It might be exceedingly difficult to convince a story or rather a history that spans multitudes of the kids into a few lines but we have created for you, the unthinkable! Here, we present to you, a brief history of mobile phones and mobile applications.
The First Mobile
Even after the invention of telephones, wireless conversations would have been a thing of science fiction even for people who witnessed the progress in the field of telegraphy and the radio communication. However, this notion of wireless personalized communication being a thing of fiction did not last for long – three years before centenary of the invention of the telephone, Martin Cooper made a call to Dr Joel S Engel. It was yet another conversation. The only difference was that Martin Cooper used an instrument that waits a little over a kilo and this conversation in history was going to redefine the way human beings communicated! The first mobile phone call and conversation was done in April 1973!
The utility of mobile phones was confined to… Well… The utility! They were designed to help humans communicate through conversation from wherever they were. It was true that there were infrastructure challenges but people and scientists were only bent on addressing these infrastructure challenges that deterred scaling.
The First Smartphone
It took a little less than a couple of decades since the first mobile phone for another technology giant to think about expanding the portfolio of utilities a mobile device offered. They introduced a device funnily named Simon. This Device could make calls, and in addition to that, it had its own email and paging system, and a dedicated calendar. In essence, the IBM Simon was the first smartphone ever to be built!
Just like how Neil Armstrong would say, it might be one small technology advancement for man but it was a massive leap for mankind. People had started to reimagine and rethink the world of possibilities that could fit into the palm of their hand. People had started to rethink the access to information that they now had in their pockets. This information meant that they could do their research even when they were moving!
Blackberry – scaling up smart phones
Picking up from where the last paragraph was left, a Canadian company called Research in Motion (RIM) developed a smart device that would later become the gold standard of smartphones – the Blackberry.
It had its own dedicated instant messaging platform and flaunting your BBM pin was considered a manager’s privilege! It redefined business phones and the features of this smartphone would lay the foundation for all the other smartphones that would be developed – dedicated email client, productivity applications, and keyboard that does not count on numbers but has the usual typewriter layout – albeit with smaller keys.
The Nokia interregnum
Between all these revolutions, there was one child who was making the silent yet extremely progressive strides capitalizing on the innovations of others. It was Nokia, a Finnish smartphone manufacturer. Nokia might not have redefined anything with respect to the software or the user experience side of things but they did redefine hardware for phones. The Nokia 3310 that they created is the first Mobile phone without an external antenna and even today, it is praised for its indestructible nature. The Nokia 1100 sold more than 50 million units across the globe making it the most sold electronic device ever – a record that would be quite difficult to surpass.
Even when it comes to the smartphone realm, Nokia had quite some command with the N series at the E series of devices. However, their absence of grip on software meant that the Symbian 60 that they used for their smartphones was slowly becoming outdated. They also lost their supremacy to one of the most unexpected entries into the field of smartphones.
The ‘I’ revolution
Apple had always been associated with sleek computers and audio players. Never heard anyone have thought about Apple introducing a smartphone in the early 2000s, leave alone 90s. Suddenly, one fine day, Steve Jobs, donning his trademark turtle neck, comes out and introduces the iPhone.
The introduction of this device changed the way people looked at and the things that people expected out of mobile devices.
Android’s parallel entry
It had introduced a lot of new things to the world of mobiles like an extremely sensitive touch screen, gyro sensor, and multi touch. From this point on, there was no stopping mobile phones, mobile devices and mobile manufacturers. The entry of the iPhone had prompted Google to create its own open source mobile operating system – Android, and it would go on to win games in terms of numbers and innovation although Apple kept its class and security emphasis intact.
Obscure smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Huawei, and HTC started to gain prominence because of android. It also gives rise to a new wave of smartphone manufacturers like OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo & Micromax.
Thinking mobile apps
Applications can only run on standard operating systems and in the early 90s, PDAs where is the first handheld devices to have their own operating system and their own recognizable applications. These devices had a RAM capacity of 2MB. The Palm OS was introduced in the year 1996, and it was exclusively for use in Palm devices. It came with a touchscreen GUI and had a lot of third-party applications programmed in C, C++ and in wireless application protocol (WAP).
Slowly, HTML started to create its own mark up for low bandwidth mobile devices and it was designed to consume static content. Then came Java which is considered to be one of the largest innovations in the field of mobile apps.
Symbian could accommodate mobile applications but they were designed for specific screen sizes and screen orientation. This meant that apps that could look visually appealing on portrait screens did not appear coherent on landscape screens. Nokia later introduced the OVI Store and it served as an exclusive App Store for Symbian. However, with the demise of Symbian and all the associated devices, and with Nokia moving to Windows operating system, these apps began to disappear.
We do not have to talk a lot about Android and iOS. There are a lot of mobile app development companies all across the globe, both big and small, that are revolutionising processes with their novel mobile applications. Today, it is such that any idea that can be condensed into a process can be made into a mobile app – so much that there are applications where you can find your perfect date!
If at all history has taught us anything, it is just that history repeats. If you have to make sure that you are ready for the future, you will need to know a bit of history, and it holds good for the world of mobile and mobile applications as well.
Mobile app development companies should take note of how the landscape of mobiles and mobile applications changed along with the requirements of the users, so they can create perfect mobile apps time after time!