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July 31, 2003

I don't understand

this, but something tells me I need to keep track on it until I do.

For ages I've been prattling on about telephony being just an application that lives on a mobile data-linked device, and that everyone's too hung up on the concept of 'a phone'.

I can see a time when your phone has 'virtual memory' on a server somewhere, and that when you need to get an app, it will be streamed over the wireless network for you to use it. After all, if you're lugging around all that battery weight, you want your mobile device to carry as much *data* as possible - that's *you* after all. If you don't use it as a phone, why have that memory (which is unlikely to be rom as it would need to be upgradeable) wasted on a phone application?

In fact, it's possible that mobile phone apps would multicast from a carousel - rather like ceefax or digital TV. There could be a channel dedicated to continuous delivery of these apps, and you hook into it when you need it.

Must get round to developing these ideas at some stage. Even if it means realising they're a bunch of arse and should be scrapped.

Posted by Tom Dolan at July 31, 2003 11:11 AM

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Tracked on July 31, 2003 01:30 PM


Sorry Tom, but I think you're a victim of what I call "Moore's Law Myopia". You aren't by any means the first person to say "Why waste precious memory on mobile devices/desktops, when the data can live remotely!" However, each and every time it is proposed, the idea is totally undermined by the ever increasing cheapness of storage. I've read so many stories celebtrating "reducing the mobile browser footprint to 800k". Why bother? Windows didn't bother, and look at it. Remember, the % of your HDD which is dedicated to OS and core applications has been shrinking constantly for a decade. The same will happen to mobile RAM. Have you seen the price of 256 megs of flash RAM at the mo?

So, whilst undoubtedly you will be able to download and update applications, most people will have devices with a HUGE suite of stuff ready installed, and everytime they download something, they'll just drop it into the huge filing cabinet in their pocket. After all, who can be bothered to economise when their phone will die of old age or get stolen before they've filled it up?

Posted by: Tom Steinberg at July 31, 2003 03:22 PM

all those things you talk about are already technologically here.

there are very good reasons why, in a mobile network, you want to store data remotely - so Tom S I disagree with you. remote storage of, for instance, SMS address book data is already a very popular service on 2/2.5g phones.

It's not a Moore's law issue - phone memories will continue to increase - but a personal data management issue. as you describe in your final sentance, most people upgrade, lose or have their phones stolen before they become technologically defunct. update all your personal data from device to device becomes a real pain in the arse. it's annoying now when it's mainly just contacts, but that doubles in annoyance with every new PIM app on the phone . . .

Posted by: chrislunch at July 31, 2003 04:28 PM

The remote storage thing is about making all of your bit-based goodies accessible from any device, when you're located anywhere (and not just contact details). Local storage is good for caching, especially since network bandwith isn't increasing at the same rate as storage capacity.

Hmm, I really need to work out how trackback works.

Oh, and it's pHile'slog, not phile's Blog.

Posted by: pHile at August 3, 2003 01:27 AM

I haven't got round to replying to this yet - I'm on holiday after all!

Posted by: Tom at August 4, 2003 01:43 PM

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