A mobile device is a piece of portable technology that can connect to the internet. There are several different kinds of mobile devices that are popular today.
The most popular kind of mobile device is a smartphone, which serves as a mobile communication hub for somewhere around 6.6 billion people worldwide (roughly 83 per cent of the global population).
Most smartphones come with screens that are between 3.5 to 6 inches long (diagonally). While popular makes include the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixeil, there are more than 170 different companies now producing unique models.
The majority of smartphones come with either LCD or AMOLED screens, though some newer models are re-introducing bendable screens and the market will continuously shift over time to better, brighter and clearer displays.
Smartphones are capable of running a wide range of applications – so long as they’re compatible with the phone’s operating system, such as Android or iOS – ranging from calculators and messaging services, to games and video editing software. Regarding the latter, it should be noted that most smartphones come equipped with high-quality camera hardware, meaning they’re capable of taking exceptional photography and video. Smartphones are also well renowned for their portability, and by extension, how great they are for travel – it is for this reason that many come with pre-installed map applications capable of helping you navigate new areas.
Next to smartphones, tablets are some of the most common mobile devices on the market. Usually 7 inches or larger, they run on operating systems like those found in smartphones, complete with similar touchscreens (although unlike smartphones, many tablets come with dedicated styluses or other special input tools). Like smartphones, tablets can run a wide range of applications – usually downloadable from the device’s dedicated app store – and are excellent for taking photos and videos.
Coming in third, wearable technology is becoming increasingly popular with consumers. Common examples include smartwatches – watches that integrate with smartphones, and are meant to replace traditional mechanical watches – fitness monitors cable of tracking things like your heart rate, lap times and sleep patterns, and virtual reality (VR) headsets, which typically use a special graphical interface to simulate a complete replacement of the real world for your eyes.
Instead of having dedicated operating systems, most VR headsets require being connected to a computer or the cloud in order to function. By being worn around the eyes, they cancel out everything in the user’s peripheral vision and make it possible to see only what is on their screens. While many VR headsets do come with input devices (a.k.a., controllers or remotes), any and all inputs will occur only inside of the virtual world. Because they are so dynamic and offer such a unique field of view, VR headsets are often used for design applications, such as programs for artists looking to make expansive or 3D graphics. Because you’re able to use them to move around in a 3D space and look around to different places, VR headsets are also becoming increasingly popular with gamers and moviegoers.
On the topic of virtual worlds versus the real world, there are some mobile devices that combine the two together, in what’s known as augmented reality. While it might sound like something out of the future or a science fiction movie, rather than a true blend of different realities, augmented reality is usually a virtual overlay that’s put on top of our real world. Usually, this is achieved by wearing a special pair of eyeglasses, or by looking through a mobile device’s screen with certain software activated (such as a face tracker, which you might notice whenever you tap your phone or tablet to focus for a picture).
Different augmented reality devices exist for a number of reasons, and the examples of their use in common day-to-day activities are many. For example, some doctors use special glasses to impose x-rays on their patients’ bodies in real time, at the same time that millions of players partook in Pokémon Go, which often featured augmented reality versions of monsters placed into our real world for people to catch and battle with.
Moving on, eReaders are special devices created specifically for reading books with digital ease. These devices are usually thin, and instead of an LCD or LED screen, they come standard with technology that’s known as electronic paper, which displays exclusively in black and white and is meant to perform best in direct light – similar to a real book, although that’s not to say that some eReaders don’t come with built-in backlighting for darker areas. eReaders often use one of three file types: .MOBI, .EPUB and .PDF, though some devices are also capable of playing music or running other applications. Notably, all eReaders come with an excellent battery life, as the only time they use battery power is when a page is turned – usually done by swiping the device left or right, as you would flip with a real book – because the only time electricity is really needed is to *update* the text that’s being displayed. Naturally, if you leave your eReader connected to Wi-Fi to be able to download new books, that will also slowly drain the battery – but don’t ever expect to have to plug in for a recharge often.
Last but not least, global positioning systems (GPS) are some of the oldest mobile devices on the market. Similar to map apps on smartphones, GPS devices enable users to navigate wherever they’re at in real time by providing turn-by-turn directions on where they need to go.
While some modern GPS devices can provide more in-depth guidance than their software-based counterparts, it’s important to note that GPS devices also require users to have a relatively clear view of the sky, so that the satellites in orbit are capable of beaming down the necessary signals. Furthermore, because not all GPS devices are automatically connected to a wireless signal, it is important to make sure they’re kept up-to-date with the latest road and map information. If you do not have access to a Wi-Fi signal, this can sometimes be achieved by downloading an update for the device elsewhere and then uploading it to the device with a memory card.