Our personal sidekick

October 28, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Who remembers when they got their very first personal cell phone? I didn’t get my first phone until I was about 19 and at the time I had no idea that this device was on its way to be one of the world’s most popular and must have gadgets. For most of us, this device never seems to leave our sides and can always be found in a pocket, bag or even beside table while you sleep. If you start near the beginning of when mobile devices first started to be come easily available to the consumer, these mobile phones were just that, a phone and not much more. These phones started off with one basic function and have grown to a powerful multifunctional computer and I would like to look at how some of the first functions have evolved over the years to a device we love and use today.

Let’s Talk…

My very first phone had an LCD screen that supported maybe 1-2 lines on the display, it had a green backlight and gel like buttons…it was state of the art. I could use it to make a phone call and I could store maybe 10 names in the address book and it had no caller ID. That was pretty much the limit of the phone and I didn’t need it to do anything else or expect it too. I remember the first phone call I made on the day I picked it up, I was so excited to show it off that I stood outside my friend’s house and called him to say I’ll be there soon. Seconds later I arrived and knocked on the door standing there with a phone in my hand and a smile on my face. It wasn’t long after that before I came across more people owning a personal cell phone and it was fast becoming the norm in society.  

Let’s Read…

Why call someone when I can just send them a short note instead? SMS or Short Message Service was the next best thing to be released but I recall it being slowly adopted at the beginning. Not too many people had phones that supported SMS and I was yet to experience this new feature until Telco’s started to offer trade-ins of old devices for new if you changed to their provider. So after an upgrade and slowly waiting for all my friends to make the change themselves, we now had to ability to have whole conversations for hours without having to call someone. Oh and let’s not forget that each message cost about 20c of your prepaid credit. SMS is probably still one of the most highly used features of all phones today, being that it provides both a personal and impersonal method for its users.

Let’s See…

How many of us wished you had caught a particular moment on camera while out and about but forgot to pack the film or digital camera that you always never seem to have? Well enter the camera phone and the ability of always having a camera in your pocket. These new phones gave you the ability to take low quality images and view them on a small (by today’s standards) colour screen. These phones didn’t have memory cards at the begin and if you needed to get the images off the phone, you needed to have the link cable and software package for your particular phone. Thankfully this is much easier to do today but back in the day, not many people seem to bother due to the “too hard” factor.


 Peak of a trend?

As with any new technology that first comes out, it’s never perfect and therefore new models and generations always seem to apply improvements. One of the obvious things that has constantly been tweaked since the first phone was its size. The first phones used to be huge and bulky and there was always the goal of trying to add more technology into a smaller package. Better battery technology, smaller aerials in the smallest form factor possible. Now we have these devices called “Smartphones” and this has created a bit of a turning point for the size of these devices. With more features jammed into a one package requires more screen real estate to use them, larger screens create larger phones. Personally I believe we’re at the peak of how big these phones are going to get and there’s not much more you could expect from a device that’s supposed to be easily carried in your pocket and designed to be held up to the side of your face. In saying that, just because that’s what I believe, doesn’t mean we’re not going to have larger phones in the next few generations. So what will happen once we hit the peak? Will it just hold there and become a standard or will we start back down the slope and start seeing the size decrease once again? As new technology comes out which removes the need to large real estate, we could very well see everything being reduced once again. Maybe wearable devices will remove the need for a phone altogether instead of being just an accessory. Maybe a watch and a pair a glasses will be the only way to communicate. At this stage there’s no real way of knowing but time will tell and I’m excited to see what happens, how about you?


Please feel free to contact our friendly team at McDonalds IT if you have any questions with your mobile devices or any other IT related needs.


Article by: Shay Matheson

Category: Gadgets


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