Google has a nice writeup on the future of mobile devices today. The article is aimed squarely at phones which may seem like an odd distinction. Despite the proliferation of mobile devices, phones are important because few handhelds can function as a phone. The Nintendo DS, for example, has WiFi capabilities, but no calling features. Also falling into this category are traditional PDAs, the iPod Touch, the Asus P735. Phones can add the ability to do many things (play games, stream media, chat, and cruise the web) easier than other devices can integrate calling.

Some futurists advocate specialized devices instead of the Swiss Army knife. The best example I’ve heard is that a serious photographer will never use an integrated device like a camera phone. However, the average person doesn’t seem to care–there are tons of camera phone pics being published online. Consumers generally decide by voting with their dollars and they’re voting for all-in-one devices like the iPhone. The researchers may have a point, but there aren’t many research articles that are as easy to read as the Google description :)

No matter where the market goes, I’m happy to be part of such a promising field! Horray for mobile computing!

Oh, if you’re wondering why Google would care, check out the Google-backed open handset initiative, Android, which debuts this week.