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Have mobile phones lost their original purpose?

There was a time not so long ago when mobile phones were predominantly used for making calls and sending texts with a few novelty features such as basic games added on. Meanwhile, huge home monitors and 17-inch laptop screens were considered normal and followed a trend that bigger meant better. Even when the iPhone was launched, many dismissed the impact it would have on our use of technology.

Today, however, many people do most of their browsing, computing, communicating and gaming on smaller mobile devices. And many more consume TV and movies on screens that can be held in their hands. Does this mean that mobile phones have lost their original purpose? And what does this mean for the future of home computers?

Converging paths

When the first smartphones appeared, it seemed unlikely that these handheld gadgets would ever offer any serious competition to traditional hardware such as PCs, laptops, cameras and gaming devices. But these different paths soon started to converge and have now crossed to the point where our handheld gadgets are now seen by many as their primary device for multiple uses.

Daily communication

Now, mobile phones and tablets are used by most people throughout the day to perform the majority of internet-based activity, while larger PCs are used less frequently and for a more limited range of tasks – often work or design-based – or for serious gaming. Our mobiles connect us through social media, emails and work-space apps that allow us to manage teams via mobile devices. We still make phone calls occasionally but communication via apps such as Whatsapp is now much more common.

Mobile gaming boom

When it comes to everyday gaming, the power and performance of mobile devices are sufficient to offer a gaming experience that appeals to a large market. In particular, mobile casino apps can now offer the same features and functionality previously only achievable on a desktop device including offering the same sign-up offers and bonuses. Players can use sites such as Bonus Finder to find free spins and the best promotional offers in their region and claim them by opening a new account on any device. In addition, social games and popular titles such as Fortnite have taken mobile gaming to a level only previously available on a console or PC.

The silver screen in miniature

Improved screen images and sound quality combined with 4G and 5G networks have made it easier to watch videos on handheld devices meaning users can now catch up with their favourite TV series and movies on the go. Many young people have given up their TVs in favour of smaller screens that can be used anywhere. And many more use their phones as their main camera or video recorder.

A hub for life

The arrival of the iPhone and the introduction of apps across all formats meant that thousands of tasks could now be carried out from the palm of the hand and this trend is set to continue. From managing our day-to-day lives and communicating to shopping and entertaining ourselves, our mobile devices have become hubs for life, a concept that still seemed fanciful only just a few years ago. The original purpose of our mobile devices: to make phone calls, is still there but now accounts for just a small fraction of what our mobile phones are used for.