At this point in time, I can’t really think about anyone I know who wouldn’t benefit from acquiring and using a smartphone. Even my mom and dad, who are now both in their seventies, would find a smartphone is a useful device. Your modern smartphone can be described as a true multimedia device. Like having a desktop in your pocket, it is space age technology, even further ahead than the Tricorder in Star Trek! Let us look at the features of the good smartphone and see how useful they are.
What some kit! GPS is what really sets the smartphone apart from lesser devices. Now, you know where you are, wherever you are. And much more importantly, you now know where you are going. With applications like Heyway, you don’t even want to phone your friend to inform them where abouts you are. Even better – you don’t have to speak to them to guide them to you. Google maps will take care of that. So, a crowded bar, plenty of noise, a conversation with someone you can’t hear, to guide them to a bar you do not know. This is now all a thing of the past.
Camera and Video:
A camera as well as a video camera. Awesome. Back in the old days, you would see something in a street that was interesting, stand and watch for a while and later whenever you were in the pub, hold your associates spellbound with a fascinating rendition of the story, Peter Ustinov style. And every so often you will still wish to do this. Especially if you want to decorate the narrative a bit. But, you now possess the choice to take a picture or even a video of the whole event.
Take an occurrence I chanced upon last week. I am walking along Regent Street, minding my very own business, as you do. I see a crowd around a store just past Hamley’s. Similar to a Meercat, my neck’s up and I am trying to find the action. It is a shoplifter. He is being held in a headlock position by 3 security guards. Prada. I have not seen any real life or quality action like this for days (I was in Brixton last week). There’s lots of shouting and he’s actually doing quite good considering he’s outnumbered 3 to 1. Sudden as a flash, I whip out my iPhone and begin video recording. This is simply the sort of footage that will provide you with centre stage at my weekly meeting of geeky friends at the pub. The disturbance continues for several more minutes. The handbag (yes, a handbag!) he has stolen is retrieved before police forces are called to take his particulars and ensure that he gets a warning and a holiday in the Bahamas for being underprivileged and having to steal. And I get to hold court screening the video and explaining to my friends what a fascinating, diverse and dangerous part of town I work in. Every one is a winner.
Not only can you take the photographs and video footage, but with the large memory in a smartphone, it is possible to store it. Which means that all the images I take, or even the ones I download from another camera, are always with me. Pictures of my family and friends and fascinating videos of shoplifters. I can access them anywhere and at any time. The same as having a photo album in your pocket.
Music and Video:
With a smartphone, you have always got your favourite tune to hand. Therefore there’s never a dull moment. I make a copy of each tune I’ve ever liked on my iPhone. From Steps Gold to The Saturdays. Over 2000 tracks. Rock and Roll. Or in some cases case, cheesy pop. But it get’s even better. If you’re a real Luddite and you do not read books, it is easy to even watch feature films on them.
The best invention since fire and having access to it from the phone. Could you have imagined this in 1998? I hardly will require waxing lyrical concerning the virtues of the internet, but gaining access to it from anywhere, at any time, well it is definitely a lot more than the human race deserves. And never again is there an outrageous statistic or fact uttered in the comfort of the local pub that cannot be instantly verified. From football statistics to physics, the oracle is inside your pocket.
Calenders, alarms and organisers:
Not surprisingly, you can use your smartphone to organise your life. It is killed off PDAs and alarm clocks. And you never will want to own a pen and notebook if you’ve got a smartphone. Which can only be a good thing?
Applications or Apps:
Third-party applications. A genius invention which has driven the triumph of the iPhone in particular. From business applications to entertainment and all in between. Ranging in cost from your free to the ludicrous price and in usefulness from your inane to the essential. There are now more 300,000 of them.
Yes, even with a myriad of functions and capabilities, the smartphone can still make and receive cell phone calls. Thus the smartphone is the best invention of your 21st Century – so far. If you haven’t got one, go and buy one today. It will change your life. And if you do not come up with the money for one, sell something. Your spare TV, your old phone or your desktop. You could even try shoplifting on Regent Street. Just keep away from the handbag store near Hamley’s…
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