Ask Paul: August 28 (Premium)

Happy Friday! And welcome to the end of August and the close of month 6 of our wonderful pandemic. Let’s pretend it’s the weekend…
Future of computing
eeisner asks:

Looking into your crystal ball, what do you think the future of phones and mobile computing looks like? The rectangle slab of glass isn't going to be around forever.

I’m notably bad at predicting what will happen, but I’ve long thought that what I call “ambient computing” is the future. This has two main components, the voice-control stuff where you can be anywhere in your home or wherever and speak to make things happen, and a pervasiveness component where you can interact with the services you pay for no matter where you are. I assume the first bit is obvious, but as an example of how the second could/should work, you should be able to board a plane or enter a hotel room, authenticate somehow (facial/finger/voice/whatever) and then have access to whatever entertainment services you pay for via a seatback or in-room screen/system. Something similar for productivity services makes sense as well.

Of course, to get from today to this future, a lot of things have to happen in the middle. I cut out your bit about Surface Duo, but if you break down that device to its basics, it’s just another mobile device, so it’s not like it’s the future or some major break with the past. It’s still a device you pay for, you manage, and you use. That will seem old-fashioned very quickly, and we’ll look back and laugh about our focus on these physical things when the real magic is the ubiquity of services.

This is all pretty vague by design. We have a ways to go.
Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
eeisner also asks:

I know you've been a big proponent of ergonomic mice and keyboards. Do you have any recommendations?

I’ve pretty much always used Microsoft’s ergonomic mice and keyboards and I credit them with letting me write as much as I do. I start feeling pain on the top of my hands when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards, like those on laptops. Currently, I’m using the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop, which includes a keyboard with a reverse tilt and a large, bulbous mouse, both ideal, plus a separate number pad (which I threw away). I recommend it highly and prefer it over other Microsoft ergonomic offering specifically because the number pad is optional; not having that there moves the mouse to the left and in a more comfortable and easy-to-reach position.
Your Phone
waharris007 asks:

I've gone back and forth between iPhone and Android since 2007. After the past two years on iOS, I just returned to Android this week (with a basically new Note 10 I picked up for literally half price). After using it for a week, and specifically after using all the Samsung-exclusive features of the Windows Your Phone app, I am blown away. The texting, screen sharing, photos, and notifications have all worked flawlessly, even switching between two differ...

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