Going Mobile: Day 4: Cracked

So at about lunchtime I cracked. Three and a half days into the experiment and I brought out the laptop. At least I’m honest.

Now to be fair to me, my day was supposed to be another one where I was out and about in town, and in that case I wouldn’t have had it with me so I wouldn’t have used it. But in the end meetings were cancelled, and so I’m at home, and so I did.

But what, I hear you asking, made me stop using the mobile? Bloody presentation slides. More specifically, trying to draw some simple diagrams on a slide.

The Google Slides app doesn’t allow you to edit diagrams. The web browser version on a phone gets to the limits of touch screen pretending to be a mouse. Think about how you, say, draw a rectangle with a mouse, clicking and then holding to drag out the shape. With a touch screen it’s impossible to emulate that kind of action with touch and a finger alone, and it is at this point that you come to realise that a mouse on an Android device emulates a finger. There’s no such thing as click and drag. I needed to get the slide done today. Game over.

As Friday is my day of childcare, this is the last proper day of my working week. So what have I learned about the possibilities of mobile-only computing in the four days? Well, that I’ll be doing a lot more of it. Most of the time when I’m peripatetic my phone, keyboard and mouse will do just fine. And if I do that, I’ve space in my bag to take a nice big pad of paper, which there isn’t if I have the laptop.

It’s made me realise the power of the phone that I carry about in my pocket. These things are incredible.

I can also see that (with the minor exception of doing graphicky-type work) how a tablet instead of laptop could work for many people. I don’t know if that would work for me, but I might experiment a bit.

I also know that I couldn’t have lasted so long without being 12 months completely-Cloud based.

So there we are then. Next time you see me, I probably won’t have a laptop with me. Hurrah!

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