3.2 Mobile Devices

1. Types, Features and Uses of Mobile Devices

What are Mobile Devices?

Mobile devices are small portable digital mechanisms such as phones or tablets that provide access to the web, apps, and other software.

Graphic of a smartphone, smartwatch, tablet and e-reader

Mobile Operating Systems

Mobile operating systems present a graphical display of buttons, icons, windows, and tiles that you can touch or interact with to perform various tasks. Mobile operating systems also manage the hardware of mobiles and makes it possible for smartphones, tablets, and wearables to run apps.

The two most popular mobile operating systems are Android and iOS.

Graphic showing iOS and Android mobile operating systems

Mobile Applications

A mobile application (also called a mobile app) is a type of application designed to run on a mobile device, which can be a smartphone or tablet computer.  There are several categories of mobile applications such as Lifestyle, Social Media, Utility, Games/Entertainment, Productivity and News/Information.

The following infographic presents various types (productivity, social media, gaming) and examples (Epicollect5, Facebook, Candy Crush Saga) of mobile applications.

Graphic showing a mobile phone and common applications

Features and Uses of Mobile Devices (Smartphones)

The following is a list of important features of mobile devices:

  • Receiver
  • Proximity sensor
  • Volume buttons
  • Power button
  • Home button
  • Flash
  • Camera
  • Touchscreen
  • Software-based keyboard

The following is a list of important uses of mobile devices:

  • Real-time communication via voice and video calling
  • Short Message Service (SMS) - Texting
  • Photos and video recording via camera
  • Entertainment – playing music and videos and listening to radio
  • Internet services like searching for information and email
  • Remote work like mobile tracking – collecting location data
  • Mobile banking

Graphic showing a mobile phone and common features