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Friday, 29 November, 2002, 14:43 GMT
How would you improve your mobile phone?
Your choice: Mobile phones
It could soon be a lot easier to tap out messages and use websites via your mobile phone.

Next year could see the appearance of mobile phones that have a redesigned keypad that gives each letter and number its own key.

If widely adopted, the keypad could end the need for predictive text systems in phones and mean you no longer have to tap several times to write letters in text messages.

Mobile phone network operators keen to get customers spending money on data services are likely to find the keypad attractive.

What do you think of this idea? Would it convince you to upgrade your phone? What improvements would you like to see to mobile phone technology?

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This Talking Point is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

I would improve it by throwing it into the nearest pond

Thomas, Akron, USA
I would improve both my cell phone and the growing time the cell phone takes up in my life by throwing it into the nearest pond.
Thomas, Akron, USA

I'd like a straightforward phone without all these confusing features. I want a phone that rings when someone calls me, allows me to make calls to others, and lets me store telephone numbers. I don't want to pay for a device full of gadgets when all I want is a phone!
Scott Bickerton, England

A phone that cuts off instantly when someone says: "I'm on the train"!
David Pearce, England

No more keys please. Why digress by producing larger bulkier phones - eventually the brilliant manufacturers will want to increase the screen size, double the memory, maybe add a CD drive. I thought the idea was 'the smaller-the better', so much so that they're too easy to drop. How about adding little rubberised grippers on the sides, just to make handling a bit easier, especially whilst out in the cold where frozen hands are the arch enemy of the tiny mobile!
Stefania, UK

Ever easier methods of texting. Sending instant messages on mobile phones is the biggest service in the Japanese mobile market. It's cheap and fast.
Esquisse, Japan

I am quite happy with my predictive text. In fact I am so used to it, it would be difficult to use anything else. Mobile phone makers have got it wrong, what people want is something small and effective and affordable. The reason text messaging took off was because it was cheaper than calling, but WAP and photo services are very expensive for what they are, and the phones with these capabilities are also highly priced.
Amy, UK

I'd like to see a feature which can turn annoying ring tones from other peoples' phones into a simple phone ring. If everybody had the same function I think we'd see the end of ring tones altogether as everybody turned everybody else's annoying tunes off with a quick zap.
Steve B, Scotland

I welcome the idea of more keys

Peter, UK
I welcome the idea of more keys to make typing more like a traditional qwerty keyboard. It might encourage more use of e-mail on phones because at present, messages are painfully slow to create, even with predictive text (it's not always correct). I'd like to see larger screens, perhaps in the form of flexible, fold-away ones that can be extended to view web pages.
Peter, Lancaster, UK

I would like to see built in GPS referenced to some online mapping system on my phone.
chris, UK

Two things. I'd make it incorporate a dictaphone, possibly with speech-to-text capabilities. When the technology is available, I'd also like it to act as a real-time interpreter for foreign languages.
Graham, UK

What I could do with would be some kind of "locator"... by which you could open up your "transmitter" to your friends and the phone would "beep" the way towards your comrades. great for big outdoor parties, or lost in a strange city... festivals could even buy units to link the phones into.
Martin, UK

I would add some sort of wooden casing, and perhaps, a metal framework around the casing, possibly upholstered with leather on the inside, some heating, lighting and air conditioning, then maybe put a 300 horse power engine in there, and some comfortable but firm seating, and three, no make that four wheels, and then perhaps a roof and a couple of doors...oh look a Jaguar XK8 around my phone, how nice.
Mark Scott, Brit in the USA

Mobile phone operators want customers to spend money on data services, but they're (yet again) too slow at actually making these services transparent to use. A friend recently battled for 2 weeks before finally getting GPRS switched on for his new phone. Most people wouldn't bother, and the cash starved mobile operators lose out yet again. They only have themselves to blame...
Tom, UK

Why hasn't anyone here said "Just make them safer"? Teenagers are most at risk of brain injury and yet they are the group to whom mobiles are most aggressively marketed.
Geoff, UK

A phone that automatically chooses the network with the best deal for each individual call.
Jon E, France

That new keypad is an excellent piece of human engineering - a simple solution to a simple problem. For the next development I'd like the ability to jam every other mobile phone within a 100m radius. Failing that I'd like a mobile phone that comes complete with a free 16lb sledge hammer - that would put paid to everyone else's mobiles.
Dougie Lawson, Basingstoke, UK

I'd like to see phone numbers replaced with something easier to remember - like an email address.
mike, UK


See also:

24 Nov 02 | Technology
17 May 02 | Science/Nature
20 Oct 02 | Technology
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