A smartphone can consolidate many of your devices. With Android’s expanding app market, a phone can replace everything from your calculator to your Garmin.
For a few years now, when someone said “smartphone” listeners all pictured the Apple iPhone. It dominated the smartphone market from its release in 2007. No more. When the HTC Dream phone was released in late 2008, the Android operating system for smartphones began cutting into Apple’s market share. There are now a variety of Android-based smartphones available and Android has taken over top spot recently in the smartphone market., according to the prominent marketing research firm comScore. And the number of smartphones on the streets has doubled in the last year, according to Edison Research..
What’s the attraction of smartphones? Whether you buy one of the newly-popular Android phones, an iPhone, a Blackberry, or the recently-developed Windows-based smartphones, the chances are good that your new phone will replace half-a-dozen or so other devices in your life.
Android phones are secure and come with a lot of built-in security features. There are also plenty of third-party apps like Spy Phone mobile tracker that can help you to locate your stolen or lost device via GPS tracking. So you can buy any android device with great confidence.
Your new Android phone has the potential to replace a number of gadgets that you carry around now for personal amusement. On the top of that list, your smartphone can probably replace the bulkier digital camera you’ve been carrying around. Your pixel size on many smartphones is at least as good as the average digital camera. While it’s not standard yet, many smartphone models are even growing flash features so that you can use your phone as a camera in darker settings.
Your smartphone is also probably a video camera. National Public Radio aired a story recently about how the Flip Camera (a pocket-sized video camera with a USB jack that allows it to be plugged directly into a computer when you’re finished recording) is being discontinued because smartphones are taking over that market. If you’ve never had a digital video camera, getting a smartphone is usually your cheapest option for obtaining one.
You can get rid of your handheld game console when you buy a smartphone. Whether it’s Angry Birds or Brain Cube, there are plenty of Android game apps out there. You can also stop carrying around your MP3 player once you have a smartphone. Unless you’ve got one of the more advanced iPods or an MP3 player, your smartphone probably has more memory (and will hold more music) than your MP3 player. A number of Android apps allow you to organize your music and create playlists. And unlike most iPods, you don’t have to wear headphones to listen to music on your smartphone.
The tethering cable that comes with most new Android phones allows you to charge your phone’s battery from a laptop or PC and use your smartphone as a modem to share your mobile data plan with your laptop. But that cable also allows you to use your smartphone as storage device, making it the biggest USB thumb drive you’ll probably ever need or own.
Your Android phone also comes with a number of applications that make it pretty handy as a pocket organizer, so it may replace your PDA (personal digital assistant) if you carry one. The calendar app copies events you enter to your Google Calendar online, which can be shared with family members or work associates. The phone will keep your list of contacts, allow you to view and edit documents, let you create and save memos, and allow you to manage your email. And if your work involves using a voice recorder, you can get rid of your microcassette player or digital voice recorder and use one of the Android voice-recorder apps instead.
No discussion of work-related uses for a smartphone would be complete without mentioning calculators. There’s a whole world or calculator apps available for your Android phone, and many of them are free. These range from basic calculators (add, subtract, multiply, divide) to scientific calculators that have multiple memories and will do trigonometry functions (sine, cosine, tangent). There are also a huge number of apps that turn your phone into specialty calculators – everything from algebraic and graphing calculators, to loan calculators for figuring out what payments on a mortgage would be. You can get calculators that will figure your odds in a poker game or tell you how many Weight Watcher points your meal is. The list goes on.
While your smartphone won’t make coffee in your hotel room yet, there are a number of available Android apps that will wake you up in the morning. Most will set and save multiple different alarms for you over the course of a week so that you don’t miss appointments on the road. Your phone also has a GPS app (Google Latitudes) which will show you your position on a map and a navigation app that will give you turn-by-turn directions (for a monthly fee) to your next location.
You can see the potential an Android phone has to replace a small pile of other devices and gadgets in your life. But perhaps the most important device a new Android phone will replace is your old phone. After all, in addition to being an alarm clock, an MP3 player, a camera, a PDA, etc. it’s also a phone.