If there’s one point in which the smartphones has broken down all the walls is on communication. Two factors are responsible: the Internet connection in the mobile phones and the mobile power in terms of technology. The result of having powerful mobile phones connected to the Internet is that we have an open window to the world in our pockets.
But, how have the smartphones changed the way we communicate? Basically in three aspects:
The success of apps like Whatsapp, Kakaotalk or Skype, among others, lies precisely in that they’re free. Actually, they’ve become a substitute for SMS/MMS and calls.
Whatsapp and Kakaotalk are multiplatform mobile messenger service to send text messages, contacts, multimedia files or even your current location to your contacts. They both are a perfect replacement for SMS/MMS due to they’re real-time, free (or low-cost) and multiplatform. There aren’t big differences between them apart form the interface and some specific features. Choosing one or another just depends on which of them is the one that most of your contacts use (because there’s no integration between them).
Skype, even though, it also could be a SMS/MMS substitute (because it includes chat messenger) is certainly oriented to calls and videocalls. That means, it’s a replacement for paid-calls. It’s free and allows us to give free calls. The benefits of phone operators lies no more in the calls and SMS/MMS fares, but in the data network fare.
The smartphones have greatly boosted the “free of choice”. That’s it, we can customize even the least details of our phones; Android especially has shortened the life-time of the “default” features. One example of this is that some apps like HandcentSMS and ChompSMS are coming up. They both are a substitute for the default Android messaging manager. They include lots of extra features to change the appearance and performance of the SMS/MMS app: chat-style bubbles, contact pictures, quick reply, signatures, templates, blacklisting, etc. Given that not everyone has an smartphone yet and we will have to continue sending some SMS/MMS so often, at least this kind of apps let us to do it our way.
Finally, the smartphones have allowed us to keep online 24/7, wherever we are. That’s precisely what has improved the communication among us by not being subjected to a specific location. Thanks to apps like Ebuddy, which is an app that integrates the instant messaging service of different platforms: Facebook, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Gtalk… we can chat with our contacts for free from our Android. Other important tools that keep us up-to-date are the e-mailing apps for Android. The starred one in this sense is Gmail for Android, the official Google e-mailing service. Receiving and sending e-mailings it’s something faster and more fluent now, since your inbox is down there, in your pocket.