I am ready for a smartphone that "gets" me

As important as my smartphone has become to me, it's not enough. I want it to take a more active role in my life.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

My smartphone has become an indispensable part of my daily life, keeping me in touch with those that matter and informed about things that impact my life. It lets me communicate with the people that matter most to me, and also with some I have never met. I get breaking news and important views of the world as soon as they become available. As important as my smartphone has become to me, it's not enough. I want it to take a more active role in my life.

That may sound funny but I constantly see areas in which my smartphone could aid me by serving as an active personal assistant. I want my phone to learn how I regularly do things, when I do them and where I do them, all by watching what I do. The smartphone should learn my regular behavior by observation, and then use that information to make my life easier.

If I go to a certain place every month, my smartphone should notice that and take appropriate action in the future. It should remind me when the date is approaching, just in case I want to go again. It should offer to enter the event into my calendar, in case I forgot. It should volunteer to add it as a favorite to my navigation app. Just a simple dialog box warning that I can dismiss if I'm not going this month.

Like most folks, my life unfolds around a routine that is more consistent than random. This is perfect for my thinking smartphone to help me out with no effort on my part. Once it learns that I check my email every morning around a certain time, if one day I fail to do so it should ask if I want to. It should recognize (even if I don't) that I call my kids up north regularly, and ask if I want to call them if the normal interval passes and I haven't done so.

If I receive a communication of any kind (email, TXT, Facebook message, Twitter DM, etc.) from my buddy Matt Miller stating he's "coming to Houston next Thursday. We should have dinner", my phone should interpret this and offer to set up an event in my calendar for this. Better, it should also remind me that Matt likes a certain restaurant in Houston (from past visits), and offer to make a reservation. It could even fire up a reply in the proper app notifying Matt that we're on. This sort of stuff can help me out a great deal, and without any effort on my part.

My phone always knows where I am due to geolocation, and that can be leveraged to help me. If I get a phone call asking for a meeting across town at a certain time, when I enter it into my schedule on the phone it should warn me if the distance between the existing meeting before or after this one makes it unlikely I can make it. This could save me embarrassment by suggesting I offer a slightly adjusted meeting time for the new event.

Today's smartphones are capable enough to do all of this and more, if developers would take on the task of creating the app(s) to do so. I want my smartphone to learn by watching what I do regularly, and then figuring out the best way to help me do that. All without intervention on my part. I want a smartphone that "gets" me.

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