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Posted by on Aug 2, 2012 in Hardware, Software, Technology |

How has the world of smartphones since the arrival of the iPhone?

How has the world of smartphones since the arrival of the iPhone?

Between patent claims and rumors to and from Apple , the issue of true innovation and creation by the Cupertino company is under discussion, not only among those who are geeks, but virtually everyone.

How much has changed the world of smartphones and mobile devices from arrival of the iPhone (and IOS ) in mid-2007? Much more than we imagine. In fact the industry had to become completely and was born a true revolution in which we have “hardware” that makes 5 or 6 things that make tools more and more things through a touch screen.

1. From “featurephones” a “smartphone”

In 1996, when he thought of “smartphones”, usually three or four things came to mind:

  1. The BlackBerrys, such as mobile sandals we saw executives use a coat and tie, U.S. officials or executives of large corporations.
  2. The N Series Nokia phones with advanced features that allow things like record video at resolutions (for now) quite high. The N90 looked like a camera of the future past, the N93 was a bit of the same and the N95 in 1997 became the “flagship phone” that year, with strong sales thanks to the “halo effect” of the brand but quickly overshadowed by the bidders of the operating system (Symbian) and the use of a keypad (imagine, on a smartphone keypad) for a device that supposedly did so many things.
  3. The Nokia Communicator, a number of other smartphones of the brand, had a full keyboard-oriented company with a small wide screen, ability to read emails, phones that support WAP browsers and HTML basics, word processing, spreadsheet and software for presentation.
  4. The Palm Treo smartphone with touchscreen resisted (you needed a stylus) and full keyboard that you could install applications but usually had to be found in the web, download to your computer, and copy them to the phone using a USB cable. Also oriented to the office, some worked and some other PalmOS Windows Mobile PocketPC.

All these devices had a clear focus on hardware-based use. Was a software component, in fact the operating system of all these phones were basic, slow, very little updating and in many cases several years without receiving functionality new. During those times using a smartphone was synonymous with “I have to work all day,” except for the N Series Nokia which sought oriented towards entertainment (video recording or up games, remember the N-Gage?).

Rather than feature phones were smart phones, ie phones expensive, big, bulky they had some very specific hardware features that allow concrete to do some tasks more easily assumed, but in practice were slow, very difficult to use and configure, access Internet almost a joke and to boot, very expensive.

Apple changed the following reasoning: a capacitive touch screen device that does not need a stylus, a virtual keyboard that really works, with a very powerful operating system (IOS is based on OS X) capable of performing highly complex applications, a GUI really easy to use, with the possibility of using multi-finger gestures. Remember, this was in 2007 when the most advanced available in the market was … Symbian.

Although skeptical at first (I never tire of showing the video of Ballmer laughing at the iPhone ), competition is set to work to find the iPhone killer, it mobilized the entire industry to a profound transformation in what is now rationalized as “mobile “

  • The screen is the queen almost all and tablet have large touch screens and limited hardware to be a container and support of the screen
  • Content is king for consumers what matters most is what happens on that screen and find the easiest ways to use that content and interact with it. Born Android, WebOS, Windows Phone 7, Windows 8, strives for RIM BlackBerry putting 10 in future devices. All trying to achieve the goal of allowing users to install and manipulate applications, data, access to websites as simple as possible.

2. Keyboard to write emails to touch screens to do anything

How has the world of smartphones since the arrival of the iPhone? image 2

Before leaving the the industry sold the mini-physical keyboard as one of the greatest achievements to make way for the use and manipulation of data on mobile devices. For my reminded me of Microsoft telling us that the future had arrived showing a DOS screen .

The mini keyboard is not only uncomfortable, it is limiting because it takes space to the screen where you can do more. But lack of innovation and trying to “get small” combination screen / keyboard of the desktop, smartphone seen for years after physical keyboard smartphone, is the problem? content suffer, suffer and applications the user experience suffers when using a cut screen for the presence of physical keyboard.

How has the world of smartphones since the arrival of the iPhone? image 3

Apple changed this paradigm with the iPhone (and later with the iPhone in the world of post-PC devices). It took time, especially in business, but today is inconceivable without the sale of smartphones multi-touch screens large. The only major manufacturer that did not adapt to the times is RIM and the consequences are severe.

How has the world of smartphones since the arrival of the iPhone? image 4

Putting aside the physical keyboard and focus on the operation of software within the large touchscreen enabled smartphones go from being mere machines for writing, answering emails (or instant messages) to be real tools that adapt to whatever to the consumer. Today with an iPhone or an Android you can work in many fields, take and post photos / videos instantly, consuming multimedia content, interact with social networks, browsing the web in a comfortable, tell the world what is happening in front your eyes, go from point A to point B, even use it to play music. All at the same time.

Understand that a person with a BlackBerry 7250 you could not imagine being able to do all this with the device in his hand. That same person, the next day, after seeing the announcement of the iPhone, he understood immediately that it is possible now.

The announcement of the iPhone in January 2007 was a real radical change, a before and after in the mobile industry.

3. Android

We could discuss it for weeks, months or years, but the reality is that Android is what it is today because of Apple, iPhone and IOS. Initially a mobile operating system project for a small company called Android Inc. was quietly acquired by Google in 2005 to strengthen its presence in smartphones. That is, two years before the launch of the first iPhone was working on a major mobile operating system capabilities for other companies besides Apple.

New? No, although many do (do not understand that, honestly). But if you look at the screenshots of the first operating system versions between 2005 and 2007 looked very much the * BlackBerry ** and your operating system:

How has the world of smartphones since the arrival of the iPhone? image 5

How has the world of smartphones since the arrival of the iPhone? image 6

But in 2007 everything changed and the user interface was completely redesigned apparently thinking in what many described as a real shot in the foot but that was one of the determinants of the paradigm shift of what a smartphone: the use of touch screens and finger as a pointer.

Months later, launched its first devices (HTC’s hand) and were as follows:

To date there are still several tests and, unfortunately for Google, problems caused by the OS design decisions and agreements with manufacturers during the first days of life of Android:

  1. Google did not force the use hardware graphics accelerators, as he felt they were not needed. Why? For a graphical interface similar to Windows Mobile 6 and BlackBerry OS do not. In the post-iPhone is not only necessary, it is almost mandatory. The result? A not-to mid-range devices / low they can not be upgraded to new versions simply because “not endure.”
  2. During the launch of Android 3.0 (Honeycomb, the version for tablets), Google promised hardware acceleration of 2D elements (an apparent response to the use of OpenGL for Apple) but the initial conceptions of Android are so limiting that the alleged acceleration was imperceptible.

Today’s Android mobile operating system used more sold by volume. According to July 2012 numbers are activated one million a day, 12 every second. But thanks to the iPhone and with its proposed mobile Android GUI was transformed into what it is today.

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