Our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves. We use them to communicate with others, search for things online, and save important moments by taking photos and videos. We practically spend several hours each day using them—always making sure to have them within our reach.
It’s mind-blowing to think that a lot of us regard smartphones as essential, everyday items. However, looking back at how technology improved over time and how people’s lifestyles evolved during the past decade, it’s easy to see why. Back then, smartphones were mainly used to make and receive calls, messages, and emails. Within the past 10 years, however, many great strides were made to further enhance a smartphone’s functionality to match our current living environment. Here are 10 ways smartphones have changed our lives in the past decade:
- Mobile Banking
Even though you can physically go to the bank to make transactions, mobile banking through your smartphone makes things significantly easier and more convenient. With mobile banking, you can use your smartphone to transfer funds, check your balance, and even open a new account. Many of the Philippines’ biggest financial institutions have even developed mobile apps that cater to their customer’s banking experience. Robinsons Bank, for example, has RBank Digital. With this app, users can not only transfer funds online, they can also pay their bills and locate the nearest Robinsons Bank branch or ATM with utmost convenience.
The great thing about mobile banking is that you no longer have to wait in line to finish your banking errands. You also get to bank anytime, anywhere since mobile banking apps are available to use 24/7. Just make sure that you have a reliable internet connection.
- Online Shopping
The mall is the ultimate pasyalan, especially if you live in Metro Manila. It is, after all, a great place to shop and do a whole lot of other things besides. But not everyone has the time or energy to go to the mall these days to buy the things they need. That’s why online shopping has become a convenient way for people to find and purchase many things, from toys and apparel to gadgets and household essentials.
By downloading e-commerce apps like Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora onto your smartphone, you can easily shop for groceries, clothes, and other merchandise from the comfort of your home. Moreover, many e-commerce stores carry items that you wouldn’t find in bring-and-mortar establishments, giving you a whole world of other options.. It’s very easy to register your credit card or debit card to many online shopping platforms, too, making cashless online payments a breeze.
One of the downsides of online shopping, however, is that you typically don’t get your items on the same day you order them. Nevertheless, you can keep an eye on your orders with the help of the apps’ order tracking system.
Thanks to the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, you can download a plethora of smartphone apps that can keep you entertained for hours. You’ll gain access to millions of apps, many of which are free.
It can get overwhelming scrolling through the program just to find the perfect apps for your smartphone. Fortunately, the App Store and Play Store are easy navigate. Not only have they organized their apps in categories, but they also allow you to search exactly for what you want via the search bar. Because of this, you can download mobile games, audio streaming apps like Spotify and Apple Music, video streaming apps like YouTube and Twitch, and over-the-top content platforms like Netflix and iFlix in seconds.
Whether you’re visiting a foreign country or driving on an unfamiliar street, it’s easier to find your way around with a smartphone. Powered by the Global Positioning System, smartphones can be used to access built-in and downloadable web mapping services that show you how to get from point A to B, in addition to providing you 360-degree views of many locations. Your smartphone’s map app also gives you real-time updates on traffic conditions so you can choose the optimum route to get to your destination on time. Moreover, certain maps allow you to route plan when traveling by foot, car, or public transport, giving you detailed instructions on how to get to your destination, in addition to providing you an estimate of the travel time.
You can also download a navigation app that’s specific to the city, country, or recreational area you’re in. Some even allow you to download the map, so you can access it offline. Thanks to their advanced navigation features, you don’t have to bring a paper map with you when going around town.
- Travel and Vacation
Planning for a local or international trip is made easier when you use your smartphone. With your device, you can book a hotel room or make a table reservation by visiting the establishment’s website or using a booking app. You can even get ideas on how you want to spend your vacation. With a simple search, you’ll get a list of the area’s must-see destinations, must-eat foods, and must-try experiences.
Apart from making your travels are more convenient, your smartphone can also make your trips more enjoyable. Social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provide you with several multimedia features that allow you to enhance, edit, and even personalize your photos and videos. They even let you share your experiences with the world, so you can show your loved ones what a good time you’re having during your vacation.
With the rise in use of telehealth services, smartphones can also be a beneficial asset to your health. Medical apps that are connected to your health care provider, for example, make it easier for you to find out an accredited doctor’s schedule and book an appointment remotely. A number of medical apps even allow you to file requests for labs and diagnostics, as well as register your dependents.
Some of your smartphone’s built-in systems can also help improve your health. Using your device’s video call feature, for example, you can get in touch with your doctor and talk about or show your symptoms before going to the clinic. or hospital.
Your smartphone can also be used in conjunction with a smartwatch or relevant applications to monitor certain aspects of your lifestyle that can directly influence your health. These include your levels of physical activity as well as your daily diet.
It can be difficult to imagine that your smartphone is capable of improving your self-care practices. After all, constantly being pinged by messages and notifications can probably give you a headache. However, since you have access to a variety of health and lifestyle apps, you can also download software that can help you improve and look after your mental and physical health.
You can get yoga and meditation apps that can show you how to take advantage of such practices every day. If you have a PDF or EPUB reader, you can also download a variety of self-help books and magazines, and read up on how to take care of yourself better. You can even get smart life journal apps to help you keep an eye on your medication and dietary needs.
Depending on what you’re downloading and how you’re using your smartphone, your device can greatly improve your well-being.
- Smart Home Control
As smart home appliances, utilities, and devices are becoming more available, the number of ways you can use your smartphone increases. This is because you can connect your smartphone with your smart household equipment, allowing you to control them remotely.
Having smart control also enables you to easily customize your appliances and devices to match your lifestyle and preferences. For example, you can set a timer for your outdoor lights so you don’t have to go outside to turn them on at night. Another example would be the ability to monitor your appliance’s performance. This way, you can make the necessary adjustments to items like your air conditioner or refrigerator to make them more energy efficient.
You can still call, text, and email your loved ones with your smartphone. However, in the past decade, a lot of technological advancements have been made, so you can do so much more in terms of communication.
Today, you can host video conference calls for large groups of people at any moment. It’s hard to fathom how 10 years ago, video calls were nearly non-existent.
With the power of internet telephony, you can now also do voice calls over a whole host of platforms—all without relying on traditional telephone networks. From Facebook Messenger, Viber, and Whatsapp to KakaoTalk, WeChat, Zoom, and Skype, all of these solutions provide you with a way to hear your friends and family over the phone without you having to actually go through the conventional telephone ecosystem.
On top of all these, smartphones can also host a whole universe of other multimedia communication sessions. Whether it’s being able to send tweets over Twitter or posting videos on Tiktok for everyone to see, the way we communicate will never be the same again, thanks to the smartphone.
- Seeking and AcquiringInformation
One of the biggest things smartphones have changed is the way we search for and get a hand on information. With your handheld device, you can gain instant access to unlimited knowledge anywhere you go. It’s all thanks to the Internet, the ultimate repository of humankind’s collective knowledge. Smartphones are also made to be user-friendly. Thanks to this, students, working adults, and older adults alike can get on the internet without a problem.
Over the past decade, technology has gotten better and our lifestyles have changed. During this time period, our smartphones have also been fashioned to support our more modern lifestyles. Today, smartphones allow you to do so much more than making and receiving calls, texts, and emails. It’s that one device that connects us to the world—and the world to us.