13 Technologies Dying Out Because of Smartphone Innovations

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Jul 23, 2014.

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  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    We thought it would be fun to put together a list of older technologies that are becoming obsolete thanks to smartphone innovations over the last few years. While many of these technologies are still in use in limited ways, most of them are either dying out or are already in the grave.

    It's possible that a few of these will always find some obscure/secondary reason to exist, but many of them will eventually go the way of the "Do-Do Bird." Here's the quick breakdown in no particular order:
    • GPS Units - other than the ones that come in cars nowadays, who uses a portable GPS unit anymore. Google Maps on an Android is simply superior. It's possible that an old-school GPS unit might work better for folks going to remote areas, but that will not last forever.
    • Standard Point and Shoot Cameras - to be clear, we are not referring to high-end DSLR style professional cameras, simply the old school travelers/tourist camera. Who needs these when smartphone cameras are inching ever closer to DSLR quality?
    • Standard Camcorders - Obviously this is just like the example above. Higher-end products for specific applications might require an actual camcorder, but the days of tourists using bulky equipment is numbered. When smartphones can record video that is HD and above, why be encumbered?
    • MP3 Players - Some people still swear by their Zune or iPod, but as time progresses, this is another technology that makes little sense when your smartphone can handle it all.
    • Flashlights - this one really only applies for emergency situations. It is highly unlikely that traditional flashlights will be completely replaced by a smartphone. There are simply situations when the old school tech will be superior.
    • Voice Recorders - It's ultra rare to see anyone with the old school tape or digital voice recorder anymore, unless they are simply clinging to old stuff.
    • Calculators - this one is pretty obvious, except in the case of needing a scientific calculator for school or... scientific stuff!
    • Remote Controls - apps which turn your smartphone into a remote control are plentiful now, although for the most part we haven't seen a wide-spread adoption just yet. However, it's entirely possible that future devices will simply include an app to upload to your smartphone instead of a physical remote.
    • Wristwatches - this one is funny, because the smart-device industry is trying to "revive" it by creating smartwatches. Still, most folks left their old wristwatches in a drawer after getting a smartphone.
    • Alarm Clocks - this makes a great deal of sense. Who needs the old school alarm clock when your smartphone can handle that duty for you. Many of us might still have the traditional alarm clock, but how long before those vanish forever too?
    • Radio - this one is very debatable, because not all smartphones come with radios. Of course, that could change over time.
    • Car Disk Players/Head Units - Does anyone use these anymore? They come in cars still, but mostly collect dust.
    • Compass - If you were deep in remote areas, the old-school physical compass would still be the way to go, since it doesn't require battery power to work. Eventually battery tech will likely evolve enough to make these devices obsolete too though.
    Of course, there might be devices we missed, and some of these are definitely arguable. Sound off with your perspective below!
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  2. xeene
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    xeene Silver Member

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    Wrist watches shouldn't be there.
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  3. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    Telephones should be on that list. I don't know many people who have home phones anymore. Maybe it's just me? I haven't had a land line in years!
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  4. LoneWolfArcher
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    LoneWolfArcher Senior Member

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    I know you qualified these, but I would have left Compass, Flashlights, and Remote Controls off for now, and made it a list of 10 things. I will never give up the first two, and the smartphone as a remote idea just isn't practical. Its so much faster to have a universal remote dedicated to it. Maybe those three could have been honorable mention.

    For personal preference, I still use an alarm clock, and wear a wrist watch. I am so looking forward to the Moto 360.

    Also, you could have included home phones on your list, though that was more of a cellphone thing (ditching the home phone) than a true smartphone thing. (And as you can probably guess by now I still have a home phone!)
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  5. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Silver Member

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    my harmony remote will never be replaced be my phone. i think the tactile buttons are needed unless you want to look at your phone every time you want to press a button. plus battery life. kill your phones battery or don't have a phone with a charge because you're a channel surfer.

    also phones may be inching closer to DSLR quality but they are still several miles away. they may be able to integrate a few features, all of which are software based instead of hardware based, but when talking about quality...not even close.
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  6. LoneWolfArcher
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    LoneWolfArcher Senior Member

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    DG clearly said standard point and shoot cameras.
  7. Mustang02
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    Mustang02 Senior Member

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    For me, I'd take off Compass, Remote control and Flashlight. Nothing will replace my maglite/Fenix. I have an older TV so using an app is out. When I need a compass, cell network is usually not present as well.
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  8. PereDroid
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    PereDroid Senior Member

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    Not to mention afaik only Sammy supports IR for remotes at the moment.
    And Voice Recorders. We use DIgital Dication machines. THe aoftware to use foot pedals to transcribe it is not smart phone ready. Yet.

    1,000% agree on Alarm clocks. Haven't used one in years. Telephones, too.
    If I had a nickel for even the older folks who only have a landline because it was bundled with their cable tv...
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  9. Dusty
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    Dusty Premium Member Premium Member

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    As far as replacing a camera, I use the Sony NEX-5R and no cellphone has come CLOSE to replacing it. Maybe in 4-5 years but not quite yet. In 10 years when people look back at their memories a lot of folks are going to be sorry they opted to use their cellphones and instagram filters.

    I use the Harmony Ultimate now and my cellphone can't touch that either. To change the channels using the your phone you'll have to:

    Turn on your phone screen and possibly unlock it... open your app drawer to open the app if it's not on the first screen... wait a few seconds while it boots... navigate... Change channel. Errrmmm... no thanks, unless you just don't have a remote anywhere. Like when you're in the next room or on a different floor but you can hear the TV, you know no one is watching, and you want to turn it off.
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  10. swc2001
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    swc2001 Active Member

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  11. sajokaz
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    sajokaz Active Member

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    For the average adult & probably college kids...I agree with you. For younger kids though, that's different. I have a daughter in High School & one in Middle School. Both require a scientific calculator each year and neither is allowed to use their phone in a classroom...only in the hallways & during lunch. Smartphones can do what the calculators do...just not in a lot of schools.
  12. cr6
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    cr6 DF Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Great list Mr Storm! I do however still wear a watch, both for the fashion aspect and convenience of just glancing down at my wrist.

    As for the remote, I can see why it's on the list. Before I got my S5 I would have said no way jose! I also have a Harmony remote and while my phone will never replace that bad boy, I am extremely impressed with the remote on the S5. It took maybe 5 seconds to set up with each tv and it works incredibly well. Plus it has Netflix integrated within the app which is awesome! Instead of going into the app on my phone or turning on my BluRay player to access Netflix, it's integrated right into the app for the remote and will show me exactly what's playing.
    Like I said, it won't replace my Harmony, but it is a great feature. It's also nice to have when you go to the in-laws or a friends house and you're not familiar with their remote, simply use yours to control their tv. As Lloyd Christmas would say "I like it ahllot".

    tap'n on my S5
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  13. ChiefIlliniwek5
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    ChiefIlliniwek5 Member

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    While I do rarely use my stand alone GPS device, it does have one major advantage over google maps. My Garmin has the ability to search for food, gas, or whatever along my current route. This is very helpful when you are looking for a place to stop somewhere down the road. A google maps search only shows you what is around you at that moment. Finding places in the distance requires scrolling which can be tough if you are driving alone. I wish google would incorporate thus feature in maps.
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  14. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Silver Member

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    He also said that phone quality is getting closer to DSLR quality and that is in no way true. Thats what i rebutted.

    HTC also has an IR blaster on it. I have an M8, it has one and IMO the software from HTC is better than Samsung.
  15. jackiescivic
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    jackiescivic Senior Member

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    Work for a cell phone company and you'll be amazed at the number of people who still have a landline phone. Typically it's because it is bundled with tv/Internet and not because it is a necessity.
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