Smartphones are the world’s most popular piece of modern technology. As much as television completely changed how most people spend their spare time and have become entrenched in cultures around the world, the sheer convenience and number of options offered by even cheap smartphones are causing monumental changes.
While there were plenty of smartphones around used for text, calls, and even some light games beforehand, 2007’s iPhone is what truly changed the game. The all-in-one device, at the time, transformed the portable calling device into a genuinely empowering piece of tech – offering a tremendous leap on what came before. Since, smartphones have improved in power and usefulness, with more affordable options coming to the fore.
The winner of ‘101 Gadgets That Changed the World,’ written in 2012 by Popular Mechanics, continues to dominate our lives and spread its influence further. It has tremendous scope. There are already some 3.8 billion smartphones users worldwide, with many Gulf nations boasting total connectivity, while nations like India have over 700 million users, with over 600 million to come.
The world has come a long way since Apple transformed mobile phones into smartphones, even though that wasn’t even 15 years ago. Industries and behaviours have changed forever, with cultures bending smartphone use differently, but the result is almost always the same. Still, there’s even more to come from the incredibly disruptive, portable technology.
Still in the midst of sweeping changes
Smartphones have driven change across several of the more affluent markets worldwide for over a decade, and now they’re being adopted en-masse everywhere else. Governments have taken note of the accessibility, affordability, and power of even low-cost smartphones, leading to tremendous investment in the establishment of key infrastructure.
Where smartphones have arrived, they’ve become a core part of modern life. However, how they can be used differs slightly between each culture. In Japan, smartphones are incredibly popular but frowned upon in public, being seen as a nuisance that isn’t polite to bring out while out and about. In more publically communal nations like Spain, however, they’re perfectly acceptable for use in public – even taking calls in restaurants or during shows is acceptable behaviour.
Of course, while smartphones have been bent to suit each culture, the adoption of the tech has greatly influenced how we go about doing things, even taking in-house activities to the small screen. Take, for example, the pastime of sports betting. It used to be that you’d go into a betting shop, back some outcomes, leave, and then return if you’d won. Even if you watched the action in the shop, you generally couldn’t bet on future outcomes once the game had started or withdraw until the end of the event.
Once smartphones started to offer access to the whole internet, as well as develop streamlined apps for several services, that all changed. As detailed by www.sbo.net/betting-apps/, those that forged smartphone betting apps developed live betting, building on the ever-changing odds to suit the situation with cash-out options for a fully convenient and immersive experience. Many have also used the smooth platform of apps and instant internet connection to offer stats and live streaming to accompany in-play betting.
Smartphones enhanced the betting experience through convenient live options, but are also altering other entertainment industries. Video gaming is fairly new, but even it has been transformed by smartphones. Console and PC gaming is still the best way to play premium content, but mobile gaming delivers the largest chunk of the industry’s revenue. Once again, Apple was the originator of massive mobile games, with its App Store laying the foundations of the absurdly popular freemium model for accessible and convenient gaming.
One of the most affected industries of smartphone development, however, is that of digital cameras. The surging tech that was muscling ahead of disposable cameras as the go-to and cost-effective way of taking photos was quickly uprooted by high-quality camera phones. Now integrated to incredible specs on just about every smartphone, anyone who needs less than an extensive, professional camera just uses their built-in smartphone camera. As we showed here at www.igeekphone.com/, smartphones even go head-to-head based on their camera quality.
What’s next for these humanity-changing devices?
As smartphones continue to increase in adoption around the world, more developers are weighing in with new ideas, from enhancing the premium models to adding more accessible features. The most exciting development that could well take over smartphones in the next few years is the idea of the stretchable screen. Folding screen phones are already the talk of the town, but stretchable screens would allow for even bigger screens and control options – perhaps allowing them to muscle in on laptops.
The future also doesn’t look to be one of ports. Almost all electrical devices either need batteries inserted or a power cable plugged in to receive electricity at some point. Not only are more wireless headphones coming out to nullify the need for a jack, but wireless charging is also gradually becoming viable, as is using NFC to interact with computers.
Another relatively cosmetic development could be the ability to customise the back of your smartphone. Much like the screen, a glass-like layer with LED light components could allow for fully customisable case colours, potentially eradicating the tedious pricing tiers tied to different colours of the same device.
Smartphones continue to change peoples’ lives and have a hand in the much wider business world. Soon, incredible technological applications will make these devices even more desirable and necessary to everyday life.