How often do you connect your phone to a larger screen?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Back when I was reppin' it up at Sprint, one of the things I liked most about the job was being able to tinker with the stuff on display at the store. Sometimes there wasn't anything that great to play with, but every so often we would get a new display in that was worth checking out. While the displays were great for getting customers to experience an accessory or feature first hand, it was also a good learning tool for reps. Some of the more interesting ones I remembered was the Beats Audio display, the Jambox display, and finally we had the HDMI and docking display. The docking display quickly became my favorite.
I had known about HDMI hookups in phones for a while. It was still a fairly new concept that I had never really considered that useful or interesting, because I could just do everything I wanted to do from my phone. What could I possibly need a bigger screen for? I don't want people to see what's going on in my phone. But after I discovered and was able to tinker with the display, the ability to hook up or dock my phone to a larger screen quickly became something that I was very interested in. It was actually really nice to be able to view some things on a larger screen.
There are the most obvious reasons that people might want have a big screen output what was going on in their phone. With so many video streaming applications like Netflix, Hulu+, and more, it's a lot easier for two or more people to watch the movie or show from one large central screen rather than knocking heads trying to look at one tiny screen in someone's hands. I mean yeah, it might bring you guys closer together, but it's not exactly that fun (or comfortable) to watch.
Really, anything needed to be viewed in a group would be easier to see when docked. Take businesses for instance. When trying to show spreadsheets, reports, numbers, or anything, it's pretty convenient just to have a docking station or connection handy rather than transferring everything to a computer to be projected onto a screen. You can easily just cut out the middle man and use smartphones, which have nearly become as powerful as computers themselves anyway.
Docking and HDMI connections are able to bridge that gap between what makes a smartphone one of the most personal of computers and making it more like the all-in-one device that we have been striving to create.
Docked smartphones are certainly useful for movies and businesses, but what I'm most interested is gaming. Gaming on smartphones is constantly improving every time a new phone comes out. The phone has a better processor, or a better GPU, and lately have been able to run some seriously graphic intense games. These games are things that you don't necessarily want to limit to just your phone screen, either. This stuff could look pretty sick on a larger screen, so what's the best way to do that? to wirelessly connect your smartphone to your TV. I enjoy gaming on my smartphone quite a bit. As somebody who owns a couple of portable gaming devices, but am usually too forgetful to remember to take them with me, I've been keen on finding games to keep me occupied on-the-go on my smartphone. Sometimes I come across a really good game that I think "This would be more fun if I could see it on a bigger screen." But for gaming, a wireless hookup is probably best considering you're going to likely need to use your smartphone as your controller for whatever game you're playing. Regardless, it's pretty cool that you have the option of doing so.
Although I don't have too many reasons to connect my phone to a larger monitor now (most of my consoles have all of the video streaming services I use) I do think it won't be too far off in the future where TVs and smartphones have built-in capabilities to connect with each other universally. There are just some things on smartphones that are worth connecting to a bigger screen for - it seems like a good selling point for both smartphones and televisions.
Readers, how often do you connect your phone to a larger screen? Do you use it for business, movies, gaming or just generic phone use? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!