We have talked about what kinds of things take up space on your phone, and Taylor Martin asked you what you’re essential applications are. So let’s move to the other end of the spectrum, and shift our focus from smartphone applications to smartphone features. While it’s probably a safe assumption that most people like most things about their phone, I am willing to bet that there are a few features on there (or in there) that the manufacturer included that you could care less about. Our phones are certainly amazing devices, but sometimes the features therein are just pointless for the individual usage case.
And I’m curious to see what those features could be.
That curiosity stems from the fact that I see people talk about “useless features” or “features that will never get used” all the time on Twitter. When something is announced, it always seems to be something akin to, “That’s such a cool feature! Too bad I’ll never use it.” I feel like this is a pretty big gap between what the consumer cries out for, or expects, and what the manufacturer believes should go on their phones. And, let’s face it, the manufacturer is looking at what the competition is doing (or what they think they’ll be doing), and builds upon it.
An easy example is Apple’s Siri. While I’ve admitted that I’ve accepted the feature into my life, I know plenty of people out there with the iPhone 4S who don’t use Siri. Most of those people have actually gone and turned her off altogether. In fact, I think I can safely say that I know more people who don’t use Siri. Still, the manufacturers must see something completely different.
At least, Samsung and Google do. It hasn’t been too long since the Galaxy S III was released into the wild, and along with it Samsung’s S-Voice feature. There are some differences, like being able to talk to your phone when it’s sleeping, but the general idea is the same as Siri. And then we’ve got Google Now, which Google unveiled recently. Super advanced and powered with the strength of Google search behind it, the new feature from the Mountain View-based company is a truly stand-out feature of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
So, it would seem that the general public is decrying Siri, yet manufacturers are embracing the concept and building upon it. And, of course, Apple is making Sir more advanced as well, as made evident by iOS 6. Still, people don’t seem to want it, yet that’s not stopping the manufacturers from making sure the feature is present.
For me, the one feature that I could certainly live without is front-facing cameras. Yes, I’ve made video calls, and I’ve even used the still-shot camera when I had to. I will even admit that I still love the idea of making video calls to other people. But, that’s it. Just the idea. Because while I’ve made video calls, I’ve done it mostly from a tablet, or a computer. I think I’ve done it maybe twice from my smartphone. That may be being generous, too. But, I know manufacturers include them because it’s a feature that we will undoubtedly pay more for, even if many of us consider it a “standard feature” at this point. I pay for the front-facing camera, even if I know full-well that I’m not going to use it. Not enough to warrant any money put towards it, anyway.
Or what about NFC? We’re watching Microsoft put a new focus on the technology as well, and we know that carriers are planning on incorporating the technology in the future as well. But is it a feature that you could live without?
I am very curious to hear which features on your smartphone you could live without. Are there any? More than one? None at all? Let me know in the comments below. And be sure to tell me the feature, and why you could live without it!
image via The Verge