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What is the best way to combine a cell phone and a laptop?

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What is the best way to combine a cell phone and a laptop?

· Mobile Zone ·
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The Motorola Atrix cell phone in its laptop-like “docking station” [source].

Motorola is taking another shot at the idea that a cell phone is mainly a computing core and only needs a full-sized keyboard and a larger screen to become a laptop. It’s been done before and I think it mainly appeals to engineers who, because they are trained to see patterns, tend to abstract too much. Is there a better solution for integrating the myriad of devices we own? How about the following?
  • Let us assume that you own a desktop computer, a laptop and a cell phone. You are thus in contact with a swarm of devices that always at least comprises the cell phone. In contrast to Motorola’s approach, each member of the swarm is a dedicated device.
  • Cloud-sync the swarm data. If you are offline, you can still sync between peers (e.g. between the cell phone and the laptop). This makes the swarm feel like a single system. Additionally, it backs the data up.
  • I like the idea that a cell phone can temporarily borrow another device’s input mechanisms. Say, you stay at an apartment with a desktop computer and only have your cell phone with you. The best way to do this is to use a web application (calendar, email, contacts, etc.). If you are offline, this app can be run directly from the cell phone. Otherwise, you’ll run it on a web server and sync with the phone later. Note that this also works for a cell phone and a laptop.

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