The future of smartphones and teachers

I normally don’t talk about phones and which one is better than the others on IT Babble. I’ve certainly got my opinions but I am intrigued with the Galaxy S9. No, not its camera or Bixby or it display. I’m interested in the Samsung DeX. This device connects your Samsung phone (yes it must be a specific Samsung phone) to a monitor and it then turns your smartphone into a desktop computing “experience”.

OK, OK, OK I understand that this desktop “experience” is just a blown up version of Android with some navigation buttons at the bottom and support for a mouse and external keyboard. It doesn’t make Word more powerful or better in this environment. It just gives you more real estate and better interactive tools. The Samsung DeX is not the only product like this out there.

Enter Remix OS for Mobile. This does pretty much the same thing as the DeX. jide is the company that makes Remix and they have some other neat products out there as well – check them out.

This gets me thinking. Will the smartphone be your only computing experience. Maybe you dock it with your desk to give yourself more features, more real estate and a better working experience than tapping at your screen.

This isn’t such a crazy notion. A number of technology blogs suspect this such as The Verge and I’ve certainly heard this rumor more than once in TWiT and in other tech circles. Let’s not forget Windows has a Universal Windows Platform. This means no matter the screen size – the app will run and resize accordingly. So what does this all mean?

I have no idea except if all I had to carry was my smartphone to work that would be awesome. The problem with that is I cannot work on my smartphone alone. Systems I need to interact with are too complex and large for simple tapping on a 4“–6” screen. It just doesn’t work. Photoshop is a good litmus test. Can a phone run a full version of Photoshop? No – then you are probably making sacrifices and compromises and some jobs just can’t make those sacrifices.

However, if (this is a big if) they can get a smartphone to do run these applications. If they can easily, seamlessly and reliably dock to a work station and give you a true laptop or desktop experience then yes – I would do this. As for docking a wireless option would obviously be better. Simply place your smartphone in particular part of your desk or on a monitor base. I like this Microsoft video of how the future will be. It gives a crazy example of how this might work

Of course there are down sides here too. Already smartphones are viewed by many educators as a major distraction, a source of extra anxiety and a possible source of addiction. Making the smartphone even more powerful and even more important than it already is would only amplify these arguments even more.

Despite that – this does look like the path we are going down. What do you think? Am I way off base here?

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