From cameras to calendars, and many more in between. The mobile phone has replaced countless things in your life, making it that much easier.
As distressing as it may sound, there was truly once a time when single-purpose objects and appliances were at the forefront of technology, desperately trying to help us manage our hectic lifestyles, one small step at a time. Things could only do one thing – can you believe it?
Then, there was the birth of the mobile phone, and its ensuing evolution, which helped pave the way towards a device that would eventually become capable of running and performing just about anything and everything you could ever want it to – and it’s not even finished.
They’re often a little bulky, a pain to carry around and likely to be fairly pricey. Thankfully, the modern smartphone boasts a very capable camera lens, making any additional unit redundant. In many cases, smartphones can offer a superior experience to dedicated cameras, such as the phenomenal 41MP unit on the Lumia 1020.
2) Degrees in photography
With a plethora of photo editing apps available, such as Instagram, Adobe Photoshop Touch and Handy Photo, almost anyone with a decent smartphone and a touch of creativity can capture (or at least create) a spectacular photo… Granted, your bathroom selfies taken on nights out may not be as well received as the work of some of the iconic figures within the photography industry; but even David Bailey had to start somewhere.
The watch is arguably becoming less and less of a necessity, and for those who still wear one, it is gradually becoming more of an interchangeable fashion accessory, rather than what it was first created for: to tell the time. Why? Because I’m willing to bet that whatever smartphone you have resting in your pocket, regardless of its manufacturer, model or age, it will tell you the time.
Let’s face it, you probably haven’t had much use for a calculator since your O Level or GCSE maths exams. Irrespective, most smartphones come with a basic calculator app preinstalled, and there are plenty more to choose from on the various app stores.
Sure, most torches on a smartphone don’t quite compare to a single purpose flashlight, but then again, generally speaking we only need enough light to help uncover a concealed key hole or a dropped wallet, and most smartphones fit the bill perfectly.
Admittedly, I didn’t own a compass before I bought my smartphone, and I haven’t yet used the one built into said smartphone. Irrespective of my lack of outdoor adventures, it’s still a nifty accessory to have if orientation is your thing.
Mail takes time to receive, it creates clutter, it’s often of no interest and it’s taxing on the environment. Emails, however, are instant, they’re digital, they can be deleted at the click of a button and they can be neatly and safely organized. What’s more is your smartphone can receive them. Perfect.
8) Alarm clocks
Bedside alarm clocks can be a little complicated. There are various buttons to contend with and multiple options to decipher. Smartphone alarm clocks are simple, and can be configured in seconds to wake you up exactly when you want, and how you want (with a generous range of melodies to choose from).
9) Voice recorders
Whilst having a dedicated voice recorder is a very useful tool for someone like a journalist, it wouldn’t be much use to most people. If you’re just looking to record your own voice for fun, or to simply find out what your voice sounds like to others (something everyone has both tried and been horrified by the results), then don’t waste your money. There are plenty of free apps to choose from, such as QuickVoice Recorder and Voice Recorder.
Your smartphone features a calendar that will far out measure any physical one in terms of its sophistication. Your traditional stick to the wall calendar offers limited space for date entries, it’s more difficult to edit and usually less accessible. The calendar on your smartphone, on the other hand, has unlimited space for dates and appointments, it’s accessible wherever you are (as long as your handset is with you) and you can even ask it to alert you prior to a date or appointment.
11) Personal Assistants
If you have both a personal assistant and a smartphone, one needs to go. Your smartphone can now remind you of anything you ask it to at a set time, a particular date and even when you arrive at a specific location. As mentioned above, you know it has a highly sophisticated calendar too. Your smartphone is becoming the cheapest and most efficient PA you could ever have.
12) MP3 players
Providing that your smartphone has a decent amount of internal storage, or your collection of music is rather modest, there’s no valid reason to spend hundreds of pounds on a glossy new mp3 device. Your smartphone will take on the job just as well.
Yes, smartphones have radio covered too. You can access any of your favorite radio stations through the internet by visiting their website. It’s that simple.
14) Games consoles
OK, I’ll admit it, you can’t quite compare the level of detail, sophistication and imagination invested in modern PlayStation or Xbox games, especially with something as rudimentary as Flappy Birds. However, some of the apps available for smartphones, like FIFA 14 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, are catching up at an impressive rate, making the memory of playing Snake II on my Nokia 3410 quickly evaporate.
The screen technology on some of the latest smartphones is truly breathtaking; whilst no smartphone can compare to a TV in terms of its size, they certainly can in terms of its quality. The Full HD TRILUMINOS 5-inch display on the Sony Xperia Z1 and the 4-inch Retina display on the iPhone 5s are two fantastic examples that spring to mind. With many of the large TV broadcasters creating ‘on demand’ formats of their stations, you can now access pretty much all of your favourite shows online. Apps like BBC iPlayer, 4OD and ITV Player are all free to download.
16) TV remotes
If you took number 15 a little too literally, and you’ve already disposed of your TV, then please skip to number 17. If not, then keep reading this.
If you’re sick of wasting precious time rummaging through dark gaps in the sofa looking for a TV remote, when you should be soaking in the latest scandal on Albert Square, apps like Smart TV Remote, Google TV Remote, Remote (for iTunes and Apple TV) and iRule will help transform your smartphone into a TV remote.
The PC/laptop has two primary functions: a platform for work and the web. Whilst the former is somewhat less suitable to smartphones, but by no means impossible, the latter has become a core function of any smartphone. Whether it’s social networking, shopping, emailing, working, researching or seeking entertainment, our smartphones are more than capable of assuming the role of our computers.
If the computer vanquishes the typewriter, which it most certainly does, and the smartphone triumphs over the computer, then naturally, the smartphone must conquer the typewriter… But that’s irrelevant; you don’t have a typewriter.
19) Pens and paper
Coffee-stained notepads, scraps of paper and old, dried up biros are a thing of the past. You can quickly create and record notes, reminders and important pieces of information on your smartphone. If you don’t have a preinstalled notepad on your smartphone, you can download some like Notepad, iDo Notepad or AK Notepad for free.
20) The Ability to Spell
We're kidding. Spelling is still important, that should be a given. But when you’re faced with challenging words, automated spell check and dictionary apps make life a lot easier, leaving you feeling supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Some might argue, that when it comes to digesting a new novel, you can’t beat the physical experience of working through a delicate novel, page by page, rather than sporadic heavy-handed prods of your finger on a glaring electronic screen. Whilst that is completely subjective, you can’t argue with this: eBooks are far easier to store, often cheaper, easily accessible and extremely abundant. Books, simply put, are not. Apps like Kindle and iBooks are great for working through your favourite novels, with all of the benefits listed above.
It would seem that the web’s relentless growth in popularity is taking a pernicious toll on print journalism. As such, news is increasingly being consumed online. To keep up with ever-changing times, newspapers have developed comprehensive web-versions of their news output, as well as smartphone-dedicated apps, which are perpetually being updated to keep as breaking and up-to-date as possible. Don’t you think news is so much newer this way?
In a similar fashion to both books and newspapers, magazines are now readily available and easier than ever to obtain, via smartphones. You can download electronic versions of your favourite magazines, like Men’s Health, Vogue and Four Four two.
24) GPS System and Maps
Thanks to apps like Apple’s Maps and Google Maps, your smartphone has replaced the need for a GPS system, as well as a road map… if you still use road maps, that is.