Considered a killer app, a smart phone is a cell phone that's integrated with a data device, containing the features of a PDA and more. Think BlackBerry, think iPhone. Smart phones, which are mobile phones that act like minicomputers, can access the Web and email and a bunch of other technology features including thousands of apps. But beware of smartphone face!
Historical perspective: In a watershed moment in the history of computing, global shipments of
smart phones exceeded those of PCs for the first time in the fourth
quarter of 2010. As of 2011, 83% of people own a cell phone, and more than 50% use a smart phone to access the Internet. And, during 2011-2012, tech companies in the smart phone industry alone have spent as much as $20 billion on patent litigation and patent purchases—a sum equivalent to eight Mars rover missions. In 2011, for the first time, Apple and Google each spent more on patent lawsuits and purchases than on developing new products.
In 2014, a study came out that concluded adults distracted by their smartphones do a lousy job of caring for their kids. That’s the worrisome conclusion of a study based on detailed anthropological observations of 55 sets of caregivers and children while they were dining out. The findings paint a sobering picture of the inattention—and more often, the harshness—kids suffer when adults are engrossed in their phones. Forty of the caregivers observed used their smartphones during the meal; the most-absorbed texters and swipers rarely looked up to check on their kids, while those who used phones only to receive calls typically were engaged with their charges. Many of the ignored children responded by acting out in an attention-seeking way—enraging the distracted adults. “What stood out was that in a subset of caregivers using the device almost through the entire meal, how negative their interactions could become with the kids,” Boston University pediatrician Jenny Radesky tells Time.com. Adults in this group answered kids in curt tones, yelled, and even kicked them under the table.