A smartphone is simply a portable hand-held device which combines computer and mobile phone functions into a single device. The term “smartphone” was coined by a Finland based telecommunications company OVI and this device is widely used throughout the world. Smartphones are specifically designed to allow instant access to the Internet via mobile broadband transmission. This facilitates a huge number of tasks such as accessing the Web via wireless networks, listening to music, taking pictures, accessing stored information, and much more. Smartphones also play an integral part in providing users with directions, maps, contact details, and a host of other information. The availability of a continuous stream of media and applications on the smartphone platform has made it an integral part of the mobile communication and networking industry.
The use of smartphones is so widespread that today, several different types of smartphone devices are available with varying functionality and price. Smartphones from various manufactures such as Samsung, Nokia, Apple, and Motorola are available in varying screen sizes, color resolution, and memory capacity. Many of these smartphones run on different operating systems. For example, Android and Apple iOS devices run on different operating systems, whereas BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phones run on the same OS. As new operating systems are released, older smartphones become compatible with them.
In terms of apps, smartphone usage is not just limited to basic functionality such as web browsing. Most modern smartphones are equipped with hundreds of apps, ranging from games to business apps and utilities. With hundreds of apps, a smartphone can act as a calculator, address book, camera, personal planner, e-mail client, and more. Some of the most popular apps include Pandora, LinkedIn, Google Maps, Evernote, Wikipedia, Dropbox, Twitter, and Yelp. While smartphone usage has paved the way for improved connectivity and communication, it is evident that the future of smartphones holds exciting opportunities as new mobile technologies such as Android and Apple’s iOS further develop.