There’s a lot of debate on when the first true smartphone appeared, but even if we take the latest option and say the original Apple iPhone, that is still over 15 years ago. Compare that original iPhone to any of the modern generations of devices and there have obviously been some major tech developments, but it can feel like the big manufacturers are running out of new ideas sometimes.
So, is there any more that can be done with the smartphone concept, or is it time to start looking toward the next big form of tech device?
The Current State Of Smartphones
The latest generation of smartphones is capable of a wide array of functions. Beyond acting as an actual phone, a camera, and an Internet device, the standard smartphone is also the equivalent of a laptop in terms of graphical power and is capable of a lot of visual functions.
The number of graphically intensive apps is always on the rise. Video and image editing apps are more popular than ever with apps like Lensa AI able to generate full portraits only from sample images, while online casino games, which are tailored for mobile devices as standard, are dramatically growing in complexity. Amongst the titles at casino sites like Mr Q, for example, are games with full 3D rendering and complex animations such as the First Person series of games by Evolution, and some such as the recent Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt even integrate the VR and AR technologies that are currently trending amongst apps.
The Limitations Of Smartphones
The biggest tradeoff for smartphones has always been performance versus the physical size of the device. While advances in microtechnology are still coming out every year, as CNET reports, the amount that components can be shrunk and still be useful is limited.
The fact is, to get much more performance out of devices with current tech or even tech in the near future, they would need to grow to the point where they may as well be tablets, or be thick enough that the pocket convenience of them would largely be lost. Many believe that the disappearance of charger ports, headphone ports, and other case openings on new iPhones is down to Apple’s need to conserve space.
What Are The Alternatives?
As WaitUntil8th states, there have been a number of alternatives to smartphones on the market over recent years, with most doubling down on the convenience aspect by making them wearable, like smartwatches or even smart glasses, although the actual capabilities would be no better.
One option being explored is the idea of devices using cloud computing as a primary system. The concept is that instead of the processing being done on the device itself, the processing is done remotely on full servers, and then streamed to the device. It would mean that storage and computing components could be removed while keeping the processing power. It was recently used in Google’s ill-fated Stadia project, however, the potential of the technology is still there for other purposes.
It is still an emerging technology with a lot of issues to iron out, but as things stand it represents the best way forward to keep smartphones as the cutting-edge devices they have been up until now.
Featured photo by Shiwa ID on Unsplash.