Technology evolves, and it does that rapidly. The fate of various household objects has been swiftly ended during the years, with the launch of handy gadgets. Computers, tablets, TVs, microwaves and even the tiniest electrical gear has managed to incorporate the use of many others, but what about the smartphone? What about our daily companion, the one that we cannot “survive” without?

Today, we are going to discover what traces the more evolved phone sibling has left through history and what elements had it managed to remove, or will soon replace, to actually be entitled smart. We have followed up on Technology Review’s article with a more complete list.

Usual items

  • Books: The advantages of reading books online are countless. Only the weight and the storage place gained by owning a smartphone and purchasing e-Book, instead of regular books, should convince you.
  • Wristwatches: They are now only elements of fashion, anyone looking towards the phone first to check the time, even though they wear a watch.
  • Radio: The NPR app, Hype Machine, iTunes, Spotify and Pandora are just a few names for what we use instead of the regular Radio, the one built in inside our cars or tuning in our grandma’s house.
  • Any kind of notes: You must admit that even at the office, everything you note is on done digitally. There is longer need for a pen, when you have apps like Evernote.
  • Business cards: CardCloud instantly creates a business card that can be used with your phone, no matter if it’s running Android or iOS. This eliminates the need for having a standard, paper-back business card that can run out of copies any time. Sharing is now done remotely.
  • Various tools: In this category we include the flash light, graphing calculator, the compass, telescope, scale, speedometer and others.
  • Libraries: With books being sold digitally, libraries will also transit to the new “form” of matter.
  • Paper comics
  • Newspapers
  • Dictionaries
  • Voice recorders
  • Alarm clocks
  • Calendar and Agenda
  • Mail
  • Traveling tickets

Day to day gadgets

  • Cameras: Call it whatever you want, but when it comes to taking pictures or shooting videos, the age of digital, lens, point-to-point cameras is over, at least for the average consumer.
  • GPS and road maps: I wouldn’t venture through the city without my smartphone, even if I go on foot, let alone with my car.
  • MP3 player: I do remember the Walkman, but I don’t know if the young ones will. The MP3 player has been replaced so much, that even evolved iPods do not belong on the market anymore.
  • Television: Although this will never become extinct, from my point of view, we must admit that television is also done on the terminal, because it has the strong advantage of mobility.
  • Flash drives: Why should someone spend an extra $20 on a memory drive, when we have 64GB waiting on our cellphone?
  • DVD player
  • Scanners
  • Remote control

The truly big ones


  • ATMs: USSA, a service dedicated for military welfare has produced an application that allows deposits using snapshots. At the moment, you must qualify to own such an instant account, but this is the ice breaker.
  • Credit cards: NFC, QR codes and other apps have the ability to cease credit card use forever. The main reason is once again accessibility, because in tight situations you cannot reach an ATM to pay a bill or do so from a specific website, but dedicated websites have the links for most services.
  • Cash money: The road of replacing cash with something else was already started by credit cards, but for those with no time for a trip to the ATM machine, smartphones will be the way to pay in the future. Cash needs to be withdrawn first, and that’s just an extra step that can be finished earlier.
  • Computers and laptops: Desktops are used to browse the internet, play games and perform tasks, functions which are being gradually replaced by the smartphone. We could say, in this case, that it is tablets who’ve started to outsell laptops.
  • Gaming consoles: Of course that dedicated gaming consoles will always be in the hearts of hardcore gamers, but what about those that see games as an escape from the boringness of the subway to home or from a long road? How many of us still use a portable PlayStation?
  • Internet service at home
  • Driver’s license
  • Car keys

The ones it invented

Although the smartphone killed its competition during the years, it also invented some functions that were not performed by any gadget, whatsoever. I am speaking about voice recognition software (Shazam), location-dependent services that show you what’s of interest in the nearby area, and plenty more.

Most probably, the smartphone is truly going for an all-in-one device, one that can actually perform day to day tasks, just like we’ve seen in science fiction movies. It’s not long before we are not going to think of this device as simple gadget, but more as a token of our personality and something that we cannot manage without.

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Feature Writer

Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.


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