Modern Communication – Smartphones
Cellphones, and consequently also feature phones and smartphones, have taken up an important place in everyday communication. Kids grow up with the notion that every school kid needs his own cellphone. Apart from the original function of making and answering calls on the go, cellphones have advanced a great deal. Phones are getting increasingly more versatile and combine functions such as compact digital cameras, portable media players and GPS navigation, Internet access via web browsers through Wi-Fi and mobile broadband, and typically feature touchscreens. There is no clear distinction between feature phones and smartphones, although application programming interfaces or APIs tend to run better on smartphones.
Smartphones run on mobile operating systems, or short OS, such as iOS (Apple), Android (Google), Windows Phone (Microsoft), BlackBerry OS (RIM), Maemo and MeeGo (Linux). Most phone models will run on several different operating systems. Operating systems usually require frequent software updates.
The best known and most prestigious of the smartphone family is Apple’s iPhone. It is said to be the first true smartphone and is still a bestseller in its fifth edition. The first iPhone was released in 2007, followed by the iPhone 3G in 2008, the iPhone 3Gs in 2009, the iPhone 4 in 2010, and the iPhone 4s in 2011. The iPhone is one of the best selling smartphones worldwide, with masses of people queuing up in front of Mac stores all over the planet after the announcement of a new version.
A special feature of the smartphone is the application, in short “app”, which can be free or paid. There are numerous apps on the market, and their number is increasing daily. Most phone producers have their own platforms where apps can be bought or downloaded for free, the most important according to sales figures being the Apple App Store, followed by the Blackberry App World, the Nokia Ovi Store and Google Play. Apps were created to satisfy individual needs of phone users, since every user can get the apps he wants. There are apps for virtually every imaginable need, ranging from dictionaries, a multitude of different games, to apps that notify its user when his favorite football team scores a goal.