It is pretty safe to say that many of us can't bear to live without a smartphone. While cellphones were once the luxury gadget of businesspeople everywhere, now children across the US have access to iPhones, Galaxy Tabs, and more. But how many of us still use our phones only for what they were originally designed?
It's easy to forget that the little gadget in your pocket or bag is, first and foremost, a mobile telephone. Once SMS texting and picture messaging came along in the late 1990s, the game changed forever! In 2021, around 30 years after cellphones started hitting the commercial mainstream, our use of these handheld wonders has come a long way.
Let's look at a few things we do in 2021 that would seem baffling in 2001 or 1991!
For many people, smartphones are mainly handheld gaming devices. A whole new breed of 'gamer' – the 'casual player' – evolved out of quick-play, simple touch, and swipe games you can enjoy on your cell.
Games such as Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds have a lot to answer for! However, smartphones are also significant players in the world of online casinos. Many people use their cell and tablet to look for the best online casino PA has to offer. The link to the left is a perfect place to start looking for a mobile-friendly gaming center.
Casinos and game developers now build based on 'mobile-first.' That means they start designing their games and experiences with smartphone users as priority cases.
We've come a long way since the old 'Snake' feature that came built into our Nokia 3310s!
Text messaging, via SMS and MMS, really changed communication in the mid to late 90s. Up to this point, 'text messaging' revolved around PC or Mac programs and online chat rooms (remember those)? For example, MSN Messenger fought a good fight until getting swallowed up by Skype a few years ago.
However, our smartphones are now fantastic social leviathans. In 2005, who would have thought browsing and using Facebook could be accessible through a handheld device? At that time, we were still tapping and scribbling with mobile styluses. Thankfully, they went the way of other slightly clunky tech!
Now, it's easy to access a world of social fun and interaction by loading up Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and more. Add in the way online dating is evolving, thanks to apps such as Tinder, and cells are still changing the way we connect with others.
Information and shopping
Ten or so years ago, shopping online would typically have meant logging into your PC, laptop, or Mac and searching Amazon and other sites. Now, you can just load up the app and buy everything you want in one click. It's truly mind-boggling how simple e-commerce is making things.
Information is, generally, more accessible than ever before, and it's mostly thanks to smartphones. We used to depend on daily TV news reports or even read the odd newspaper! Now, it's no effort just to load up Apple News or head over to Google News for aggregation of what's going on in the world.
Social media, more so now than ever, is responsible for sharing news with the masses. Facebook and Twitter have long been beacons for stories hitting the airwaves long before they go mass-media. Communities such as Reddit continue to grow and share information and experiences – through apps and simple program design.
Many people share ideas and opinions and are even starting their own campaigns with the boost of their smartphones. Yes, it's still perfectly possible to set up these campaigns from your PC or laptop, but we've never been in a better position to kickstart a revolution from our pockets.
The future of smartphones
Smartphones' evolution is now at such a point where your Apple, Android, or Windows device is no longer the 'luxury' add-on for your life it once was. Life and commerce are pivoting around these devices so much that being without one can feel a bit like getting left behind.
Therefore, the future is bright for tech lovers and smartphone lovers everywhere, not just in the US. Apple iPhone launches are an annual event, a focal point – and yes, believe it or not, that device in your bag or pocket still makes phone calls – if you can find your way to the feature through all those apps!