Reflecting on the significance of living without a smartphone can evoke deep contemplation. Yet, this question did not exist just two decades ago, when the field of mobile computing was not as advanced as it is today. The evolution of portable devices that enable network communication has resulted in significant lifestyle changes.
Mobile computing has transformed the world in remarkable ways, making smartphones an omnipresent part of daily life. With the prevalence of Alexa in many households, and laptops becoming increasingly sleek and powerful, personal computers are losing their appeal. As mobile computing overcomes its limitations, it continues to revolutionize the way we live, from the chunky laptops of yesteryears to the ultra-thin screens of today and beyond. Therefore, mobile computing remains a field of great relevance, constantly evolving to shape the future.
Mobile Computing refers to the technology that enables the transmission of data, audio, and video through wireless devices that are not physically connected. Portability and network connectivity are the primary characteristics of mobile computing devices.
The origins of mobile computing can be traced back to the early 1980s when the first laptops were developed. Since then, mobile computing has evolved significantly, with the introduction of the 640*640 portable laptops by Apple in 1990, the first PDA in 1993, and the first smartphone by IBM in 1994. The development of network connectivity for smartphones in 2000, the first iPhone in 2007, and the first android smartphone in 2009 have further enhanced the capabilities of mobile computing devices.
Today, mobile computing devices come in various forms, with each new model released boasting of advanced features and functionalities.
Mobile computing consists of three primary components: mobile communication, mobile hardware, and mobile software.
Mobile communication encompasses the infrastructure necessary for seamless connectivity and communication. This includes wireless network infrastructure, data formats, protocols, bandwidths, and portals.
Mobile hardware includes the physical devices that perform required operations and connect to networks. Supporting devices also fall under this category.
Mobile software consists of operating systems, which act as the brain of any computing system. Examples of operating systems include Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS. Additionally, the different applications running on a device also fall under the umbrella of mobile software.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the first mobile computing devices were Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), which gained popularity for their ability to help users manage their schedule, contacts, and to-do lists, as well as basic productivity tools like calculators, notepads, and alarm clocks. Although they could not access the internet or make phone calls, PDAs set the stage for more advanced mobile devices to come.
Soon after, smartphones emerged in the early 2000s, combining the functions of a PDA with internet and phone capabilities. Despite their initial bulkiness and expense, tech-savvy consumers quickly embraced smartphones, particularly the BlackBerry, which was among the first to allow users to send and receive emails on the go.
However, the iPhone, released by Apple in 2007, revolutionized the smartphone market. Its large touchscreen display, powerful processor, and user-friendly interface made it accessible to all. The iPhone also featured a built-in camera, music player, and access to the App Store, which gave users the ability to download a vast array of applications.
The iPhone's success spurred other companies to create their own smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel. Today, smartphones are more powerful than ever, with advanced camera systems, high-resolution displays, and fast processors. Additionally, they provide access to a wide range of digital services, including online banking, social media, and streaming video.
A mobile device is usually made of metal or plastic and has different parts like RAM, CPU, hard drive, motherboard, keyboard and mouse, screen, video card, operating system, software apps, and internet connection. Some parts may be separate or touch-based.
This is almost like the parts of a computer that you can't carry around with you. Mobile devices can have other parts that help to make them easy to carry around, and they may also have unique features that set them apart from other devices.
Size: Mobile devices need to be small so we can carry them around easily. Making mobile devices smaller without losing their abilities is hard.
Source of Energy: Cell phones and other portable devices often use batteries that can be recharged multiple times. Making phone batteries last longer is also an important area of study.
Operating System: Laptops and PCs use the same operating system, but smartphones and other devices have a different one. These devices are small and have strong abilities, but they are designed for a certain type of gadget.
Connectivity: Mobile devices can connect to the internet. You can use your smartphone to make and receive calls using mobile broadband networks.
Applications: Applications created for phones are made to work on a certain operating system. These apps make devices do more things than just going online or calling people.
Most phones and tablets also have tools like a GPS, a device that tells where you are, an accelerometer that senses movement, a compass, a microphone, a camera and other features.
Mobile devices have changed a lot over time. Many old devices, such as the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), are not used anymore. Nowadays, we use smartphones a lot, but there are also other types of devices we can use for computing while on the go.
Laptop: A laptop is a small computer that you can easily carry with you. This device works like a computer and can do the same things as a computer, like using the same programs and files.
Smartphone: A smartphone is a phone that can do a lot of things. These devices usually have a screen that you touch to use, can go on the internet, can run many different apps and include things like a camera and GPS.
Tablet computer: Tablet computers are a type of device that you can touch and use a virtual keyboard on. They are often seen as a middle ground between a laptop and a smartphone. Smartwatches are better than smartphones because they have more processing power, features, and a clearer screen. Some devices might come with a special pen to help move around the touch screen more easily.
Wearable: Wearable computers, like smartwatches, are new devices that look like a watch but have some features of a smartphone.
E-reader: E-readers are like tablets, but they are mostly used for reading digital documents.
Other things you can use are scanners, computers for your car, small game machines, fancy cameras, talking speakers, and more.
The rise of mobile devices has definitely helped people around the world. Mobile computing has some drawbacks and risks that we should be aware of, so it's important to look at both the good and bad sides of technology.
The best thing about mobile devices like phones and tablets is that you can take them with you anywhere you go. Mobile devices with powerful features became available thanks to the development of mobile computing. You don't have to leave your house to use the internet or use a certain program.
Every year, phones and tablets are getting cheaper and can do more things. Even if you don't have much money, you can still buy a smartphone. When things are cheaper, more people can use or reach them, and this will help to reduce the gap between people who have access to technology and those who do not.
The internet has a lot of information, and phones and tablets let people see it easily. In the past, people had to read big books in a library, look at phone books, and ask for directions a lot. But now, things are different.
The advantages mentioned help people do more work. People can do their jobs from their own houses whenever they want. They can find lots of information and learn anything on their own to do whatever they want.
Many of us may have felt overwhelmed during the lockdown, but we were able to cope with the help of Netflix and Amazon Prime. It's easy to watch lots of different movies and learn useful things from videos now. You can now live stream anything from anywhere because fast internet connections are cheap.
Improvements in how we use the internet have made mobile devices more powerful. Devices like smartphones and tablets have limits to what they can do, but we can make them better by putting information and apps on the internet instead of on the device itself.
People are worried about safety with more people using mobile devices. If you keep a device connected to the internet all the time, it can easily be attacked by hackers. The worry about cyber safety is growing as it is hard to stop stealing of information and bad activities like breaking into computer systems or stealing digital content.
Issues with connectivity
Mobile phones need either WiFi or mobile network connection to use most of their features. Most apps need the internet to work, and without it devices won't work as well.
Device size limitations
Mobile devices need to be small so that we can carry them around easily. The size of something affects how powerful its computer parts can be, how much it can store, and how clear the screen is.
Rechargeable batteries can only work for a certain amount of time before they need to be charged again. Not having enough places to charge devices can make them unusable when you need them.
Dependence on mobile devices can be risky because they have limitations. Today, we depend on our smartphone to fix any problem and feel lost when its battery dies.
Nowadays, we prefer to use Google Maps to find the way, a calculator to do math, digital payments instead of using cash, and we take pictures to keep memories. Without these things, we might find it difficult to function. Despite technology improving, there will always be some uncertainty with mobile devices, so we should be aware of that.
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash
As technology gets better, we will have better phones and tablets. The idea of putting virtual objects into the real world and making them look like they belong there (Augmented Reality) and creating an entirely different world (Virtual Reality) is already being used on mobile devices. You might have played games like Pokémon Go or used Google Maps which use these technologies to make your experience better.
The 5G networks will make it possible for smartphones to go to the internet even faster. This will help people watch videos and play games while traveling.
Overall, mobile computing has changed a lot and happened very quickly. Mobile devices like PDAs and smartphones have become an important part of our lives. New types of technology are coming soon. This will make mobile computing even better and change how we use technology in the future.
It's not surprising that the developers want to focus on building not just mobile apps, but also a society where mobile technology is important. Don’t hesitate to contact us, ITC Group, we are a software and technology company that provides innovative technology and mature IT consulting that hopefully can be your trusted partner in building a sustainable mobile application. ITC Group is always willing to learn and improve our solutions to meet our clients' changing needs.