11 Pieces Of Technology Made Obsolete By The Smartphone

11 Pieces Of Technology Made Obsolete By The Smartphone


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Landline phones are the first and most obvious casualty of the smartphone era. Then again, it’s a little wild to think that our pocket computers trace their lineage back to the humble telephone. Let’s put it this way: if you were to rank all the apps on your smartphone by how often you use them, would the Phone app make the top ten? One in four smartphone users never uses their mobile device to make voice calls at all (via The Guardian).

The landline phone had but one function, and even so, it was light on features. Your phone number? You shared it with everyone else who lived in your house. Calling another area code? That cost extra. And unless you had a cordless phone, it was like using a smartphone with the battery removed — you were on a 10-foot leash connected to an outlet in your kitchen.

While they didn’t support apps — an “app” wasn’t even a word in the landline’s heyday — they did support an ecosystem of peripheral devices such as answering machines and caller ID boxes. If you left your house, you couldn’t bring your phone with you; instead, you brought quarters in case you needed to use a payphone. With the advent of the smartphone, millions of landline phones and associated devices were permanently disconnected, their dial tones silenced forever.

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November 21, 2022 at 01:29PM

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