Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's time to replace "cell phone" with a new and more appropriate term

I got a new "phone" yesterday, the Samsung Galaxy S5.  It's a just-released state-of-the-art top-of-the-line model.  After about 4 hours of playing with it I think I have at least scratched the surface of what it's capable of.

I spent a large portion of that time trying to figure out which features are actually important to me (that and going through everything and repeatedly turning off data sharing options; no, I do not want Facebook linked to my phone numbers), including deciding what icons/apps to put on the home screen.  It didn't take long to come to the conclusion that the button entitled "phone" is not worthy of the first page (to be fair, most calls I make start from either "messages" or "contacts").

So if the phone isn't even one of the most important functions any more, why do we still refer to these things as "cell phones"?  The instruction manual that came with my S5 only ever calls it a "device," but that's pretty nondescript.  "Gadget" seems fitting, but also similarly boring.  "Gizmo" sounds kind of cool I guess.  Got any ideas?


  1. Borrowing from author JD Robb, I kind of like the term "link". It certainly links us to a lot of stuff via a lot of methods.


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