Abstract: Any place, any time: the old promise from the dotcom age has never been more relevant. With the release of the iPhone, Apple set off a huge amount of hype. Many people now have a laptop with broadband Internet connection and/or WLAN or UMTS Internet access. Yet these devices are still too large, too awkward, and take too long to boot up to be usable at any time. On the other hand, almost everyone has a smartphone these days, making them more mobile than ever in today’s economy.
Smartphones are enormously practical and are becoming more and more powerful. They are generally very easy to operate, can be used almost anywhere, and the mobile web is becoming both faster and cheaper. App stores are shooting up everywhere and new functions can be installed with a single click. As the saying has it: “There’s an app for everything.”
The use of built-in sensors provides for entirely new possibilities such as Google Maps integration, locationbased services, augmented reality, etc. Built-in cameras are becoming more and more powerful and are often used as a second compact camera. Video telephony is becoming more common—not just on Skype, now longestablished, but also through Apple Facetime. The speed of innovation is tremendous.