Monday, March 22, 2010

More on "Gs" and Smart Phones

This is the second installment of our discussion about cellular data networks and smart phones. Last week we discussed the development of the high speed wireless data networks expanding the applications available on today’s smart phones. The smart phone is not only a mobile telephone but can handle many of the tasks once requiring a computer.

Smart phones began to hit the market in the late 1990s and were essentially a mobile phone with a few applications like a personal calendar and address book built in. The explosion in popularity came with the release of the Blackberry in 2002. The Blackberry was one of the first devices that were designed to take advantage of the new high speed mobile networks. That particular device was so popular, for many the name “Blackberry” has become the moniker used for any brand of smart phone. In less than 6 years the user base for Blackberries has topped 32 million. In 2007 Apple released the first iPhone and like so many Apple products, its design (both physical and technical) and applications changed the industry.

Smart phones now can do a host of tasks from the ridiculous (there is an app that turns your iPhone into a harmonica) to mind blowing (Shazam, a smart phone app can recognize music being played on the radio informing the user of the name of the song, the artist performing the song and how one can purchase a copy of the song.) There are apps that turn your smart phone into a GPS. Others will find a good restaurant close by and even make reservations.

Most now have very good digital cameras built in as well as video recorders. You can capture Billy’s dance recital on video and email it to Aunt Esmerelda. Or you can download the pictures or video to your computer and edit a masterpiece to upload to YouTube for the whole world to see. In some countries, smart phones are replacing the credit or debit card. Waving your phone in front of a soft drink machine replaces the need for cash.

With more and more of us using these devices, the 3G networks are getting overloaded. There are already instances in some of the larger metropolitan areas of the country when the networks are so overloaded that none of the subscribers can get service. While these outages last only a short time, for those truly addicted to their smart phones, a few seconds being off the net seems like an eternity.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home