Engadget has posted up some photos of the latest HTC mobile devices which will be coming to the market in 2007.
I’ve been a fan of the HTC devices (branded as i-mate’s in this instance) since I first got a SmartPhone (SP2) and latter picked up a JasJar (HTC Universal) which sports a 3G antenna and a 640×480 screen along with a reasonable size keyboard. While everyone around me got smaller devices I went for the heavy weight. I’ve been pretty happy with a device and I think that it has been mostly trouble free (except o`r a very specific problem that the device has).
I know that within the next twelve to eighteen months I am probably going to need to upgrade the device but I haven’t really seen anything that replaces the JasJar. What I want to know is, where is the JasJar Mk.2.
Unique Features and Usual Refinements
The hallmark of a JasJar Mk.2 will be what it keeps the same as the original. Here are some of the unique features of the JasJar that I wouldn’t want to see change.
- Keyboard size and layout.
- Screen size and resolution.
- Flip and rotate screen.
On top of that there are a few things that all PDA/Phone devices can expect to have moving forward:
- Dual cameras – one for video calls and one for taking photos, although to be honest I haven’t really used the video call feature of the JasJar.
- Decent external speakers and microphone for doing things like recording and listening to podcasts.
So that is what they need to do to “not screw up the JasJar” but there are a few extra things that I think that they need to add in to the unit.
New and Improved
So I am going to layout a few improvements that I want to see to the device, those who have a JasJar will know what I am talking about for most of these, but some are just general innovations that I’d love to see road tested on the JasJar.
- External caller ID/Windows SideShow display; one of the great things about JasJars is that the screen is protected but that can make it hard to screen calls because there are no visible indicators of who is calling on the outside of the device. It would be nice to have a small 1×1 inch screen which does caller ID, music select and Windows SideShow – the screen would need to be tough and scratch resistant and below it would be controls for answering calls (the ones on the spine are terrible). In addition to call control there would need to be be media controls.
- Thinner and lighter; OK, so the thing is a brick, but given technology enhancements over the past couple of years I reckon they could stand to shrink the base of the unit by half and still fit everything in.
- Fix the cell broadcast issue.
- Light my way; I have to say that I often use my JasJar as a torch, so why not make it a key feature. Across one edge of the device insert a series of bright LCD lights (may four of the one that is next to the camera) then have a quick access button for turning on the light.
- Address the issue of loose stylus docks; over the course of the first six months of use the dock for the stylus gets very loose. Either tether it so you can’t loose it or come up with a better locking mechanism.
- Act as a router; add the ability for the device to act as a router to 3G and nextG networks so rather than having to dial out from a laptop you can just plug in the USB lead and have it look like a USB network adapter, and while you are at it make sure you don’t use a prototype hardware vendor ID like you did with the USB Modem feature.
- Come with wrist straps; I want to wear my JasJar on my arm (left).
If the HTC guys want some more design tips you know where to find me 🙂