Mobile Device is a computing device that is small enough to easily hold by hand and move. Mobile devices generally provide some LCD or OLED screen to provide graphical output where the screen is generally a touch screen which is also used for input and management.
Mobile Device History
Even the first mobile devices are manufactured in the late 1980s and early 1990s they were not affordable for most people. They were very pricy and provides fewer features than regular desktop-based or traditional alternatives. As en example, a laptop with a $5000 price tag performance was very similar to the $1000 desktop computer. Also, these mobile devices do not provide complete features and performance in most of the cases against alternative not so mobile devices.
The first popular and widely used mobile device type was the mobile phone. With the advancement of GSM mobile phones gained popularity with less or cheap prices. Even mobile phones were not so smart and featureful they were providing a very good experience for those times.
Mobile Device Characteristics
There are some characteristics which make mobile devices different and more useful than another type of devices. Below we will list some useful and popular features and characteristics of the mobile devices.
Less Physical Dimension and Weight : Mobile devices are designed to be mobile and portable which resulted in their physical sizes and weightlessness.
Higher Price : In order to get the same performance or function with an alternative non-mobile device, higher fees or prices should be paid.
Touch Screen: Most of the mobile devices are designed to get input and the most practical, easy way is using touch screens to get input like typing, selecting, clicking, etc.
Connectivity: As a mobile and portable features, the mobile devices should connect different devices easily with more connectivity features, options.
Battery Life: Mobile devices generally used without a cable connection for power. So the mobile device battery life is important even the battery life can be extended with some optimizations.
Internet Access : Internet Access is one of the most important characteristics of mobile devices where almost every mobile device is designed to connect the internet and consume different services.
Mobile Device Uses
Mobile devices are used in different areas for different cases. By using their advantage over non-mobile devices they can be used for the following cases.
- Smartphones, Laptops, Tablets can be used to take notes or create documents or making presentations digitally.
- Smartphones, Laptops, Tablets can be used to scan barcodes, manage stocks.
- Smartphones can be used for banking, e-commerce functions easily and in realtime.
- Laptops can be used to create and use software and application anywhere.
- Smartwatches are used to track the health information, steps, and sending this information to the smartphone.
- Tablets can be used in the medical area in order to input, access health information easily.
Mobile Device Types
With the advancement of the IT and technology different types of mobile devices are created or existing non-mobile devices are converted into mobile form. Below we will list some popular mobile device types and explain them later in detail.
- Smart Watch
- Digital Media Player
- Handheld Game Console
Smartphone is one of the most popular mobile devices. Actually it is also called a mobile phone but smartphones provides more than a mobile phone. Late 2000s Apple, Google, and Microsoft created smartphones where these phones have complete mobile operating systems like iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile. Even Windows Mobile does not catch expected popularity other two operating systems iOS and Android became a phenomenon. Currently Android is the most popular smartphone operating system. Smartphone provides the following features and options.
- Internet connection
- Application usage
- Web browsing
- Wi-Fi Connection
- Watching Videos
- Recording camera and taking pictures
Laptop is another popular mobile device or mobile computer. A laptop provides almost the same experience and functionality of a regular computer or personal computer. A laptop contains a screen, mainboard, and keyboard where all of them integrated each other like an open book. The laptop provides the touchpad instead of the mouse but a mouse can be used by connecting via wireless, Bluetooth, or USB port. Generally, laptop screen size or dimension is less than a regular computer in order to preserve the mobility with less size and weight. As a mobile device laptop weight is important and generally between 1-3 kg but in recent years lighter laptops are created with the name “Ultrabook”. A laptop generally uses Wi-Fi for internet connection but also ethernet can be used with a cable to connect the internet. The laptop provides infrared, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI for different types of connectivity.
Tablet is similar to the smartphone and provides the same features in most cases. But in general, tablets do not provide GSM connectivity even there are some exceptions. Tablet is mainly designed to be used in home or enterprise with Wi-Fi connectivity with larger screen sizes around 6-10 inches. Also, tablets are used for kid’s education and gaming popularly as a cheap and more affordable solution. For Android and iOS tablets they provide the same experience with a smartphone with a larger screen and more powerful hardware.
E-readers are became popular recently which are designed to read e-book or electronic books. E-reader sizes are similar to the tablets where the only feature they provide is reading books in different formats. In rare cases, they can be used to access the internet. E-readers are designed to provide a comfortable reading experience with eye protection and exceptional battery life to provide reading time about 80-90 hours with a single charge. Amazon Kindle, Barnes&Noble Nook, and Kobo are popular e-readers with a wide range of e-book format support.
Digital Media Player
Digital Media Players are designed to provide digital entertainment and media playing environment. Digital media players have small form factors with specific features to play, stream media to the external monitor, or install some media-related applications. Google Chromecast, Roku TV, etc are popular digital media players. Digital media players should have an internet connection which is general Wi-Fi but in some cases ethernet cable connection.
Smart Watch became very popular in last years. Smartwatch is a watch with some sensors, features, connectivity, and touch screen where its shape is a digital watch. What makes the smartwatch smart is its sensors, screen, and connectivity to the internet or smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Smartwatches can show weather information, calendar, calls, media control, and sensors about heart, walking, blood pressure, etc.