It’s an everyday object – but it didn’t even exist twenty years ago. The smartphone is a truly revolutionary device, helping us navigate the world, communicate with friends and colleagues, work, play and live with the help of the internet and an incredible array of apps, all based in our jacket pockets. Such an incredible tool is, of course, a powerful addition to the human race’s long list of digital tools, but in order to really understand this power, let’s take a look at exactly what happens inside these devices – exploring their intricacies and their genius.
You might not even be aware of this, but your smartphone is constantly collecting data. It’s collecting data on your location, and which shops you frequent. It’s collecting data about the environment and the phones around it – about traffic and conditions – and it’s processing this online when it’s connected to the internet. All of this happens quite silently as you walk around each day, but it’s this data that creates all of the wonderful functionalities – such as push notifications when you near shops you like, or when your football team has a new news story. It’s an incredible feat of digital engineering – one to admire.
Your phone is also a data storage capsule, and more and more of these devices are being used in everything from criminal law investigations to simple digital forensics to see where files might have gone missing. Free forensic software is available online to help you track down missing data, or understand the journey that bundles of data have been on through your phone and beyond. You can also retrieve deleted data – including from your loved ones’ phones – by using software and services such as this.
The development of smartphone cameras has happened at such velocity and with such merciless ruthlessness that the digital camera market has seen a huge fall in sales as a result. Why buy a clunky digital camera, the thinking goes, when I can buy a device just as good that performs that function and hundreds more? Of course, that’s not the whole picture, but the fact that smartphones can take incredible photos at the same time as doing all its other jobs is quite incredible, and a testament to the advances in this technology in recent years.
A new iPhone seems to be hitting stores every other week these days. Of course, this is partly a canny marketing trick to get people to buy into the consumer digital lifestyle, but it’s also evidence of just how fast the innovation in this sector is working at the moment. In the next few years, it’s virtually inconceivable what new forms of technology we’ll be using; wearable tech feels more and more on the horizon, as does the kind of ‘cyborg’ dreams of eventually being able to have a phone inputted into our biological tissue. This will certainly give a new meaning to parents scolding kids for being ‘glued to their phones.’
Smartphones are incredible devices – able to help us work, play and have fun together. This article explains how that works, and why we should truly be in awe of these wonderful devices.