A recent article by Leo Mirani published on Quartz entitled “I spent a week using only mobile internet, and so should you” discussed the fact that broadband technology is not yet developed enough to use a mobile device as a sole source of internet expecting the same efficiency as a computer system.
The use of mobile internet has skyrocketed, according to a graph posted within the article stating that over 2 billion people now use mobile internet regularly. Mirani notes several setbacks in the system regardless of service, including expensive data plans and outdated devices. The mobile internet access point itself however is not proving successful.
YouTube becomes more of a struggle than an asset. Attesting to personal use of the iPhone 5s, without Wifi connection YouTube often takes a long time to load or instead will pause to buffer every few seconds. In reality, the video may only take a full minute or two to load before it is available to play straight through, but the desired result of mobile internet access is instant gratification in the palm of your hand. Because YouTube cannot guarantee or provide this service consistently through mobile wireless devices, it was completely neglected by Mirani during his week-long experiment. The use of other programs such as Netflix and Spotify achieved the same result.
Another conflict is the validity of online pictures. Mirani discusses that neither large nor small pictures were pleasing to the eye or necessarily decipherable. GIFs loaded frame by frame as if watching a slow, choppy slide show of stop-motion pictures. If the images can’t readjust to format to the size of a mobile screen, they are rendered useless. Zooming in on small pictures only makes them harder to understand, and often larger pictures will not zoom out. Some mobile-designed layouts will readjust pictures, but it does not appear that Mirani often came across this.
Mirani deemed LinkedIn dead to the mobile world in that it refused to load, and Facebook as well. This is a common problem as Facebook will only load a certain number of posts via mobile phone. It would appear that many of the sites we use daily are not ready to be so pocket friendly. If the person wants to access minute details of another’s Facebook profile, it seems like they would have better luck looking at the big picture.
Mobile phones were not meant to replace computers. It is merely by coincidence it seems that a phone would turn into a pocket savior. It is no longer used for simple communication but for directions, for minimal entertainment and for answers to all of life’s questions. Putting a mobile phone into the same questioning circumstance of Internet connection as a computer seems far overreaching for the amount of time that computer technology itself has had to develop. If mobile phones are given this much time to evolve as well, there will be more people glued to their phones and even more unresponsive to the outside world than there are now. I’m not one to be in support of this movement, but we best believe it is coming.