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How Do Smartphones Affect Our Lives English Language Essay

5138 words (21 pages) Essay in English Language

5/12/16 English Language Reference this

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Smartphones are sophisticated devices used for communication while offering many other different functions at the same time. These functions may include video and audio recording, navigation assistance, music and video player and web browsing through wireless networks and apps ranging from games to highly specialized dictionaries. Smartphones come in different designs candy-bar models, clamshell models, slide models and wearable watch models.

Common uses of smartphones besides phone calls and messaging may include video-conferencing, web browsing, listening to music, viewing videos, playing games, tool for different educational purposes, navigation assistant.

Technically, an ‘operating system platform open to developers’ is really the only minimum requirement to classify a Smartphone. Smartphones are generally also expected to be ‘smart’. For example if a phone that asks you for the sever address, port, etc… to set up for email access, it’s not a Smartphone even if the advertising brochure says so. A Smartphone is cleverer than that because it will figure out the server from your email id by itself. While the majority of people may think that smartphones are for geeks it is actually the opposite because they are generally much more refined and intuitive than the non-smart phones. Smartphones can be used by the not so technically inclined as well, to do powerful things with their phones.

A smartphone can be easily recognized by its excellent email, calendar, organizer integration and powerful apps presented in a simple and intuitive way.

Symbian, Android, Windows Mobile, iOS are the current operating systems that drive a smartphone. It is the same thing as Windows and Mac OS on our PC. These operating systems help us to interact with both the hardware and the applications on the phone. Unlike Java applications that can be installed on any ordinary mobile phone, applications that have been developed on these operating system platforms are normally much better in terms of their functionality. Through the appropriate OS such applications can interact more easily with the phone’s hardware.

At last count, Apple had over 200,000 apps in its store, while Android had over 50,000 apps in its Android Marketplace. Application categories range from Productivity, Entertainment, Communication, Finance, Health, Lifestyle, Multimedia, News, Social to Travel and everything in between. These ‘app stores’ are accessible from the phone itself for instant downloads of both free and paid applications. There is no end to how much functionality you can add to your phone.

When, why and by who was the first Smartphone invented? (300)

the very first smartphone to have been created was named Simon. It was designed and created by IBM in the 1992s. It was in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the COMDEX show that this idea of “smartphone” was first presented to the world.

The Simon smartphone included features like world clock where it could show the time in all the countries in the, a note pad used to take notes, email, calculator, a calendar where it was possible to markup events in certain days and to set an alarm for that event, receive and send faxes and it was also possible to install and play different games.

One unique feature that Simon smartphone had was its keyboard. It was the first phone to be using a touch screen keyboard. The On-screen keyboard was a built-in keyboard showed on the screen. For using the phone’s keyboard, people had to touch the screen with their fingers just like as if it were traditional keyboard with physical buttons.

With time the technology evolved and the touch screen was no longer used just for the dialing, it was used for writing too. Smartphones with both touch screen keypad and also the standard keypad were invented because some people were unsatisfied due to the fact that it was hard to write text messages from a completely touch screen phone because of its sensitivity. Such phones were named QWERTY phones.

The QWERTY Smartphones helped people to write more easily, and because it looks like a minicomputer, they can easily use it to surf the web, use instant messengers and many other features.

The smartphones are great for business persons or anyone who wants features that a computer has, but it has the disadvantage of having a much higher price compared to normal phones. The price is expected to drop as time passes by and technology advances.

Is the invention of the telephone a curse or a blessing? (400)

A recent survey done by of one million users in 34 countries showed that 62% believed that their work productivity was “much better” due to new technology.  75% considers the opportunity provided by devices such as smartphones and laptops to remain in constant contact with work as a positive development.

Converting “down time” to work time, and being able to “stay in touch” with what’s happening at work at all times. This kind of commitment used to be associated with “Type A” executives, but nowadays anyone with a smartphone can do so too.

Many people like to find new ways to be effective, and like to feel as if they are getting better at managing time.

However, what is actually happening with many professionals is not amusing at all. Companies have taken the opportunity given to them by technology to convince employees to spend more “down time” doing work.  

Nowadays, most people with a smartphone have gotten into the habit of continuously trying to convert “down time” into useful, work time.

Ways in which professionals may be converting their “down time” to get something done:

An employee sending a text message to his co-workers while travelling at 120 Km/h in a train and spilling hot coffee into his lap.

A teacher in a PTA meeting that’s going very slow, logs in her e-mail and replies, missing two tasks given to her among the various others.

An accountant at the swimming pool to watch his child swim the 25m freestyle event, closes a deal during the men’s 25m freestyle via cellphone and lies to his son about seeing him break the record for that event.

A supervisor attending 3 days of fitness training is unable to do her training without touching her smartphone every 15 minutes and later after getting them written results of her training complains that the training program was not effective enough.

A teacher talking to the school manager to obtain a place in the school gets a message from her tuition student asking for help on a revision exercise, just before the exams start. She quietly sends her a reply while the manager is still talking. The manager notices the sudden lapse in attention and interprets it as a lack of interest in the proposals he is offering.

A lawyer one more time takes his smartphone to the toilet where he can multi-task and by misfortune his boss’ husband who borrowed his smartphone, like five minutes before, happened to be there and notices him. More importantly the phone falls in the urinal and the owner quickly picks it up and tries his best to continue his conversation with his customer

These habits were developed by professionals who were trying to boost their productivity by converting “down time” into something of value. Human beings are known to easily develop habits that are hard to stop and these habits can also be annoying to others. There are where cases employees are provided with a smartphone for free by their company executives and managers. It is even seen as a form of reward and indicator of status in some companies.

What many of them know, however, is that when an employee accepts the device, they are likely to join the group of the always-reachable, and engage in many of the behaviors that their higher-ups are practicing,  such as: – sending and receiving messages at 2:30 am – using weekends, vacations and holidays to conduct company business – implicitly agreeing to respond to all messages within a short time-frame – interrupting ANY activity to “find out what my boss wants”

(If the stories told on YouTube and on blogs are true, then  _anything_ can be interrupted nowadays by smartphone use!)

To put it in more Machiavellian terms, companies have found a way to take time and attention that employee used to spend on their own, with their families and with their friends, and convert it to company time.  It starts with the gift of a smartphone.

While I truly doubt that there is some master plan, don’t doubt for a minute that a manager doesn’t know the difference between her employees who are always-reachable from those who aren’t. Companies can make big gains in productivity by simply giving away smartphones to their employees, while ignoring the added stress that gets created.

There are some companies that are noticing what is happening, however.

Enlightened companies take a page out of the medical profession, which has long realized that it’s important to maintain some kind of boundaries in their professionals’ lives.  Companies can put in place policies that clearly delineate time spent “at work,” “on call” and “away from work.”   They recognize that these are three distinct modes that must be enforced if employees are expected to function at their best.

Most employees, however, find themselves in un-enlightened companies and must make their own way, starting with 3 steps they must take.

Their first step is to identify the unproductive habits in their time management system.  They can do the kind of analysis I describe on my website (www.2time-sys.com) to find the strong and weak spots.

The second step is to create an improvement plan that outlines the habits to be changed, along with some target dates. This gives them some realistic goals to hear towards.

The third step requires them to create an environment to make the habit changes easier to effect.  Unfortunately, most habits do not change easily or quickly, and the right blend of supports can make all the difference.

Employees who have begun this personal journey need to make a plan to enlighten the executive team.  Most smartphone use started with the CEO and her direct reports, and they are the ones who, in all likelihood, introduced, for example, a culture of 24 hour availability to the organization.

In an effort like this, employees need allies at all levels to help demonstrate that bad habits developed in the executive suite can wreak havoc when rolled out to an entire company.  (There is a growing body of data available that can be used in this effort.)  In an intervention, executives can be asked to imagine an all-company meeting in which half the attendees spend most of the meeting on their smartphones, lost in cyber-space.  (Some would  simply argue that they are following the fine example of their CEO!)

If the executive team can be convinced that these behaviors are destructive, then the company can move to specify some specific changes.

For example, the US Federal Government has banned the use of cell-phones by its employees while they are driving and conducting government business.  In part, that’s because of obvious safety reasons.

From a productivity stand-point, however, it makes perfect sense. Other policies can be introduced to limit the use of smartphones and laptops during off hours, for starters.  (In some companies, turning off all messaging devices between 12:00 am and 6:00 am would be a major step.)

Each company needs to look at its culture, as well as its strategy, and phase in these changes in a way that makes sense. They need to allow for the fact that habit change takes time, and that a new culture could not be born in an instant.

The single employee who decides to change their company has a very difficult task on her hands, however, as she realizes that smartphones have done more to change company culture in the past few years than any vision statement or 2 day retreat.  She needs to appreciate that some executives may decide that they like the way things are going, and don’t want to change a thing.   Those companies who take this route probably won’t see any immediate fallout as employees cling to their jobs for fear of losing them, but they’ll pay later.  At some point in the future, productivity will be impacted on a large scale, as employees burn themselves out and the bottom line suffers.

It’s much better to make the small, enlightened changes now, than to wait until the cost is higher and the effort required seems to be impossible to garner.

All it takes to get started is one or two employees who are willing to redefine what productivity means for themselves and their companies, in favor of long-term results that are sustainable.

How and for what we make use smart phone nowadays? (400)

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What are the negative impacts it has on us? (400)

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What are the negative impacts it has on our health? (400)

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There has been plenty of debate as to whether or not cell phones have holistically upgraded our lives. True, they have played a pivotal role in many fields. But are they really that helpful to society?

 

Despite the numerous criticisms against these devices, people don’t seem to waver their support for mobile phones. In fact, as of 2008, there were about 304.7 million mobile phone units sold in the whole world. And that doesn’t even quantify the number of users, which are abundant in all countries. In the United States, 203 million people own and use cell phones. In Australia, the number of mobile phones being utilized even surpasses the entire country’s population. The influence of these inventions is extreme. As proof of this, they have already broken boundaries and transcended culture. Can you imagine what the world would be like if mobile phones were banned for their harmful effects?

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are just some of the diseases being attributed to prolonged cell phone use. But above these, the possibility of getting brain cancer is what most health-conscious individuals worry about their fascination with these gadgets. Mobile phone electromagnetic radiation is said to destroy the protein barrier of the brain and make it susceptible to viruses and toxins. Aside from that, it is also said to destroy red blood cells and cause hemoglobin leaking, which consequently harms the heart and kidney. These harms eventually manifest as an elevated blood pressure and a decrease in the body’s immunity.

 

In addition, cell phone radiation is also suspected of causing another form of physical threat, in the form of car accidents. According to a study conducted by the Harvard University, cell phones are predisposing factors to 200 vehicular deaths and millions of deaths per year. Furthermore, it is also insinuated that electromagnetic waves prove detrimental to the environment’s health and may cause freak fires in gas stations, as it can unwillingly ignite gas fumes.

 

But with all things considered, cell phones are not solely to be blamed for these ill consequences. As such, the human factor cannot be excluded in the equation. Our excesses and lack of control usually bring about negative effects to our cell phone use. So, it might be best that we learn, while still physically fit, about what we can do to prevent bad things from happening. By using the internet, we can gather enough intelligence to help us live a better, healthier mobile phone using life.

How can Smartphone be misused and what can be done to prevent it? (400)

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To what extent mobile phones have made us both poorer and better communicators? (400)

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To what extend are we dependent/addicted to smartphones? (300)

TOKYO, May 14 (AP) – (Kyodo)-Elementary school students are becoming more psychologically dependent on their cellphones, with about a quarter of surveyed students saying they feel “very anxious” if they do not receive replies to their emails on their cellphones, a report released Wednesday by a Japanese parent-teacher association said.

The report was based on a nationwide survey conducted on 2,400 fifth graders and 2,400 students in the second year of junior high schools as well as their parents in November last year, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers Associations of Japan said.

Nineteen percent of the elementary school students and 22 percent of the junior high school students answered that they tend to make long calls despite themselves, while 25 percent of the elementary school students and 26 percent of the junior high school students said they feel very anxious when they do not get email replies, according to the report.

The figures for the elementary school students were both up 7 points from the previous survey conducted in November 2007.

“Emails can be the start of cellphone dependence,” said Kunihiko Soga, who heads the association, and added, “Parents and children should discuss rules on when and how to use cellphones.”

Sixteen percent of the junior high school students, the largest single group, said they send and receive more than 50 emails through cellphones per day, the report said.

More than half of the junior high school students polled send and receive more than 10 emails per day. It was one to five emails for 34 percent of the elementary school students, followed by six to 10 for 14 percent, and 11 to 20 for 6 percent.

The survey results also revealed that 20 percent of the fifth graders and 42 percent of the students in their second year in junior high schools owned a cellphone.

Among the junior high school students surveyed, 38 percent said they have email friends their parents do not know about, up 3 points from the previous survey. Meanwhile, 57 percent of the parents surveyed said they have introduced filtering services that limit their children’s access to harmful contents online.

To what extent do we expect Smartphone to improve and in what ways in the coming years? (400)

Thought it was hard enough to pick the right smartphone as is? Courtesy of the new HTC EVO 4G from Sprint, the decision just got that much tougher. The first Android phone that’s compatible with both 3G and 4G (even higher-speed) wireless broadband networks, the handset promises to offer an impressive feature set–and, more important, killer download speeds.

Shipping this summer, as high-end mobile communications devices go, the hardware itself is nothing to scoff at. Consider the gadget’s 4.3-inch touchscreen, which lets you pinch to zoom and ranks among the largest displays available on an Android phone. Well-suited to music, photos and streaming video, multimedia looks to be an upcoming strong suit–a bonus for entrepreneurs looking to tap into popular news destinations, social networks and online portals. Speaking of socializing, the gizmo also layers in a specialized user interface known as HTC Sense. Using it, you can access features like a Friend Stream that aggregates updates from popular social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr and streamlines them into one easily digestible feed. There’s also a special function known as Leap that lets you pinch to view open programs, making multitasking that much easier.

Bonuses further extend to not just one, but a pair of integrated digital cameras. There’s an 8-megapixel model with auto-focus and high-definition video recording capabilities on the back, plus a 1.3-megapixel unit on the front. The former should prove useful for multimedia creation and content sharing, while the latter could come in handy when videoconferencing or snapping your own facial expressions. Either way, there’s massive potential there to connect with clients and colleagues, generate content for promotional use on your blog or website and create custom video for distribution through online channels. Live streaming of shareholder meetings and tradeshows seems an immediate possibility via the Qik application. Ditto for the opportunity to upload HD video to online aggregators such as YouTube and Metacafe instead of the pixilated standard-def footage that’s currently commonplace. Connect an HDMI cable, and there’s also the option to output your clips, e.g., client testimonials, hands-on product demos, etc., straight to HDTV, while a kickstand enables easier on-device viewing.

Intriguingly, the EVO 4G can also function as a mobile wireless hotspot. A maximum of eight Wi-Fi-ready devices from laptops to MP3 players and digital cameras can connect and tap into its internet connection. Albeit only available in 27 cities from Atlanta to Chicago, Las Vegas and Seattle (service launches in New York, Boston, San Francisco and other metropolitan areas are planned for later in 2010), Sprint claims its 4G network delivers 10 times faster speeds than what you’d get from 3G networks. Bearing this in mind, large files such as high-def videos and sizable software packages should be retrievable in a fraction of the waiting time users have typically come to expect from 3G devices.

Heavy Web browsers may benefit as much as multimedia fans as well, given that support for Adobe Flash is also built in, which powers high-quality animated and video content. Tack on support for a range of thousands of downloadable third-party apps via the Android Market (although, granted, nowhere near as many as you’d find on the iPhone), and the possibilities multiply. Coupled with the device’s greater speeds, new programs could allow working professionals to connect, communicate and collaborate in a range of unexpected and far-reaching ways. Given enough bandwidth, you could video chat with a coworker live in real-time while watching a corporate webcast and sharing supporting links on the topics being discussed.

While it’s too early to tell whether the EVO will ultimately fly, at first glimpse it appears to offer a wealth of compelling features for entrepreneurs and everyday users alike. Admittedly, chances are even if you do buy one, you may find yourself stuck operating at standard 3G speeds on occasion. Then again, in the immediate, it may be a small price to pay for the chance to piggyback on a wider 4G rollout, and get a look at what the future of smartphones could very well hold.

Jim McGregor would like future smartphones to “zap the person on the other end when they say something stupid.” The chief technology strategist for In-Stat Research is onto something. For now, the closest we probably have to that is the “mute” button. But a chief technologist strategist’s job incorporates vision, and that’s one vision that many might share.

“We are really just at the beginning of making these devices interface with the real world through advanced sensors and intelligent applications,” says McGregor. “Future devices will be able to sense temperature, speed, direction, location, action … and be able to communicate with you with information you may want, rather than just the information you request.”

As CTIA, the wireless trade industry association, prepares to meet in Las Vegas March 23-25, smartphones with even more smarts are in the pipeline, aided by improved processing power, screen technology and internal, as well as external, software.

“Smartphones are starting to overtake the PC in terms of the primacy of getting information and entertainment from the Internet,” says Mike Woodward, vice president of the mobile phone portfolio for AT&T.

“There’s a whole generation of people, who, if they wanted to go find out something, they went and sat down at the computer and got it. There’s a generation coming up behind that, if they need to grab some quick information, a movie ticket, a dinner reservation – they immediately reach for their smartphone, whether they’re out on the go or not.”

App store development

Future phones may or may not look much different than the black-slab models so widely available today, iterations of the iPhone.

Even though “from the user’s point of view it’s the hardware that drives decision-making, much more of the differentiation and uniqueness in devices is in software,” says Charles Golvin, Forrester Research principal analyst.

“Look at the influence of the app (applications) market. People aren’t making their decisions about phones based on what apps to buy. But it is becoming something of a consideration. The fact that there are so few apps for the Palm devices is in small part dampening enthusiasm for them.”

0HTC HD mini smartphone uses the Windows operating system, and has a single contact view that displays snapshots of your conversations with a person, be it call, text, status update or e-mail. The mini will first be sold in Europe and Asia in April.

Apple’s App Store, with more than 150,000 apps, or programs, that can be downloaded directly to the iPhone, leads the way. Palm now has more than 2,000 apps now available for phones using its webOS operating system. Google’s Android Market has 30,000 apps and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry App World, 4,700.

Smartphones, which run on specialized operating systems, continue to increase in popularity, particularly in the United States, where 25 percent more smartphones were shipped in the fourth quarter last year than the third, according to ABI Research.

While fourth-quarter results generally are the strongest because of the holidays, the results were “remarkable … compared to the rather lackluster preceding nine months,” said ABI Research analyst Michael Morgan in a statement.

“The good performance was driven in part by falling smartphone prices and the introduction of entry-level smartphones generating greater appeal for new buyers.”

Processing power oomph

Samsung, the leading mobile phone provider in the United States with 26 percent of the market, according to Strategy Analytics, recently said it is creating its own operating system, “bada,” for its smartphones. The first bada phone is the Samsung Wave, which will be sold in Europe and Asia starting in April.

The Wave will have a 1 gigahertz processor, which in the years ahead will become more standard fare for smartphones, experts say. Many higher-end smartphones now use processors of 650 megahertz. The relatively new Google Nexus One uses Qualcomm’s 1 GHz Snapdragon processor.

“With PCs, you always used to talk about how many megahertz your processor was, then it became how many gigahertz your processor was, how much memory did you have in it – it’s not so different in phones these days,” says Justin Denison, vice president of strategy for Samsung Mobile in the United States.

“Smartphones now and in the future are delivering similar performance to what PCs delivered just a few years ago,” he said. “Gigahertz-processing technology will become kind of the new benchmark here very shortly. And certainly you can just draw the line, following Moore’s Law, or whatever analogy you want to use, and predict how quickly we’ll move to 2 GHz processors in phones, much like we have in PCs.”

Faster video, graphics performance

faster video and graphics performance, so that smartphones can more easily become portable video players, are also part of the equation, Denison says.

“From a 3-D gaming and graphics perspective, if you enable faster 3-D processing, then you get into more realistic games, games that you only would have seen on your Xbox in the past, so now you can now see them on your phone and they perform in a similar manner.”

“You almost never see personal DVD players on airplanes anymore,” notes Woodward of AT&T. “Instead, you’re starting to see people sitting there and watching their smartphones.”

Phone displays screens, too, will continue to improve in resolution and technology.

Last year, for example, Samsung introduced some feature phones that use AMOLED – active matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode – energy-efficient display technology which makes the screen brighter. The company plans a “Super AMOLED” display for the new Wave, which has a 3.3-inch display.

“In really simple terms, with super AMOLED, we’ve integrated that touch-screen layer onto the display itself, so we’ve kind of combined those two,” says Denison. “That makes the device thinner, as well as less error-prone (to touch) and more responsive, as opposed to having two (display) layers that have to communicate to each other.”

Multitasking

As part of “seeing smartphones continue to behave in a richer fashion, so as to imitate the PC,” Woodward says, multitasking is “something we would expect to see happening.”

Multitasking – the ability to run more than one program at once, and switch back and forth seamlessly – is handled fluidly on some smartphones like the Palm, where, for example, you can be reading your e-mail and listening to music at the same time.

Many iPhone users hope that the next-generation, iPhone OS 4.0, will incorporate multitasking, although Apple has not commented on that.

Multitasking has been part of Windows Mobile’s operating system, although it will not be part of Microsoft’s newest OS update, Windows Mobile 7. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

Among the reasons multitasking is discouraged in phones is because of security issues, and because it’s the kind of activity that can more quickly drain a phone’s battery. And that may be where the smartphone-as-PC notion loses ground for some.

Still, others are excited about the potential use of sensors that can communicate with the phone for a variety of tasks.

One company, Synaptics, “has a new development platform called Fuse. It is still rather simple, but it at least starts using sensors for gesture and motion control,” says McGregor of In-Stat Research. “This isn’t much, but it allows you to finally have a handset that you can use with one hand, which is a novel concept.”

“Whether its sensors or watches or heart monitors, that’s a coming capability,” says Golvin. And many of those sensors will use a low-power version of Bluetooth, the short-range wireless technology, which will have very little battery drain. That version should be available by the end of this year.

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