True. A smartphone today has more advanced, refined computing power than the computers used during the Apollo space flights. When you realise that the moon-bound computers packed into a 363 ft Saturn Five rocket had to compute some 250,000 miles and back, deal with life support, propulsion and Earth entry management, it does make you look at the smartphone in your hand and truly marvel at it.
With 41 million smartphones sold in 2009 and 62 million so far this year, the rise of this new mobile wonder seems unstoppable. Mobile phones have moved on in the last 10 years from the black and white screen that could barely SMS, to the latest designs that embrace the very latest technological advancements. Smart phones now deliver a slew of services and apps that can aid every aspect of our lives. They are at the cutting edge of the communication world and are leaving the so called 'dumb phones' far behind.
What this means is that there are billions of dollars at stake in the development of this new order of mobile phone. This could be a most exciting time for the user as to what they can expect from their phone re applications and innovation. We can hold video conference calls with them now or set our DVD recorder to record a programme whilst we're away on holiday, but in years to come, you could potentially drive your own car to come and pick you up or televise a medical problem to your Doctors laptop.
So what is a smartphone? What do they do and how can they help you? The clue is in the title, smart phones are not limited to just texting or taking a photograph, they are designed to help your workload. They offer advanced capabilities and are a bridge between your life and your computer. You can create and send emails, edit office documents or create a music list. Typically, a smartphone will have more powerful processors, huge amounts of memory or the ability to add more memory, as well as larger screens. There are hundreds of smartphone mobiles out there, but to really understand them you need to look at the operating systems that help to drive them.
The biggest platform at present is Symbian, a joint venture originally set up by Nokia, Psion and Ericsson to develop an industry standard operating platform which is free for developers to use. It is used in a wide range of mobile phones and allows you to customize the user interface, add social networking shortcuts, new content, new software apps etc.
Android, created by Google the internet search engine, is termed an 'open source system' OSS. This means that developers and designers are able to study, change or improve the software. This allows designers to develop any kind of application they wish for a handset. There are over 100,000 apps available from the Android Market, both paid and free.
Windows 7 is Microsoft's offering and it is intended for personal computers, netbooks and laptops and is a new way of dealing with information. You can find, buy, download and install applications and games in Microsoft Marketplace, either with your Windows Phone or by using the Zune software on your computer.
The iOS platform was built by the Apple Computer company. It is specifically designed for their products the iPad, iPod Touch and the iPhone and it is by far the largest apps provider at present with some 300,000 available. Its fast and very user friendly, it is seamless to sync within its own systems and can be easily managed online.
The BlackBerry operating system was developed and designed by Canadian Company, Research in Motion. BlackBerry OS is for synching your email and computer and third party developers can write apps or you can enter the Blackberry App world for the Company's own apps store.
So whether you want to fly to the moon or just use your smartphone day to day, the important thing to remember when getting a Smartphone is that it is not a smartphone unless it enhances your productivity. So choose a phone and not the platform that helps improve your life and how you live it.