The Leapfrog Era - Mobile Devices

In the Jurassic Park-era of mobile device evolution, technology transforms faster than a cell-splitting amoeba. As we've witnessed the communications technology re-shape our world and dramatically alter our lives, it makes sense to review its history and anticipate its future. Back in 1984, our communication technology leap-leapfrogged with an amazing breakthrough. That year saw the birth of the mobile phone.

Weighing in at a hefty 2 pounds, the precursor to today's smart phone had a battery life of thirty minutes and a $4,000 price tag. The only folks who could afford the device consisted primarily of drug dealers and time share salesman. Those among us with thinner wallets were happy to possess more affordable beepers at a time when phone booths were ubiquitous. The next evolutionary cycle saw the mobile phone continue to downsize to a point that permitted us to carry it in sheaths strapped to our belts. By 1997 the bulky antennas disappeared like prehensile tails. By 1999 the cell phones became compact enough to fit into our shirt pockets. The black and gray surfaced phones were replaced by vibrant colors and jazzy marketing campaigns.

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As Valuable As Gold - Mobile OS

If you are like most of us, you've recently attempted to ascertain the latest advances in smart phone technology that is now available to us. Today's operating systems have evolved into capabilities that were never even imagined only a few years ago. Not only does each OS offer an array of choices, but each of the phones and tablets they enable vastly compound your options exponentially. So where does one start? The obvious answer is with the operating systems. Once an OS is selected, the distinction between mobile devices can be more easily determined.

Operating systems come in many flavors these days. The main players are iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry. Each of these systems have their own unique functionality and applications. Here is where you begin the mind numbing process of differentiating among the systems and their associated hardware. Essentially, each operating platform enjoys its own particular strengths and endures its own weaknesses. For example, iOS's strengths are inherent in being a part of the Apple infrastructure. That privilege assures that you are blessed with a gargantuan assortment of apps from which to choose. Apps have become so integrated into the smart phone platform, that they have become a major factor in the OS selection.

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Facebook Mobile Takes Over

In a history making moment for Facebook, the Redmond, WA-based company has reported that, for the first time, the number of users employing mobile devices has exceeded the number of web users. According to Facebook, of the 1.06 billion active users globally, 618 million of them are daily visitors. Of those, 157 million are visiting via mobile devices.

The increase in Facebook mobile users reflects the company's aggressive campaign to capture more mobile users within the social network spectrum. Facebook has put great emphasis on new apps and other features that attract smart phone and other mobile device users. As the largest social network on the planet, Facebook is is the most used mobile app platform encompassing iOS and Android devices in the U.S. according to numbers recently reported by ComScore.

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Getting More Mobile-Friendly - iOS 6.1

Looks like Apple finally gets it right. After five beta test versions, Apple has let loose its iOS 6.1 update. The update will render more support for LTE networks along with mobile-friendly services such as Siri, the movie ticket buying service. The iOS 6.1 was released via over-the-air as well as by a download through iTunes. The first update since September 2012. The release addresses some minor bug fixes as well as some additional features.

The biggest feature comes in greater support for 4G LTE support for carriers and the ability to conduct transactions such as movie ticket purchases from Fandango following a search for movie times and locations on Siri. Apple also did an about face on allowing iTune Match subscribers to access individual songs from iCloud, a feature that was removed in the previous update.

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Back In the Race - Blackberry Z10

RIM has finally set a date for the much anticipated unveiling of its new Blackberry Z10 OS smart phone on Jan 30. However, influential organization such as the German site Telekcom Presse were given a sneak peak prior to the scheduled launch. In Telekcom's early review, the Blackberry 10 was compared to Apple's flagship, the iPhone 5 for issues such as looks, functionality, special features and processing speeds.

A visual inspection of the 10Z reveals a strong similarity in looks to the iPhone 5. RIM's new smart phone is unlocked by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. The screen responds by dissolving seamlessly into the home screen. By swiping horizontally across the screen, the device goes to the app pages. By tapping the the scroll bar located at the bottom of the screen, you can navigate through pages of apps.

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