Smartphones are undergoing some serious changes. Apple used to be a follower in innovation but a leader in quality and refined design. Now, they are setting the bar with the controversial notch and phone-jack-less design decisions. Samsung pioneered the bezel-less phone edges years ago now. And there is no end in sight. Some ideas are obviously pure gold while others will take some serious getting used to. We’ve rounded up some of the best and most bizarre changes coming to smartphones in 2019.
The Wonderful – Increased Battery Life and Charging Efficiency
What is the one thing that you absolutely need your smartphone to do at all times? It just needs to be on. You want to take meetings, dial into a conference call, search for enterprise software, use proprietary software, submit a purchase order. In order to do any of these things, it needs to be on. A long battery life and rapid charge contribute to phone availability at all hours. The most common complaint I hear is that while battery life over a single day or two is imperative, battery efficiency wears down rapidly over time. A brand new phone might last you all day with regular use, but a year old handset can last as little as five hours without a charge unless you keep it on power saver and kill all tasks. Batteries need to both perform well daily but even after a year or two of regular use.
To that end, some manufacturers are researching new ways to recharge and stay charged. Solar still brings images of specialized roof shingles to mind, but a phone or its case are perfect surfaces for just such a technology. Apple is currently looking into a way to insert solar cells within the phone screen itself so that leaving your device by the window would be enough to maintain 100% all day. From wind up lanterns to motion-charging watches, kinetic energy has been a source of power for devices for decades. With the advent of step and fitness trackers, many companies are also looking to combine the two. Some new systems look promising for capturing energy run-off of modern handsets. Imagine all of that power lost as heat returning to your device to keep it on and active for another few hours.
The Weird – Curved Phones
The world was rendered speechless when the first curved televisions entered the marketplace a few years ago. Now, it looks like phonemakers are trying to do that and more. I’m not talking about the bezel-less sides of the Galaxy Edge but a phone with a slight bend to its overall shape along the vertical axis, like a banana.
There are several obvious advantages to a phone with a curved screen to match the latest curved monitor screens. They offer a more immersive viewing experience for the user when watching or giving presentations on a phone. Curved screens bring new hardware-based options for application developers. And they are more resistant to screen shatter. However, we can’t help but be dubious given the utility of a sturdy, flat-screen mobile device. Sure, a curved display will rest along your hip more easily when in your pocket and facedown, but lay that on a table and it’s far from stable. Specialized cases would cost a fortune. Despite opening up avenues for a few gimmicks, the curve would limit what could be done on or with the phone and which gear is compatible with it.
Don’t be surprised if some manufacturers take this a step farther, though. The folding phone is a step beyond, which a curved and bendable screen that will either lay flat or folded into a chunky square. It would appear that we’ve been thinning phones down over the years only to fold them over like a crêpe. The top phone providers never cease to entertain, as each of them races to raise the flip phone from the dead. Personally, we’d forego the bendy design for a screen that just doesn’t crack so easily.
The Wonderful – The New 5G Phones
The age of 4G is coming to a close, and that is a beautiful thing for phone users and phone creators everywhere. While legacy models won’t be at a loss in a 5G world, those parameters will become phased out. If you are a mobile businessperson, you use your device all day, every day. You use your phone for remote meetings, demonstrations, to stay in touch with loved ones and the home office, to coordinate with other colleagues on the road. There is no reason you shouldn’t have the very best to maintain this high-powered career on the road or in the air.
Cell phones are getting faster every day, with Qualcomm leading the way in mobile processors. 5G ensures that internet connectivity speeds scale with internal phone speeds and capabilities. You will be able to reach your network easily and bypass WiFi to get the best connection. These improvements will begin in 2019 for phones that can support it and continue to increase in quality and efficiency year after year.
The Weird – Graphene and Sapphire Glass
Imagine you had a sheet of super strong material. It’s practically unbreakable, and it’s not tempered glass. The sheet is about the width and height of a phone screen. But it’s also a single atom thick and completely transparent. Sounds like something out of science fiction, right? Well, it’s already here.
Graphene is made from Carbon after shaving it down to its thinnest possible thickness. Graphite is the soft, plentiful stack of Carbon that replaced lead in our pencils. You get Graphene when you keep slicing that pencil point down. In the lab, they work their magic to reconstitute it into an incredible tough, capable substance. It’s already being used in some products you wouldn’t expect, like tennis balls. Apple and other manufacturers are looking into using it on their smart phones.
Currently, the gargantuan digital gadget designer uses “Sapphire Glass” in their smart watch screens. The material is tough, clear, and transparent of course. The sapphire is synthetic and almost as hard as diamond. Hopefully, it’s not as brittle as diamond and can survive a view tumbles. Apparently the sapphire glass isn’t just hard but very strong as well, so iPhone and Apple Watch users should have nothing to worry about. Their screens will be scratch resistant and fairly shatterproof. And soon even this high standard will be replaced by the futuristic graphene.
The Wonderful – Content Management Apps
Content management apps are still new to many companies and agencies that like to do things old school. You’re probably worried about compromising the security of your most important documents. While you are right to worry, mobile devices are more secure than ever and only increasing in safety. If you have a company phone you use on the go, tablets for entering in reports and submitting them to a database, or a team of employees who use their phones to ring up customers, you need to invest in content management apps.
Contentverse comes with a free iOS and Android app, CV Mobile, for customers to use when managing or accessing data outside of the office. Create and submit documents to a folder or even into an automated business process. Your secure, on-premise (or even cloud) servers will do all of the work. The CV Mobile app is already available for new and existing customers, but Computhink continues to update it and increase functionality, and this will be no different in 2019.
The Weird and Wonderfuls
The more we use our cellular devices and tablets in the field and at the office, the more reliance we put into familiarity and ease of use. We want our phones to be wonderful, but occasionally we have to accept and even champion the bizarre in order to see the progress we so desperately need.