What is a Smartphone?
The majority of us now carry a smartphone with us wherever we go – for me, it is an iPhone, but many others carry an Android phone while a very few carry a Windows Phone, a Blackberry or some brand with even smaller market share. But why have these devices become so prevalent in such a short time?
The iPhone was first introduced in January 2007 – not even eight years ago – and that introduction created the smartphone as we know it today. Many of the things that we do with smartphones could easily be done with separate devices: enjoy media (music, video, books, etc.), make phone calls, send and receive text messages and emails, access the internet, and so on.
I think what makes the smartphone so special are two attributes – it combines all of these capabilities into one device, and that device is small enough to slip onto a pocket and go with us everywhere we go. We can be entertained wherever we go and whenever we want. We can easily stay in communication with others no matter where we are or where they are. And, I think most importantly, we can access the world’s information in any situation to learn whatever we need to know whenever we need to know it.
With a smartphone, we can learn whatever we need to know to provide the context needed to understand strange situations. I use my iPhone constantly to discover background information to better understand things in day-to-day life. It brings the information that we can use to bring our fuzzy world into focus.
Just as my glasses help my eyes bring a fuzzy world into focus, so to my smartphone helps my brain bring a fuzzy world into focus.
Smartphones are glasses for the brain.