind integrating it into my phone. But quite how they'd propose to fit a 3.5" TFT screen and 40gb hard drive into my mobile phone (alongside the camera), I really don't know.. My mobile phone fits conveniently into my pocket, and is the right size to make calls with. Out of necessity, my MP3 player is huge, needs a significantly larger jacket pocket, and is not the sort of thing I want to take out all the time. It also uses an awful lot of power when I watch movies on it.

I've been down this road in software development.. How to make a single solution to mulitple problems. It never works.

My phone makes an okay camera if I'm just trying to capture a quick memory, and not take a good picture. And it makes a good MP3 player if I just want to listen to a couple of songs. But I prefer specialised equipment that does its job well, not something that tries to do everything and performs poorly in doing so..

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I was actually considering getting one of those phones with an MP3 player in it. While they don't have much capacity, they do have little flash cards you can get for extra storage.

I am a little frightened by the multifunctionality of phones these days, though. Some of them are actual palm PCs. I can see us moving in the direction of having them implanted in our bodies in the not-distant-enough future.

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