Are smartphones as indispensable as they are said to be Uthra Nagarajan finds out.

According to a recent study, the number of smartphone users is set to reach a whopping 1.75 billion in 2014 worldwide. This, however, is not a surprise. Look around you and you will see three out of five people multitasking on their smartphones. Right from fitness to booking movie tickets, smartphones have become such an important part of our everyday life. While they started out as tools of communication, today they play a bigger role in everyone’s life.

Says Akanksha Saxena, Marketing Executive of XCode Life Sciences, “I am an absolute fitness freak and keeping a track of my daily physical activities using the applications available on my phone has made my life easy. There is a programme which is my mantra for good health called ‘100 days to better health’. It is so handy, a SMS prompt and one- minute audio each day giving me advice on diet and nutrition.”

With apps becoming the crux of smartphone use, app developers are making hay, catering to youngsters’ every need. “Every app developer has their own set of novel ideas and would like to develop an app that would make it the next WhatsApp,” says Praveen V.L., CEO, Briosys a web design, mobile application and web enterprise firm.

“But it is actually tough to translate the ideas into a killer application as the market may not be ready yet. App developers, especially app development companies, are constantly looking out for talented resources to meet the rising demand.”

Brothers in arms

For brothers Aaditya and Arjun Rajkishore, smartphones are an indispensable part of their life. Aaditya, an architect by profession, finds many apps that complement his job.

“I use an app that has the colour spectrum, and helps me identify colours through photos as well as create and save colour schemes on it,” says Aaditya. “I also use an app called Magic Plan, which helps me take measurements easily.”

Arjun, a college student, a designer and a musician, uses it for multiple purposes. “For one, I handle social media for a club in Pune, so I use my phone to manage that. Secondly, I am a designer, so I use some apps to help with my colour palettes, and many other things. Academically, I use Adobe Kuler mostly. Since I am a User Experience Designer, I work with and test a lot of different apps from different fields to test usability. I even design some!” Arjun also uses his phone as a metronome while drumming.

On the go

Ask Divya Mahendran, an Associate Consultant who is often on the go about her smartphone, and she says, “On the financial front, I use it mainly for online bank transactions like transferring funds, paying bills, monitoring stock prices and more. On the entertainment side, I use lots of applications which give me a boost. More importantly, it helps me keep track of my meetings and agendas providing reminders at the correct time.” Divya’s job requires her to sync with the headquarters at odd times and her phone makes it easier. “Primarily I create documents, spreadsheets and presentations using my phone. I also use it for presentations by connecting to projectors directly or by presenting remotely. Above all, I start my day by reading news from the news app.”

A future where everything goes mobile and desktops and laptops are used only for high power computational purposes — that’s what Hariharan Murali sees. This Product Marketing Manager of Zoho, feels that the craze among youngsters is bound to grow exponentially. “I go to bed with my smartphone. I totally freak out when I realise that I’ve left my phone behind,” he laughs. “Smartphones have become pacemakers that people hold in their hands with pulses in the form of push notifications. ‘Instant and now’ is the order of the day and it only makes sense that you are notified about information instantly.” Constant connection doesn’t seem to faze Hariharan as he instantly updates himself on the happenings. “My iPhone’s email client is configured with Zoho Mail, LinkedIn to read business news and connect with professionals and colleagues, Facebook to catch up on gossip with friends, Zomato to explore restaurants, BookMyShow for movie tickets, Ebay, Flipkart, Olx, Quikr for e-shopping, HDFC, Citibank mobile apps for banking. There is no end to smartphoning your way to get things done.”

The pros and cons may be weighed. The debate on its overuse and addiction may go on. But love it or hate it, smartphones are here to stay and their presence in our life is inevitable. As Arjun Rajkishore puts it, “Let’s face it, the future is technology. If you can’t beat it, join it!”

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