Alan Freedman -- The Computer Language Company - Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Longest-Running Tech Reference on the Planet

A CDE Definition

You'll love The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia (CDE) for Tech Term of the Day (TTOD)

LOOK UP ANOTHER TERM


smartphone

A combination cellphone and handheld computer that created the greatest tech revolution since the Internet. A smartphone can do everything a personal computer can do, and because of its mobility, much more. Although screen size is a limitation, the increasingly higher resolutions make viewing pleasurable (see phablet), and voice recognition can eliminate some of the typing.

A smartphone combines a cellphone with email and Web, music and movie player, camera, camcorder, GPS navigation, voice recorder, alarm clock, flashlight, photo album, address book and a lot more. It is also a personal assistant that delivers information and answers questions about almost everything (see virtual assistant). A lot more personal than a personal computer, a smartphone is generally within reach at all times.

Apps, Apps and More Apps
Like any computer, what gives life to the hardware is the software, and there are hundreds of thousands of mobile applications, both free and paid (see online app store). However, there are often dozens of apps offering nearly identical functions. All apps are created for both iPhones and Androids and sometimes for Windows phones. New BlackBerry apps are rare. See how to select a mobile device, smartphone features, smartphone operating system and cellphones vs. smartphones.

A Dumb Phone and Smart Everything Else
Ironically, the least spectacular thing about a smartphone is the phone. A smartphone can cut out and drop calls like any cellphone, and the more users within a cell tower's reach at a given moment, the more interruptions are likely.

History
In 1994, IBM and BellSouth introduced the heavy and pricey Simon Personal Communicator, a phone/PDA touted as the first smartphone (see personal communicator). Amassing a large audience in the 2000s, BlackBerry became the popular corporate smartphone; however, in 2007, the iPhone changed the industry forever. See iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian, feature phone and smartphone keyboard. See also smart TV.




Smartphone Platforms
These models were some of the first smartphones on the market. Both iPhones and Windows have consistent user interfaces; however, Android manufacturers often add their own interface features. In its heyday, the BlackBerry's physical keyboard was its trademark.






A Double Touchscreen Smartphone
With an LCD in front and E Ink screen in back, YotaPhone batteries last up to five days in E Ink mode, and it is the only smartphone visible in bright sunlight. See E Ink.






A Modular Smartphone
In 2016, Motorola introduced its Moto Z family of modular phones. Snap-ons add high-fidelity speakers, a pico projector or, as in this example, a professional Hasselblad camera. See Moto Z. (Image courtesy of Motorola Mobility LLC, www.motorola.com)






One of the First
In 2002, this Palm Treo ran the popular Palm PDA application along with email and Web browsing. See Palm. (Image courtesy of Palm, Inc.)






Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
BeforeAfter
smartcardsmartphone app
Smartcomsmartphone apps
SmartDocsmartphone charger
Smartdrivesmartphone communications
SmartFiltersmartphone features
SmartMartsmartphone gloves
SmartMediasmartphone hardware/software control
SmartModesmartphone hotspot
SmartNICsmartphone hunch
Smartpensmartphone keyboard

Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.
Computer Words You Gotta KnowSystem design
Job categoriesUnix/Linux
Interesting stuffPersonal computers
InternetIndustrial Automation/Process Control
Communications & networkingAssociations/Standards organizations
HistoryDesktop publishing
Audio/VideoGraphics
MainframesSecurity
ProgrammingHealthcare IT
System design