At the start of the 21st century, cell phones were primarily communication tools with bits and bobs of other functions. But as technology grew and developers and researchers realized that they could pack more operations and uses on a smartphone, they have included more and more uses to every release.
Fast forward to today, and we can’t imagine a life without our reliable smartphones. We go through each day using it for a wide variety of purposes, both personal and professional. Many of its functions used to require a specific device, and many of those devices are now considered archaic or obsolete. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see what the smartphone has replaced.
Dawn of the Smartphone
Below is a list of devices that the smartphone has replaced. And as smartphones grow in computing power, we can most probably expect them to replace more devices.
Before you have to bring a map with you if you’re going anywhere you’re not familiar with. Nowadays, all you need is your phone since you can access the internet and get a highly accurate map depicting where you are and where you’re going. There are even GPS starter devices for cars to either start or stop your automobile remotely. This level of convenience is unparalleled and has made anyone who needs to travel a lot more confident during their journey.
Telephones and Communication Devices
Telegram, telephones, walkie-talkies- these devices are all but useless unless you’re in a high niche industry. We can quite literally talk to anyone we want as long as we have their contact information. We can even have video calls if necessary.
Music Player, Radio and Television
The arrival of the radio was a turning point in our civilization. We can communicate ideas and events faster, removing the need for manual messengers. TV upped the ante, and people thought it could not be topped. But smartphones function as a radio and television and can provide not just news but also entertainment through music or videos. We no longer need to lug around a portable radio or CD player. We have one that’s significantly more powerful in our pockets constantly.
Watch, Stopwatch, Calculator
In the 70s up until the 90s, wrist-mounted calculators and stopwatches were all the rage. While wristwatches are still popular for their sheer convenience and aesthetic value, smartphones offer far more than older time devices ever did. Sports coaches use smartphones to time their athletes’ best performances, in-field professionals use smartphones to do real-time calculations, and many other functions were consolidated to the ever-trusty smartphone.
A Camera or Video Camera
The ability to take videos and photos was once exclusive to those who could afford a camera. And since video and pictures were exclusive, you had to choose only one. But a standard Android phone or iPhone can take both with such a competitive quality. In the hands of a skilled artist, the result can rival expensive DSLR cameras.
Journalists, students, writers, and others who had to rely on a recording speech had to struggle to bring a tape recorder with them everywhere. That is until the smartphone arrived, which featured this ability very discreetly. Now, almost everyone can record any sound they want to, and the result is amazing. People can make music anywhere, journalists no longer have to worry about “running out of tape,” and students can record their professors’ lessons—all to a level of convenience that’s unmatched.
These age-old tomes of knowledge are still popular, but the presence of online books easily accessible via smartphone has made them something into a collectors’ item. We can read any book we want on our phones. And many publishers also opt to publish both a physical and digital release of their books. Knowledge has never been this accessible, and it’s literally at the palm of our hands.
While smartphones haven’t replaced the good, old, trusty flashlight, the fact that most even have this feature is astounding. We’re always equipped with an emergency tool, and we don’t have to fumble around in the dark. Many take the flashlight capability of their phones for granted- until they need it.
A Super Computer in Your Pocket
All of these features have undeniably helped our society grow. Information, services, computations, and more are now easily accessible. We carry a supercomputer in our pockets, one that’s significantly more powerful than the computer humanity used to send Neil Armstrong to the moon. While many fear “smartphone addiction,” we can’t deny how much it has helped us. And perhaps future iteration of this trusty device will help us even more.