Mobile devices: smartphones and tablets

Mobile devices out there now, will most definitely fall under the categories like, smartphones, tablets and wearable technology. All of them share the common features. There are bunch of other mobile device types, they are known as specific purpose-built which serve some specific purpose and not more than that. A good example would be an e-reader.

In this article we are going to focus on the most popular mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The beginning of smartphones

Before smartphone took over the world, there was another kind of smart (to some degree) phone like device, personal digital assistant (PDA). such as the blackberry RIM and Compaq iPaq which was popular in the 90s. PDA had all the basic features of the smartphones we have now, but lacked the whole cellular connection which is what did not make it so smart. People used to carry one PDA and cellular phone together and longed for the time when these two will merge together. From 2003 to 2005, PDAs begun to include cellular telephones as well but access to the Internet was not yet there.

Typical features of smartphones

It was in 2007 when the game changer smartphone iPhone was launched which is the father of the smartphone elements we come to know now. Such as:

  • a multi-touch interface as its primary input method;
  • very well standardised application programming interface which is know as API enables developers to create new apps for the system;
  • well-packed cellular data to the device which allows the application to transfer data over internet;
  • synchronisation as well as distribution tools that enable users to install and synchronise and backup data.

Ever since this launch, a smartphone has developed into a mighty device with the iPhone as their blueprint. We can now do things on these device which was not possible in the first iPhone. The whole infrastructure and technologies the smartphone is built with, connects them with the mesh of networked data and services which is lightning fast, robust and layered with security.

Smartphone will invariably run either of the two big shot operating system from the industry like, Google Android or Apple iOS. Difference is that, iOS are meant to run inside an Apple embedded hardware while android runs on multiple manufacturer device which is not Apple. One of the thing about smartphones are, they typically have replaceable components and sealed units and you need to brought it into some sort of specialized and sometimes authorized service centre for repairing issue.


Tablets are similar to smartphones with the same operating system running and apps with the multi-touch screen feature. Only difference is they are large in size than smartphones and without the phone. Yes, that might sound a like a bummer but tablets rely on 802.11 Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet and lacks a raw cellular data connectivity. There are workarounds though in case you want to use it to make some calls as well. In that case, you need to make calls over Wi-Fi by using any VoIP apps or a regular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger and such applications.

There are spectrum of these tablets like low-end and higher-end tablets on this spectrum. Low-end tablets are running some sort of android with limited hardware and higher-end tablets such as Apple iPad. Differences are the hardware quality, capabilities and features.