Smartphones are mobile personal computers, typically pocket-sized mobile, with so many features useful for handheld or mobile use. Smartphones come with the ability to make and receive both voice and video calls and can create text messages as well as receiving the text messages too. However, the smartphones are built with personal assistants, for examples: (Siri on iPhone phones, Cortana on Windows Mobile etc), a calendar events, different media players, different video games, a digital camera which you can use for taking pictures or digital video recording, and a navigational system, better known as global positioning system (GPS).
Smartphones typically come with a color display screen with a good graphic user interface, and their display is always a touchscreen, but sometimes, some of the smartphones such as Blackberries come with a touch-enabled keyboard that enables a user to type words or numbers. Smartphones also use or run a variety of applications which can be downloaded from different stores, like Google Play-Store on Android phones, and Apple App Store on iPhone phones. However, smartphones access their internet service through Wi-Fi or cellular network.
The smartphone first emerged in 1999 when a Japanese company released the first ever smartphone within the Japanese country, then it became widespread in the late 2000s. Many of the smartphones produced from 2012 onward have come with a high-speed broadband known as 4G LTE. In early 2013, the smartphone sales surpassed the sales figures of regular cell phones, and more than one billion smartphones were in use worldwide in 2015. Every smartphone has been built with a different type of operating systems, Symbian was the first operating system built on smartphones, then comes the like of iOS which was unveiled in 2007 by Apple company, and then later come an Android which is owned by Google, and Windows 10 owned by Microsoft company. All the aforementioned operating systems are said to be the most popular operating system use by the smartphones users as of recently.
Smartphones have had several impacts on the both western society and Muslim's society in general. And here I will list some of the typical things smartphones are used for:
Email: Amongst the greatest things that smartphones offer is that you can access or download your email at any time over either a cellular data connection or a Wi-Fi network. This means your email is available to you in your pocket at any time.
Global Positioning System is known as GPS: is said to be one of the most valuable functions that a smartphone offered, whether by driving or walking, your smartphone can efficiently help you locate wherever destination you want to go or find as possible. There is also a new GPS developed by Muslims, it helps you locate the nearest mosque, halal restaurants and Islamic landmark around you.
Web Surfing: is another core key feature of smartphones, whether you want to keep up to date with the things happening around the world, in a field like sports, breaking news, politics, business, or health-related stuff, know that smartphone let you surf the web in the palm of your hand. And there is so many other research you can do with a smartphone on the web.
Social network: Smartphones are so important these days due to the instant connectivity they provide, with a smartphone you can connect with people around the globe instantly. There are variety of apps like Facebook, Twitter (where people share real-time updates on the things happening around the world), Viber, Skype ( those are some apps that allow you to make international call by either a voice call or a video call over a cellular data or Wi-Fi, and it saves your money on your phone call allowance). And on top of this list, there is an app called Whatsapp, one of the most popular messaging apps which allow you to connect with family and friends all over the world and it works over the internet and it's very cheap.
Functionality: One of the biggest appeals of smartphones is their functionality, nowadays, there are so many fantastic things that smartphones offered. There is an app for almost anything these days. With smartphones, you can store important data like information, files etc. and you might want to do online banking, and almost every bank in the world has its own app for online banking. You can also use your smartphone to track your fitness, heart rate, and health. However, with apps like One Drive and iCloud, you can create and documents with others while on the go.
However, there are also some tremendous apps that help Muslim in different aspect of life, for examples, the app that wakes you up for fajr, an app for Ramadan which is built to highlights some key points on the virtues of Ramadan, including things that are lawful and forbidden during Ramadan, as well as description of how Prophet SAW took sahur and how he break his fast, and this enormous app comes in different languages including Arabic and English. And there is also an app that organizes prayer time and it teaches the w revert to Muslim how to make ablution and how to perform prayer. And also there are several applications that teach you Qur'an, for example, Muslim Pro app, the specified app is recognized by millions of Muslims, it features include the full Qur'an with Arabic script, with translation, and audio recitation from different scholars, and also Islamic calendar.
Additionally, from an educational perspective, we can use smartphones to organize an e-library, we can also use it consequently to access or download lectures from different scholars on YouTube at any time. However, there are also some apps that are built for solely educational purposes in order to have access to several virtual classes such as Coursera, and much more similar apps.
This study has explained the meaning and importance of smartphones in both western society and Muslims society respectively, as well as highlighted some of the impacts that smartphone have had in our society today.
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