What is a Smartphone? What is a Tablet?
By: Michael Donalson – County Extension Agent
In today’s modern society we hear about “Smartphones” and “Tablets” that seem to be common in our lives. However, there are some of us who have heard the terms but never quite understood what they are and why do we “need” them? In this effort to bring technology to the forefront of Agriculture in Refugio County I thought I would start by defining what these are.
A smartphone is defined by pcmag.com as a cellular telephone with built-in applications and Internet access. In addition to digital voice service, modern smartphones provide text messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, still and video cameras, MP3 player and video playback and calling. In addition to their built-in functions, smartphones run myriad free and paid applications, turning the once single-minded cellphone into a mobile personal computer. Some examples of these are the iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and more. So what is a “tablet”? Well, the simple answer is a larger “smartphone” without the phone. Some examples include the iPad, iPad Mini, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
So what’s the point and why do we need a phone that’s more than a phone or a larger “smartphone” without the phone? The answer is what they can do. These devices can download “apps” which is short for Applications. These are similar to software you might have on your desktop or laptop computer. However, these are much handier and cheaper in most cases.
The ability to have tools at your fingertips or that fit in your pocket is what makes this technology extremely useful to Agricultural Producers. With a click of a button we can now receive real time information in the field or use apps to help us calculate tank mixes for our sprayers. There are several apps for free or very cheap, that can help us keep up with the fast pace world and increase profitability. Apps will be discussed in more detail in future articles and at workshops later this year.
The point is that we should explore this opportunity of technology, just as our ancestors explored and implemented the plow and the tractor.