What would you want in a Microblogging-Pad?

Posted on 16 November 2009, Last updated on 11 March 2010 by

Here’s a post I’ve just found in my drafts folder. I wrote it in March and forgot to post it. It’s still relevant now so here it is.

March 2009

I realise that many of you couldn’t give a damn about Twitter and the like. It certainly can be a distraction and I do agree, I don’t really want to know what people are eating for dinner when I’m waking up in the morning but despite that I’ve become a fan and have discovered and connected with many many interesting people in the last months.

As I flew back from SXSW last week though, I couldn’t stop thinking about how consumer MIDs and Microblogging go hand in hand. I’m convinced that the social networks are where the interest will seed for the consumer-focused devices and OEMs need to be careful to consider this opportunity. UMPCs are slightly different in that they focus more on productivity and desktop processes but MIDs, sitting in that gadget space with high-end smartphones, pmp, pnd and e-book readers, have a chance to shine due to their fantastic ability to deliver the best pocketable web experience. Behind most microblogs I see is a link to a full web page so working in 140 characters doesn’t mean that the web requirements are anything less that what we’ve come to expect on our laptops.

As I sat on the flight home with my Fujitsu Loox, I made a few notes about how my ultimate ‘Tweet-Pad’ might look. I’ve looked at existing hardware before but this time I allowed myself to dream a little. It follows much of what my Carrypad idea was and with the experience I’ve gained from the 3 years I’ve had working with ultra mobile devices since then, it was easy to imagine the specs. I’ll list my specs below but I’m more interested to hear yours. If you use microblogging services like Twitter, how would you want to take them mobile?

  • 18 hours battery life (connected, idle, screen off)
  • 4 hours active battery life (connected, screen on, cpu in-use)
  • 3g, WiFi, BT
  • Pocketable, under 250gm
  • Lightweight, multitasking os
  • Tailored client for many protocols. (Flickr, Twitter, Jauku, Blogger)
  • CPU power to support 4-8 concurrent apps (low-end Atom, high-end ARM)
  • Very simple apps store
  • Sliding keyboard
  • 5mp cam, auto focus, flash
  • sd card slot fro transferring images, extra storage
  • 8GB fast SSD storage
  • Sub 10’s turn-on and connect time.
  • SDK for easy app dev
  • fast, full (Ajax, flash) browser with sub-15 second average page load time.
    $299 without contract. Free with $25 per month data-only contract. (5GB limit)\
  • Stylish, branded design. (Brand brings developers, end user confidence)

For me, the device with the most chance of success is going to be stylish, carry a known brand, utilise a simple application development architecture (possibly levering off existing mobile operating systems) and somehow, seed some viral interest within the microblogging community.

I’m interested to hear you views.

Update: Since I wrote this post in March we’ve seen the first Twitter Pad. I wasn’t impressed. I’ve been using a 299 Euro media playing, web browsing, twitter-capable p5 inch pad that stays connected all day so I know this can be done better and combining¬† media, navigation, web and short, live messaging with a 3G connection, even a low-speed one, still seems the way to got to me.

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