Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Connected Dream; Realized

I remember when I first read about the Sony Mylo- a device which had the sole purpose of keeping you constantly connected. It was a bit of an oxy-moron since the device required a wifi connection to do that (which kind of limited just how connected you actually could be). But it did strike a cord with me. The idea of being reachable at any time- not just by email and texts, but by any of the mediums most people use daily to connect-sounded intriguing.

It remained a dream for quite a while; Palm did not support multi-tasking, and even when I moved to Windows Mobile, there weren't that many great IM clients at the time. Email was also a sketchy situation- push email would kill the battery of most WM5 devices in no time at all.

Then, when more applications started to appear that seemed capable of making this a reality (Palringo, Beejive, PockeTwit, ceTwit to name a few), there wasn't enough application memory in the devices to be able to leave them running constantly . And when I finally got a Fuze, it had enough memory to run them all, but it would constantly over-manage it by randomly shutting down background apps. The slide-out keyboard was not conducive to tapping out quick messages, and sometimes, depending on the circumstances, the app would crash during the screen-rotation or just be painfully slow.

I moved to a Bold with very few expectations. I had been attracted to the look of it and its UI since early last year. And in the summer I was swept up in the Bold-mania that had long cooled by the time it was finally released in the USA in November. I wasn't sure what I would find, but I hoped, at a minimum, to satisfy my curiosity. Well, the one thing the Blackberry does above and beyond any device I have ever seen is keep you connected. Using Beejive IM I have a persistent prescence on all my IM protocols, and on Facebook chat. With SocialScope I have Twitter running 24/7 giving me a heads up when I've been mentioned. The Facebook application sends me all my notifications without clogging up my inbox. And then there's BB Messenger, on which I've got a small network of, among other things, fellow moms with whom I can exchange photos and questions without having to have it all 'out there' like you do on Twitter.

For me, the combination of a battery with enough juice to get me through the day, a bright and vivid HVGA screen, an exposed comfortable keyboard and an OS that is stable enough to run all my background connected apps is irresistible. Its not just that I want to be constantly connected: its that now, I finally can be.

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