I Just Need a Little Touch

After wandering around at CTIA (usually hopelessly lost) I’ve decided that I was wrong. I need a touch screen and I need it bad. When the iPhone came out, the EDGE network, crappy AT&T coverage in Austin and the hype factor kept me away. Plus, the touch screen on my husband’s Treo had always flustered me. I liked the tactile element of hitting keys.

But the vibration in Samsung’s Instinct phone gave me that tactile fix, and the HTC Tilt allows for touching and a keyboard entry. Since many of the phones displayed at CTIA were retreads for the most part, I’m not going to get into them here, but touch is definitely in my future. After three days of playing with touch phones I find myself helplessly gliding my fingers across my BlackBerry display before returning to the pearl.

Part of my problem is how easy it is to find things using the voice search feature of Yahoo’s oneSearch. After using it bring up a menu of options on my phone with little effort, it’s almost painful to return to the cramped confines of thumb-scrolling and clicking. But the innovations in touch, voice search and input — and a greater focus on usability — present at CTIA are getting me psyched about the future of mobile devices. I’d like to think we’re getting through that awkward adolescent phase of the industry as the mobile phone grows from a voice-only candy bar to a full-on mini-computer.