Smartphones: dealing with information in realtime

blackberryby rwkvisual

Pew: Half of US customers use phones to get info in realtime
[Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)]

Have you ever been out and about with your cell phone, needed some information, and looked it up right there on the spot? You’re not alone: The Pew Internet Research Project has released a report that says more than half of US cell phone owners have used their devices to get information they needed in real-time, right where they happen to be. That’s a huge change in the way we used to deal with information — remember when you had to print out maps or call ahead before you went somewhere, or just forget what the name of that ’80s movie actually was? Nowadays, connected phones are so ubiquitous that all of that information is literally and conveniently a touch away.

In fact, I’m surprised that number isn’t higher. And looking up information isn’t the only thing smartphone owners do with their phones: 92 percent text and take pictures, 80 percent send photos to others, and 76 percent send emails. Social networking in general is popular as well, with 59 percent of owners using those sites, and 15 percent going to Twitter specifically.

We’ve heard before that people are actively doing these kinds of things with their smartphones, but the trend is definitely continuing.

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Science fiction stories used to have people walking around with hand held computers and access to Galactic libraries. Well, we have that right now. No need to print out stuff before hand, just access it when you need it. Having an argument about who one the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1962? Use the smartphone.

Want to know where the nearest hamburger can be bought? Use the smartphone. Traffic backed up and need an alternate route? Use the smartphone.

And just what would smart phones look and act like if Apple had not introduced the iPhone? Here is what Android did look like before Apple. Then they were copying RIM/Blackberry.

That would have been the future for every smartphone — a hard keyboard and small screen. Bulky form factor and push buttons. Not very easy to use at all and very expensive.

Apple put supercomputers in the hands of billions. Google and the others would only have put a smarter phone in the hands of thousands.

That is why Apple has the value it does. And Google has the value it does.