Multimedia Features of Mobile Phones
It doesn`t take a great deal of imagination; many technophiles will have already had the conversation with their friends: "Imagine in 10 years what you`re going to be able to do on your mobile." Since its inception less than 40 years ago, the mobile phone has rapidly made mockery of its name, as the list of its capabilities continues to grow exponentially. Indeed the name `phone` is rapidly becoming obsolete! A decade or two ago, a person might have expected to carry with them a portable music player, a PDA, a camera, and maybe even portable TVs and handheld games consoles, in addition to things such as books and newspapers. Where the mobile phone has revolutionised the handheld media market, has been to amalgamate all of these functions into one essential package.
`Smartphones` have been around for a few generations of mobile phones now, `smart` in this instance referring to ever increasing storage and computing capacity. They feature complex operating systems and browsers just like personal computers, and can be synchronised with personal computers allowing contacts, appointments and content to move seamlessly between the two systems. All the current generation of phones feature the latest high-speed mobile internet - HSDPA, as well as wireless connectivity, allowing for the same browsing speeds one would expect on a computer. This means downloading or streaming media content such as music, audiobooks, and even films and tv episodes on the fly is now a reality. This coupled with larger screens and more intuitive touch screen controls means web-browsing itself is now painless, enabling people to catch up on the news, shop, and correspond via email or instant messaging, as well as using their favourite sites such as Facebook/Myspace with the same level of functionality they would normally expect.
The current iPhone does the jack-of-all-trades act very well, boasting a myriad of capabilities. We almost take it for granted that its predecessor the iPod was one of the better portable audio and video players on the market - technology the iPhone incorporates, because of everything else that it can do. Many of the games designed for it, utilise the accelerometers in the iPhone, allowing physical tilting and turning to control the game - much in the same vein as the acclaimed Nintendo Wii, and with 3D graphics now a staple, the standards of games produced for it are improving continuously. The iPhone`s most attractive feature however, or rather features, are the so-called `Apps`. Customers can download and install small applications for just about any function at little expense or exertion, such as restaurant recommendations, maps or even things to monitor your music library. Apple`s decision to allow 3rd-parties in at this juncture has seen an explosion in the number of these Apps being developed for sale. This exciting new step-forward is unique in that it appears to be entirely new technology unavailable anywhere previously; something that the mass-market will have to emulate in due course.
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