Century IT blog

Smart Phone a Smart Move?

July 10th, 2009

www worldwide webSmart Phone a Smart Move?

In this article we will discuss the details of the so called  Smart Phones available today, what they offer and how they offer it. There are a maze of different makes and models , various fruits and initialed manufactures all peddling their new phones as a smart phone.


Of course the first what is a Smart Phone? Well the answer to that is there is not a standard definition, and no standards have been agreed between phone manufacturers. It is generally accepted that a smart phone is a unit that has an built in Operating System that provides access to e-mail, scheduling, Internet and perhaps a e-reader facility, as well as make standard calls and send text of course. Many manufacturers include far more than these ‘standard’ features, such as music and video play back, they can also support third party applications further extending the functionality. So a modern Smart phone is really a mini computer capable of much of the functionality of your laptop or PC.


We have mentioned the words modern, and latest but when did the smart phone revolution start? The answer, surprisingly is 1992 when IBM co-developed a product that had all the above basic features defining it as a Smart Pone, and it also included a touch screen which enabled the display to also be used to control the device and input text. This was the start of the Smart Phone’s development and they have  gone from strength to strength now with all the big manufacturers of mobile phones now offering them; Nokia, Blackberry, HTC, Apple. These companies are adding more and more features to lure customers into buying their products, but the basic features at define them as a Smart Phone thare still there.


Operating Systems or OS’s are the software brain of a Smart Phone, and just like Windows or Linux on office computers, the OS creates the user experience and enables the hardware to provide the features in the phone to the user. The main OS’s that run on the Smart Phones of today are; Symbian OS (47.1% of market share), RIM Blackberry (19.5%), Windows Mobile (12.4%), iPhone OS (10.4%), and Linux (8.4%).


These OS’s are a mixed bag to say the least some like RIM and iPhone OS are written by the hardware manufacturer, while others like Symbian, Windows Mobile and Linux are written by Operating System Vendors and licenced to the hardware manufacturers. These hardware manufactures also change core part of the OS to work well with their particular hardware, a mixed bag indeed.


Communications are king and today’s smart phones use a plethora of technologies to handle information; at last count the author’s Smart Phone supports and communicates using 19 different broadcast standards!


Selecting a Smart Phone that will work for you  – ah now we get on to a thorny subject, apart from the OS and Phone hardware to consider you have to be careful to select a phone with the correct tariff and the correct mobile network operator to ensure that the functions that the Smart Phone offers is backed up by the network operator. Things to look out for in the specifications are battery life, simple use and a keyboard that suits your needs. Some phones have a slide out keyboard, others have a full keyboard as well as the screen, and still others only have a touch screen keyboard. Also native compatibility with Microsoft Exchange is essential if you would like to use it in a Small Business Server environment. This means that the phone will work in a similar manner to Microsoft Outlook on your work computer. Some smart phones are easier to use than others.


Is a smart phone a smart move? – back to our original question then, we know that a smart phone can help you keep in touch with e-mail, dates, roaming Internet access as well a phone calls and texts. The beauty of the smart phone is that some of them can integrate into existing Small Business computer systems without too much effort. If a small business has Windows 2003 Small Business Server configured to send and receive email to users desk bound computers and has a permanent connection to the Internet then they have all the systems in place already to be able to use the functionality of a smart phone.


If you are interested in obtaining a Smart Phone to help you keep in constant communications with your office, then please feel free to contact Century IT Services HERE



Century IT Services – Getting IT Right
Providing Computer Support & Network Support to businesses in Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey, Wiltshire, Sussex & Berkshire