A Mobile Device is a general term for any type of handheld computer. These devices are designed to be extremely portable, and they can often fit in your hand. Some mobile devices—like tablets, e-readers, and smartphones—are powerful enough to do many of the same things you can do with a desktop or laptop computer.
As market conventions emerged for mobile devices, a primary class of devices became known as personal digital assistants (PDAs). Many of these share common features, such as touch screen interfaces with color displays, linking to email and desktop software programs, and access to wireless platforms. Later, as wireless networks evolved, makers started to offer another class of mobile devices called smartphones, which combined the utility of a cell phone and a PDA into one device. Now, most cellphone providers offer a range of smartphones which access the Internet over a 3G or 4G wireless network.
Types of Mobile Devices
- Smartphones: With the rise of Android and iOS, smartphones are the most popular mobile device right now, and for a good reason. These devices are handheld, can fit in a pocket, have a million and one uses, and help keep us connected at all times thanks to a constant network connection from a wireless carrier. There are many different device choices, so it should be easy to find a one that meets all of you needs.
- Tablets: Similarly to smartphones, tablets share many of the same benefits but in a larger form factor. A tablet really shines when performing tasks that would be more suitable for a larger display with more battery life. Some examples include work presentations, heavy gaming, or even live streaming of shows in high definition on Netflix.
- Laptop Computers: These devices have always been popular because they give us the functionality of a desktop computer that we can take anywhere. We can use the same operating system with the same programs, which means there is no device learning curve. Having a full-sized keyboard, the same input/output ports and the ability to connect an external display are some added benefits as well.
- Smartwatches: These devices are relatively new and play in somewhat of a niche market at this point in time. The main benefits a smartwatch can provide us with are the ability to get notifications and necessary information on our wrist without having to pick up another device. With some of the new standalone models, we can even take and receive phone calls just like our smartphones can.
- E-readers: We have had these devices around for many years, and they share some commonalities with a tablet, but their primary purpose is for reading. The Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook have made the e-reader a popular choice for people who enjoy reading books in a digital format. These devices changed the whole concept of reading and helped to bring books into a new era.
- Handheld Gaming Consoles: These devices go way back to Nintendo Gameboy and have forever changed how we think about mobile gaming. Some of the most well know mobile gaming devices we have today include Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo TDS. Gaming is now one of the most popular forms of entertainment, and their will always be a need for such devices.
Characteristics of Mobile Devices
Mobile devices have similar characteristics. Among them are:
- Wi-Fi or cellular access to the internet
- A battery that powers the device for several hours
- A physical or onscreen keyboard for entering information
- Size and weight that allows it to be carried in one hand and manipulated with the other hand
- Touch-screen interface in almost all cases
- A virtual assistant, like Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant
- The ability to download data from the internet, including apps and books
- Wireless operation
Mobile Device History
Laptops became one of the first mobile computing devices by eliminating the wires between the computer and its peripherals, then integrating them into one unit. The first laptop, or portable computer, was the IBM 5100, released in September 1975.
Today, mobile device usually refers to any hand-held computer capable of running apps that connects to the Internet wirelessly. However, even by today's more scrupulous standards, the category keeps expanding with new inventions. As is true in any branch of computing, our mobile devices continue to offer more advanced functions while reducing size and weight.
Uses of Mobile Devices Handheld devices have become ruggedized for use in mobile field management. Uses include digitizing notes, sending and receiving invoices, asset management, recording signatures, managing parts, and scanning barcodes. In 2009, developments in mobile collaboration systems enabled the use of handheld devices that combine video, audio and on-screen drawing capabilities to enable multi-party conferencing in real-time, independent of location. Handheld computers are available in a variety of form factors, including smartphones on the low end, handheld PDAs, Ultra-Mobile PCs and Tablet PCs (Palm OS, WebOS). Users can watch television through Internet by IPTV on some mobile devices. Mobile television receivers have existed since the 1960s, and in the 21st century mobile phone providers began making television available on cellular phones. In the 2010s, mobile devices can sync and share many data despite the distance or specifications of said devices. In the medical field, mobile devices are quickly becoming essential tools for accessing clinical information such as drugs, treatment, even medical calculation. Due to the popularity of mobile gaming, the gambling industry started offering casino games on mobile devices, which in turn lead to inclusion of these devices in anti hazard legislature as devices that could potentially be used in illegal gambling. Other potentially illegal activities might include the use of mobile devices in distributing child pornography and the legal sex industry use of mobile apps and hardware to promote its activities, as well as the possibility of using mobile devices to perform trans-border services, which are all issues that need to be regulated. In the military, mobile devices have created new opportunities for the armed forces to deliver training and educational materials to soldiers, regardless of where they are stationed