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History and Evolution of Mobile Computing

The main idea of Mobile computing was evolving since the 1990s. It has evolved from two-way radios to modern day communication devices.

Devices used in Mobile Computing

Following is the list of most common forms of devices used in mobile computing:

1. Portable Computers

A portable computer is a computer that is designed in a way that you can move it from one place to another. It includes a display and a keyboard. Generally, portable computers are microcomputers.

Compaq Portable and Contemporary portable computer with 3 LCD screens were the early examples of portable computers. Now, portable computers are discontinued.

History and Evolution of Mobile Computing

2. Personal Digital Assistant/Enterprise Digital Assistant (PDA or EDA)

A Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) is also known as a palmtop computer. Sometimes, it is also called Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA). A personal Digital Assistant (PDA) is a mobile device used to function as a personal information manager or a personal data assistant. Its name, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), was evolved from Personal Desktop Assistant, a software term for an application that prompts or prods the user of a computer with suggestions or provides a quick reference to contacts and other lists.

Apple Newton and UPOP PDA were the early examples of Personal Digital Assistant. Now, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDAs) are also discontinued.

History and Evolution of Mobile Computing

3. Ultra-Mobile PC

An ultra-mobile PC was a small form factor version of a pen computer. It was a class of laptops whose specifications were launched by Microsoft and Intel in 2006.

Samsung q1 ultra-premium was the early example of an ultra-mobile PC. Now, ultra-mobile PCs are also discontinued.

History and Evolution of Mobile Computing

4. Laptop

A laptop is a small, portable personal computer (PC) built in a foldable device. The folding structure of a laptop is called a clamshell form factor. The flip or clamshell is a form factor of a mobile phone or other devices that include two or more folded sections via a hinge. A laptop typically has a thin LCD or LED computer screen mounted on the inside of the clamshell's upper lid and an alphanumeric keyboard on the inside of the lower lid. Laptops are easy to carry for transportation, and that's why they are best suitable for mobile use.

Osborne 1 was the first laptop in the world. See the below picture.

History and Evolution of Mobile Computing

You can now find the latest versions of laptops are so thin and efficient for any scientific work.

5. Smartphone

A smartphone is a mobile device that combines cellular and mobile computing functions into one unit. The smartphones are invented to provide more advanced computing capability and connectivity than basic feature phones.

Smartphones are different from basic feature phones by their more robust hardware capabilities and extensive mobile operating systems, which facilitate more comprehensive software, internet i.e., web browsing over mobile broadband, and multimedia functionality i.e., music, video, cameras, and gaming etc., along with the core phone functions such as voice calls and text messaging.

IBM Simon Personal Communicator thought to be the first smartphone in the world. Below is the image of IBM Simon Personal Communicator.

History and Evolution of Mobile Computing

Early smartphones were invented and marketed as attempting to bridge the functionality of standalone personal digital assistant (PDA) devices with support for cellular telephony but were limited by their bulky form, short battery life, slow, analog cellular networks, and the immaturity of wireless data services. But now, smartphones have the latest features of computers, more than one camera, advanced OS, bigger RAM and ROM. Now, they are also built with some artificial intelligence features such as unlock using facial recognition or fingerprint scanners, waterproof with IP67 and IP68 ratings and many other endless features.

Examples of new generation smartphone:

History and Evolution of Mobile Computing

6. Tablet Computers

A tablet computer is generally known as a tablet. It is a mobile computer with a mobile operating system and a touch-screen display processing circuit, and a rechargeable battery in a single, thin and flat unit. Tablets can do what other personal computers can do, but they don't have some input/output (I/O) abilities that computers have. Nowadays, tablets are very much similar to modern smartphones. The only difference is that tablets are relatively larger than smartphones, with screens 7 inches or larger and may not support a cellular network.

First-generation Ipads and Sony Z2 Android were the early examples of tablets.

History and Evolution of Mobile Computing

7. Wearable computers

Wearable computers are a type of computer that can be worn by the bearer under, with or on top of clothing. They are also known as body-borne computers or wearables, which are small electronic devices. Some examples of wearable computers are smartwatches, digital fitness bands etc.

History and Evolution of Mobile Computing

8. E-reader

An e-reader is also called an e-book reader or e-book device. It is a mobile electronic device that is mainly designed to read digital e-books. A right e-reader provides great portability, readability, and battery life. The main advantages of e-readers over printed books are portability. A average e-reader can hold thousands of books while weighing less than one book. The best example of an E-reader is a Kindle.

History and Evolution of Mobile Computing

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