The steady rise of the popularity of smartphones has been nothing short of phenomenal. And the way things are going, it seems that virtually everyone will own one sooner or later. Swedish telecommunications giant, Ericsson, has just released a report that predicts that by the year 2019 there will be 5.6 billion smartphones in use, essentially tripling the amount in use today. This will account for more than 60 percent of mobile phones by that year.
More Features, Better Features
As smartphone technology has developed, more and more features have been added and these features continue to become more advanced. Smartphones have begun to seriously compete with many other gadgets on the market - today’s smartphones perform a number of functions now that once required separate devices. New smartphones have digital cameras built-in that rival the quality of standalone devices. High definition video cameras and GPS devices are now standard features on virtually all new smartphones. The screen quality and resolution on smartphones keeps getting better every year.
One Device for Almost Everything
The technology has reached the point where millions of people now use their smartphones for much of their internet activity, including music listening, gaming, chatting, video watching and photo sharing, social networking, taking photos and making videos. Young people especially have embraced smartphones, to the point where they have seemingly mind-melded with their devices and spend much of their daily lives in a virtual environment.
There’s no more need for a backpack to carry a laptop, digital camera and iPod in. Now one smartphone can do all that and a lot more. New and useful apps hit the market every day that make organizing, storing and sharing information easier and more practical. A smartphone is now a powerful computer, an entertainment system and a guide to the world. They’re almost like companions now, whom we turn to for answers and diversion.
Is There a Downside?
Could it be that despite the undeniable usefulness of these devices there is a price to be paid? Have we finally given ourselves over to the digital dark side? Is it healthy to be online constantly? It seems fairly obvious that there is point at where addictive behavior begins to come into play. Especially when you see the glazed looks of teenagers totally immersed in the world at the fingertips, headphones on, staring at the screen or texting furiously. It all seems a bit too much, at times.
Maybe it’s inevitable and not so threatening, after all. We’ve been willing slaves to technology since the Industrial Revolution, it would seem, and teenagers have always been sullen and in their own world, I guess. I know I was, and that was in the prehistoric, pre-Internet age. Maybe it’s a good idea for parents to set some limits - many choose to install mobile monitoring software, like Highster Mobile, on their kids’ phones. At any rate, it seems that the age of the smartphone is here to stay.