Mobile technology is so popular today because humans are mobile by nature and they need gadgets and devices which can support this active lifestyle. With many people choosing to commute long distances or having a profession which requires a lot of travel, staying connected and having a host of capabilities instantly available is important. With smart phones, tablets and laptops, mobile technology has become as significant a trend as alternative medicine, albeit a far more useful one for most people.
It is not difficult to see the modern obsession with mobile technology as having almost cult-like qualities. People huddle around tables at coffee shops and bars, stroking their touchscreen devices, even when they are in the middle of a conversation. Apple is perhaps the brand which inspires the most ritualistic following among its fans. Since the iPhone was launched in 2007, it has been able to capture an impressive segment of the smart-phone market. In the final quarter of 2011, it sold 37 million iPhone handsets, which means that even the diverse selection of Android alternatives has had a tough time keeping pace.
Of course, as with alternative medicine, there is not a consensus as to which smart-phone platform is the best. While Apple’s iOS is user friendly and blessed with hundreds of thousands of apps to download, it is locked down and relatively difficult to customise. On the other hand, Android’s open-source arrangement means that manufacturers can put their own stamp on the software and users can modify their phones to suit their needs. This does mean, however, that Android is more fragmented than iOS and so the user base is split somewhat.
The third route for mobile technology fans is Windows Phone, which Microsoft introduced in late 2010. It was something of a shot in the dark given the dwindling popularity of the preceding Windows Mobile platform, but by borrowing the best bits from its rivals it has proven to be a solid choice and not a homeopathic disappointment.
Mobile technology enthusiasts are usually engaged in self-medicating, because there is almost always a new device on the horizon which will grab their attention and drain their bank balance. Tablet computers have had a major impact since the iPad launched in 2010, but there have been some interesting hybrids in the interim which blur the lines between smart phones and larger portable PCs, even from the point of view of a cell phone expert.
The Samsung Galaxy Note is a good example of this new breed of mobile, since its 5.3-inch screen and stylus interface make it much larger and more interactive than its scaled-down cell phone peers. However, it is still more portable than full-sized tablets and can be used to make voice calls just as you can on a mobile. The LG Optimus Vu has followed in the footsteps of the Galaxy Note, also sporting a stylus and a large display. However, the 4:3 aspect ratio makes this mobile almost square, which any cell phone expert will tell you is unusual, to say the least.
Perhaps the best thing about the mobile technology revolution is that it does not have to cost the world if you want to get your fix of high-end gadgetry. You can get a subsidised handset for a small monthly payment from many competing network carriers and start enjoying top-tier performance straightaway.