Mobility and the Mobile Device
I’ve read many articles debating the use of the term “mobile” and its antiquity. Some, coining their own terms and arguing their own takes, make really valid points. My thought?
Don’t try replacing a term that isn’t broken.
The technology and devices have evolved and as a result of mass production and a growing market, the device landscape has been segmented into many different categories: one hand (smart phones), both hands (tablets), single focus (Kindle), multi-function. That’s only scratching the surface. No matter what kind of splits these devices face now or in the future, they carry one similarity: mobility.
A mobile device should not constitute the notion that someone has to be going somewhere with their device for it to be “mobile”. It is the idea that they can go anywhere. Whether or not the user chooses to go anywhere, what the user does with the device, how they use the device, how often they use the device and which devices they use remains irrelevant. The method, behavior and context of each user is unpredictable. The possibilities: endless. The only constant in the equation is that the device has the ability to travel with its user. To me, that’s as simple as it gets.
We can’t back ourselves up in to a corner by trying to reinvent terminology based on something specific. What we know now may not be what we believe in the future. With the speed at which we’re developing new devices, interactions, and technology, these new “terms” will be rendered obsolete before it even catches on.
We should relinquish the idea of what “mobile” used to mean and accept that it’s meaning evolves in parallel with the technology itself. Rather than calling “mobile” outdated, I find myself thinking it’s all-encompassing.
In summary, I’d rather change my perception of the definition than to try and replace it with something new (and temporary) unless it’s super catchy. Like “snarf!”.