The Ultimate Cell Phone: A Wish List

A colleague called me a few weeks ago to share the news about Cingular’s bringing the ROKR iTunes phone to market. Knowing how attached I am to my iPod, she thought I’d jump at the chance to grab one, pronto.


Don’t get me wrong: ROKRs are cool. I’m intrigued about having the intuitive iPod interface right there on my phone. However, the wet blanket lies in a few simple questions:

  1. How do you talk and listen at the same time? (I think I’ll keep my iTrip.)
  2. Is that all it does? Just play music? No productivity boost? Nothing to whet my corporate whistle?
  3. So… I guess it’s another gadget with some proprietary data file structure that I can’t edit, export, or otherwise manipulate easily, right? That’s what I thought!

When PDAs came out several years ago, I bought one and used it religiously… for about two weeks. It was okay, but my PDA choice made it nearly impossible to import and export contacts. The accompanying desktop software was miserable and clunky. Furthermore, it wasn’t a phone. It added to my techno-clutter problem. No Internet access, either; just backgammon.

So, Gadget Elves at the North Pole, here is my cell phone wish list:

  1. Make the screen nice and big. This thing has to do a lot of stuff, and I want to see what’s going on without getting out the magnifying class.
  2. Make the camera decent, please. The camera on my current phone is an insult.
  3. Add a GPS receiver and street maps.
  4. MP3s would be nice. It doesn’t have to be ROKR-ish, but I want more than 20 songs. Which leads to the next thing.
  5. Make the phone Linux-compatible. Give us a Linux version of the supporting software.
  6. I want to be able to move my contacts in and out of various programs. If I have to type my Aunt Boots’s address one more time, I’m going to lose my mind.
  7. Sirius or XM, anyone? Satellite radio built into the cell phone would be a nice touch. Please supply cool headphones, preferably in a color other than white.
  8. I need all the usual suspects: e-mail, Web browsing, IM, word processing, spreadsheets, Bluetooth, that kind of thing.

When the Gadget Elves bring this gem of a phone to market, I will have a garage sale to get rid of the junk it’s replacing. Or, maybe not… I am on the phone so much, I’ll not ever use the bells and whistles. Regardless, it would make for a pretty excellent phone. In the meantime, I’ll just be content to admire my friends’ ROKRs.

[Kari Matthews]