Bigger isn’t necessarily better in the mobile world

Jul 8, 2011
Tech

I’ve been writing and/or joking a lot lately (sometimes it’s even hard for me to tell the difference) about how I want to wear some teched-out gadget filled tuxedo that combines style with tech innovations that would make my life easier. And I do mean that sincerely: the idea of being a 21st century James […]

I’ve been writing and/or joking a lot lately (sometimes it’s even hard for me to tell the difference) about how I want to wear some teched-out gadget filled tuxedo that combines style with tech innovations that would make my life easier.

And I do mean that sincerely: the idea of being a 21st century James Bond is alluring. But there’s something I have neglected to mention because I thought it was sort of obvious: if a gadget is large or otherwise so cumbersome it could never replace the thing you’re trying to simplify, it is stupid.

A story on TechCrunch brings this point to the forefront for me today. To author Greg Kumparak’s credit, I’m pretty sure he finds this SLR lens attachment as absurd as I do, and that makes me feel a little bit better.

But assuming this isn’t a hoax (and the product website is pretty adamant that it’s not), it is an awfully bad idea. Maybe not bad in the way that asking to get pushed down a flight of stairs might be considered a bad idea, but certainly it is an idea that shows a lack of insight into why you might want to own or carry an iPhone.

If I’m reading everything correctly, I can pay $250 dollars (plus shipping) to get an SLR mount for my iPhone that will make my iPhone nearly as big as an SLR camera would be otherwise, and it won’t even look as nice as an actual SLR camera? Well, I just don’t think I can sign up fast enough.

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People that have nice camera equipment have cases and bags and stuff for their nice camera equipment. They’re going to put that equipment in a bag that would probably house an actual nice camera, too! They’re not going to spend money on camera lenses and attach them to an iPhone.

And they shouldn’t. That misses the entire point. I was talking with one of my brothers a few weeks ago and he was trying to talk himself out of his own smartphone, attempting to make a list of the things he uses his current smartphone for to see if he really needed one. He began by listing the essentials like how he texts people, checks sports scores, and so forth. And he paused and then said something to the affect of how he takes a ton of pictures, too.

And that’s what makes a smartphone so useful. It’s very small, fits in your pocket, and does a number of tasks relatively well. Does the iPhone have fantastic call clarity? It’s all right. Does it have enough storage space for all of your music? The essential stuff, probably. Nobody is going to put this on a box anytime soon, but the iPhone is “good enough” at a ton of different things, and that’s perfect.

It doesn’t need to be an SLR camera because it offers something an SLR camera doesn’t – convenience. If you had a good SLR camera you couldn’t just toss it in your pocket and strut around with it all day. To spend $250 dollars on something that would make your iPhone less convenient boggles the mind.

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I want to be James Bond, but James Bond had explosives the size of cigarette cases. He didn’t affix an actual sized bomb to a normal cigarette case and call it a gadget, because that would be a terrible idea.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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