Smartphones: your new Swiss Army Knife

Smartphones: your new Swiss Army Knife

It’s more than likely that right now you’re reading this story from a smartphone. How do I know? I’m a little psychic.

Ok, maybe I’m joking about being psychic, but these days, what can’t one do with their phone? Need to capture your friend’s most embarrassing moment on camera? There’s an app for that. Need something to track down that song you keep hearing and the name keeps escaping you? There’s an app for that. Need to play a game and pass the time while shopping with your girlfriend? There are a lot of apps for that.

Yes, the modern day smartphones are the new Swiss Army Knives it would seem. They can do almost anything and be almost anything. We use them as personal assistants, notepads and cameras to name a few.

“I use it all the time to take pictures because I already have it on me,” said Brigham Young University senior Michelle Dastrup. “I’m not sure if it takes better pictures than my camera, but they’re still really good quality and I can edit them instantly and upload them to Facebook or other social media sites.”.

It’s more than just the iPhone 4s too (though that seems to be a favorite of many college students). According to a recent USA TODAY story, the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S II, Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC Titan II are all frontrunners for phones that can replace your camera. The pictures may not always be as high of quality as a regular camera, but many students say a phone with a camera is just more convenient than a camera.

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“I always have my phone on me, so it’s just a lot more convenient to take photos with it,” said Marty Twelves who is a senior interning at the New York Daily News. “With my camera, I have to remember to bring it with me and then turn it on, and by then the moment may be gone. My phone’s always on, so it only takes a second to switch over to the camera app.”.

Since the ability to take photos and do almost anything else on a smartphone is opening up, it is replacing other forms of technology like wildfire and many consumers are starting to take note.

“It’s replaced a lot of what I do on my laptop…Email, browsing for information, social networks,” said Twelves. “The only time I really use my laptop these days is for more extensive stuff, like typing papers or designing stuff in InDesign.”.

Smartphones are changing everything. In fact, they’re changing even the smallest details within consumers’ lives that maybe they don’t think about.

This week, try keeping a list of all the things that you or other consumers do with their smartphones. You will have some jaw-dropping surprises.

For example, remember how you used to need a little note card from your doctor’s office reminding you of your next appointment? No, need. There’s a calendar and reminder app for that. Need to phone ahead and order pizza? No need to call, there’s an app for that. These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg.

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This topic may seem “so thirty seconds ago” to you, but take a minute and think about where you would be without your smartphone. You might boast that you could live without it, but when you really sit down to think about it, phone companies have got consumers hooked and there is no way to deny that. So just enjoy your smartphone and don’t.

“I’ve actually said countless times that I have no idea how I lived without my smartphone,” said Dastrup. “I really would have a hard time adjusting if I had to live without it now.”.

Katie Mussmann is a Spring 2012 USA TODAY Collegiate Correspondent. Learn more about her here.

This story originally appeared on the USA TODAY College blog, a news source produced for college students by student journalists. The blog closed in September of 2017.