Yesterday I came across yet another (read: tired subject matter) article about the perils of living in an “always on” culture with the advent of portable devices like BlackBerrys and Treos. While I fall into the camp of viewing the carrying of a device with me “liberating” as opposed to draining, my reasoning goes beyond purely staying connected via e-mail anywhere I am (which is obviously a huge benefit). With my 8700 series, the mobile browser functionality actually works rather well. And with that, I have my my.yahoo page as the default home page. Even more than with a PC browser start page, I find the having mobile start page is extremely helpful – with feeds from all of my favorite news sources and blogs, to weather, to links to other relevant content I want on the go.
This perspective seems to resonate with a number of the comments around mobile search coming out of this week’s 3GSM conference according to this MocoNews post. Daniel Appelquist, Vodafone’s senior technology strategist, said “It’s about getting to content in zero clicks …and about having the information you want when you pull the phone out of your pocket.” And that’s exactly how I view the content I get when I use my BlackBerry in this way. (Whether an operator like Vodaphone will in the future play a/the central role in delivering that type of information is an entirely different issue.) Jim Holden, Google’s director of global wireless strategic partnerships, “pointed out that search isn’t just about accessing the mobile Internet. It’s also about creating an environment on the phone where users can make use of the information and content they find.” In other words, there is a distinct difference between the “how you find information” and “what information you find” on mobile devices vs. on the PC. And obviously the industry has a long way to go to discover the right model here, especially for mass consumer devices. In the meantime, for me though, the new slim BlackBerry 8800 is making my 8700 look obsolete.