The evolution of the mobile phone

August 27th, 2016 by Heather Maloney

image-evolution-of-the-phone

10 years ago, who would have thought that a mobile phone would one day replace your:

  • schedule – and alert you when your appointment is coming up
  • watch – many people no longer where a watch; me … I wear a Samsung Galaxy watch which displays all the notifications on my phone … I accidentally keep calling it my phone, as it nearly is…
  • camera – taking better photos than most of the cameras of 10 years ago. Film free, and easy to share with your family at the press of a button
  • selfie taker – well selfies didn’t exist before the smart phone!
  • photo album – showing off your latest collection of baby photos couldn’t be easier
  • notepad – and store those notes in the cloud so that you can get them from wherever you are
  • weather service – do yo remember the phone number you could call to have todays’ weather read to you. I’m not sure that exists anymore. You probably have todays’ weather showing constantly on your phone home screen. At the press of a button you can get the next 5 days forecast, or the temperature as it will change throughout the day.
  • encyclopedia – need to read up about a particular topic? no problem just type in your search and Google / Bing will have the answer in a jiffy. I wonder who the last person in the world was to buy an Encyclopedia Britannica?
  • map – not only can you find where you need to go, it will also read directions to you as you travel
  • teletext service – write and deliver short messages to anyone in an instant
  • personal music collection – storing not just one ‘album’ of songs, but your whole collection, also backed up in the cloud just in case. Add to your personal collection on the go.
  • word processor – yes, you can write documents on the fly, if you are keen enough
  • calculator – including a scientific version
  • credit card – with the launch of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, it is now commonplace to see people paying at the PayWave machines using their mobile phone. Leave the wallet at home!
  • banking – check your balances, pay your bills, transfer money from one account to another
  • shop – many online stores are now making it super easy for you to shop through their website, even on a mobile phone. Order your new clothes, or your groceries for delivery to your home, while you are on the go.
  • tracking device – let others know where you are, know when the Uber driver is about to arrive, know where your lost phone is …
  • pedometer – not everyone uses one of these, but not having to attach a pedometer to your belt is very convenient. Just make sure it’s not set to track the distance you travel as an indicator of your steps!
  • stop watch – time your sprint, your presentation …
  • health and fitness diary – your smart phone will also come with an app to track your daily exercise, diet and weight. Great for those attuned to the health and fitness of their bodies.
  • your latest novel – reading a book on your phone means one less thing to take with you on your daily commute
  • reference books – for example, the Bible is a hugely popular download, with many options, and allowing you to search and annotate
  • newspaper – catching up on the news is a cinch; no need to buy the newspaper (and don’t the news companies know this!)
  • magazine – most popular magazines now have a phone version
  • dictionary – check the meaning of a word as you read it
  • compass – for those who need to know what direction they are travelling in!
  • radio – and not just the local stations; we’re talking free radio from around the world
  • TV – or playing short videos shared through You Tube and other video platforms
  • in-flight entertainment – connect into the airline provider’s app and play from their collection of TV shows, radio and movies
  • video phone – not just talking … seeing the person you are talking to as well

But wait, you say, some of the above list are only if you have certain apps installed. Well, every function on your smart phone is facilitated via an app. The following are also examples of the apps commonly being used on mobile phones:

  • door key – yes, that’s right … no need to carry your keys; approach your door and voila it opens
  • parking meter minder – one of my favourite apps which makes my life so much easier, particularly as I rarely have coins on my person
  • taxi pager – Uber is the most incredible service combined with app. I’m sorry, but now I’ve used Uber, I’m unlikely to ever hire a taxi again. The benefits are amazing compared to the traditional way of getting a taxi ride, dealing with the driver, and paying at the end.
  • AFL fixture as well as the up to the minute ladder, and scores during the big game
  • watering system controller – another personal favourite of mine, allowing me to stop the watering of my lawn and other parts of the garden if it’s already raining. If I got organised, the watering could adjust itself based on the local weather station
  • mirror – okay, it’s really a live selfie!
  • torch – not the most powerful, but definitely that feature has come in handy for me more than once!
  • spreadsheet – I remember when the first spreadsheet program came out. Amazingly useful for all manner of mathematical modelling or just keeping track of and charting data.
  • expense tracker – there are a myriad apps for keeping track of your expenses, including scanning your receipts
  • shopping list – including ticking off as you fill your basket
  • recipe book – it can be a little tedious keeping the screen alive as you move between steps in your recipe, but I’ve used my phone for this purpose numerous times
  • heart rate monitor – more and more medical apps are coming out to help people monitor not only their heart rate but other important vital readings
  • social commentary – what’s going on in the news / TV / politics / sport … you can be part of it quickly and easily by posting on social media via your phone
  • game console – some games have been developed specifically for small phone screens and the unique way they are held; think tilt

Of course … you can also make phone calls! And you can make those free around the globe, if you have the right app installed.

No wonder people experience anxiety when they lose or break their phone!

Want to re-live the transitioning of the mobile phone? This article captures the main mobile phone models from 1973 through to 2008. The first smart phone only hit the market in 2006. How far they have come in just 10 years!

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One Response to “The evolution of the mobile phone”

  1. Curtis Hadnott Says:

    Wonderful article from you, uber is surely doing wonders. This is actually a wonderful move

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