Why You Need a Smartphone

Featured Article, Home & Family, Technology
on November 28, 2011

The smartphone continues to be extremely popular as consumers use their devices for the purposes of productivity, communication and entertainment. Given the rapid changes in the world of technology, it is difficult to predict how smartphone behavior will change in the future. However, for the moment, here are five common uses for the smartphone and reasons why, for many, these devices have become an essential part of everyday life.

Basic communication. Despite the variety of smartphone functions, people still use their devices for basic communication, including voice calls, texting, email and messenger applications that link with social networking sites. The smartphone has become the standard way to find and get in touch with people.

Where am I? The smartphone can be very useful as a navigation device. According to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, more than half of American smartphone owners use their device for some sort of location service. This includes navigating for directions and studying maps, as well as check-in sites that notify social networks as to the user's location.

Eating options. Smartphones can help users locate nearby restaurants. Not only will the smartphone give locations and contact information, but users can get access to restaurant reviews and comments from other consumers. In a competitive marketplace, companies are relying on high-tech word-of-mouth via the Internet — and hoping that a few bad reviews do not destroy their online profile.

Shopping and attractions. Companies are scrambling to keep up with the behavior of consumers who use their smartphones for a variety of e-commerce solutions. Not only can users find shopping options and entertainment locations, but they can also get coupons and discounts by interacting with company Web sites. This increases the mobility of saving money, and organizations will likely continue to target consumers who shop with their phones in hand.

The QR code. QR (quick response) codes are an increasingly popular way for organizations to provide consumers with data about products and services. The QR code is typically a square graphic that scans like a bar code. When the smartphone camera scans a QR code, a consumer may be sent directly to a Web site or have information added to the device. This is a way to avoid the hassle of hunting for information, as a QR code can speed up the process of connecting consumers with the data that they are seeking.