ORF’s Futurezone posted a feature article today about Google’s G1 successor – the HTC Hero. There has been another review some time ago by Engadget including a lot more meat regarding the details and handling of the device. As long as there aren’t any reviews by regular users here in Austria, the judges are out, I guess – especially when it comes to coverage/battery lifetime/feature combination. At least none of the Austrian service providers is a “big, steaming heap of failure“. After all, there shouldn’t be any surprises like for instance with the iPhone in the States where a lot of AT&T customers had to realize they were out of luck in regard to MMS support anytime in the future.

I personally believe, mobile computing – especially mobile internet access – will keep growing more important over the next years. There might be differing views and statistics (e.g. one pro, one contra) upon the topic, just don’t go to WolframAlpha to try to sort it out (as a matter of fact, the result given has nothing to do with the question given). Then again, if you’re looking for all the socks you lost in the washing machine – you might want to give it a try.

As mobile computing is growing in adoption, security becomes more and more of an issue. As Charlie Miller showed us times and again, that there’s flaws in Apple iPhone operating system and how it handles incoming text messages. Some of those have been fixed, new ones have been discovered and in the meantime we all know that neither the G1 or generally Android phones nor other HTC phones are save from attacks and exploits.

There are a number of reasons why mobile communication is such a great innovation even though it does involve potential security risks:

  1. it makes you less dependent on internet access points (be it cable, DSL, WiFI or whatever flavor you have got around),
  2. you can always be reached – just like a phone call, but less distracting since you can check your emails when you choose to do so,
  3. you can IM with people across the globe without a horrendous phone bill as a result
  4. you can blog as you go
  5. watch or listen to live streams for news or other educational topics

In the future you might even be able to easily

  1. get music,
  2. ebooks,
  3. podcasts, newscasts, etc.

as you go. I say “in the future” because as far as I’m concerned, I haven’t yet found any solution that would be easy to use on the go. All the choices of music portals available (Amazon and iTunes being the major ones) need a real computer to be operated. eBooks – at least those that are handled by typical ebook readers – are in PDF or ePub format, which needs Adobe’s Digital Editions software. Digital Editions only runs on a PC. Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s ebook reader software for my PDA but I simply do not want to read my ebooks on my PDA due to its small screen and bad contrast in sunlight. Last but not least there’s no iTunes equivalent app on any handheld device for downloading and listening to podcasts. None is really as slick and easy to use.

So for now, I’m sticking to the help of a PC to bridge the gap there. I’m sure it will develop further and what we’ve got so far is really pretty good already. If you ignore the minor annoyance of having to manually transfer data between devices, the available solutions for listening and reading are really good. Since I’m using MortPlayer on my PDA I’m one happy camper. I’m telling you – listening to podcasts and audiobooks while on the go makes things like riding the subway a lot more fun!

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