I sincerely hope you’re a fan of smartphones and own at least one. Why? Because smartphones are the future. Of everything.
Just a few years ago we all had normal, run-of-the-mill cellphones (which are now lovingly referred to as feature phones). We would primarily use them to make and receive calls, and send and receive SMS text messages. Some people ventured on to the Web, while others loaded music on to their handsets, but the experience of doing either of these tasks was generally a negative one.
Fast-forward to the present and smartphones are all the rage. Almost everyone has them, and those who don’t will likely soon be upgrading to them for fear of becoming an outcast spurned by society for not complying. And experiencing smartphone envy until they do. The problem is handsets and the operating systems that power them are improving so quickly that what you buy today will be outdated and underpowered this time next year.
Even in their current form smartphones are offering so much. I recently realized that mine has essentially made my digital camera, my mp3 player, and my Nintendo DS obsolete, because I use it in place of all three (for taking photos, listening to music on the go, and playing games on the go, respectively). If I drove and had a sat-nav (or GPS) device it would have done the same for that. It also means I’m less tied to my laptop throughout the day, and I can watch television shows and movies, be informed of breaking news, and have instant access to a world of information at my fingertips at all times. In fact, with the size of smartphone screens increasing and the method of text input improving it could be argued that smartphones are becoming tablets; mini-computers which reside in your pocket at all times.
Still not convinced? Then consider, if you will, and I really think you should, Google Wallet, which was launched recently in New York and San Francisco. If you haven’t heard of Google Wallet then you may want to prepare yourself, because it signals a new reality, one in which we’ll all be paying for goods and services electronically using nothing more than our smartphones.
In effect Google Wallet will be an app on your smartphone which replaces the need for you to carry cash, checks, or cards of all variety (debit, credit, and store). You’ll link your card to Google Wallet and then use your smartphone as means of payment using NFC (Near Field Communication). Already being trialled in two large U.S. cities, Google Wallet could, if the search giant has its way, be everywhere. On all phones, on all networks, in the pockets of everyone, everywhere.
Smartphones are replacing the need for a host of other gadgets and becoming a necessity rather than a luxury with each passing month.
With this future rapidly becoming the present, I wonder if the term ‘smartphone’ is highfalutin enough. We clearly need to be thinking more in terms of ‘geniusphone’ or ‘Einsteinphone’. Or perhaps we should drop the phone part altogether. After all, the actual act of phoning other human beings appears to be rapidly becoming the least important part of the equation. In which case perhaps I need to adapt the title of this article to ‘Smartphones Are The Future. Of Everything Other Than Making Phonecalls’.