Which features would you like to see die, or stay dead?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
The features that are buried inside our phones are important. While the physical design of any particular device might be what opens up interest in it for a particular consumer, it's the features that the person will use every single day that will ultimately keep bringing them back. Or quite the opposite, if the features don't live up to the hype, or fit into the needs of the user.
I've got a friend that uses Android for his personal device, and he's done that for several years now. He loves Google's mobile operating system, even if he'll admit to anyone that he doesn't use half the features that are baked right into it. He's told me on multiple occasions that, "It does way more than I need it to," and he's perfectly okay with that. I've asked him about certain features, and he's just shrugged and told me he doesn't use it, or need it.
Well, okay then.
A few days ago, another phone rumor popped up that we've actually became quite accustomed to seeing in 2013: Amazon's launching a phone! It's been awhile since we've heard anything like that, so it's good to see the Rumor Mill's digging deep again. This particular, while sharing plenty of similarities to things we've heard in the past, had one big addition: 3D. That's right, according to the report provided by The Wall Street Journal, the smartphone that Amazon is working on (has been working on) will boast four front-facing cameras, to track your retinas and give you 3D images without the use of specialized glasses.
Of course, seeing three-dimensional images on a device like a phone or similar handhelds without specialized glasses isn't new, so that distinction probably isn't necessary at all. Honestly, and I know I'm not the only one here thanks to my fellow Editor Anna's write-up, the details around a 3D phone are utterly pointless to me. Why? Because the "feature" shouldn't exist. I have trouble even considering the small chance that anyone out there honestly wants 3D back on our smartphones. It came and went. It needs to stay dead, as far as I'm concerned.
That got me thinking about other features out there. The features that seemed to get all the attention, but then faded out over time. Not all of them completely disappeared, though. Some of those features are still on our phones, tucked away in the settings (sometimes, other times turned on by default). It made me want to ask: Is 3D the only feature that needs to stay dead, or die off in general?
As far as I'm concerned, and I know this is probably going to sound a little crazy, but I'd be okay with NFC disappearing for good. It's one of those features that's turned on sometimes right out of the box, and just seeing the icon in the Notification Shade on Android annoys me. I turn it off, immediately, on any device. I know this is just a pipe dream, though, because NFC is still something that's used quite a bit, and the potential is obviously still clear as ever. I still wouldn't mind watching it disappear, though.
What about you? If you could name features that you wouldn't mind die off, what would they be? And what are some elements of our smartphones of old that you hope never resurface (like 3D)? Let me know what needs to go into the figurative grave, or stay buried altogether!