Smartphones have their own mobile operating system. The first smartphone to find a widespread market was the Blackberry, but that quickly lost ground after Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007. That was followed by smartphones powered by Google’s Android mobile operating system.
We depend a lot on smartphones
Smartphones and tablet computers have changed our daily lives. They now play a big role in what we do every day. However, almost every new gadget can cause problems.
Some say that things such as smartphones and tablet computers make it easier to communicate with others. There is no doubt that they can help make relationships a lot better between our friends and family, but we also may not be so caring.
I believe that a lot of people don't even notice the obvious when they are taking the MTR or buses. Half the passengers have their heads bowed looking at their gadgets. They hardly ever notice the environment or pay attention to what happens around them. I even saw an old woman who was forced to stand because no one offered to give her a seat. People have serious and unhelpful faces and they don't care about those in need any more.
Do we need to think about whether we rely too much on smartphones and tablet computers?
Yu Chun-ying, King Ling College
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter Chun-ying. Sometimes it seems as if the pace of change is happening too fast. It is almost as if we are being pulled along by one of those high-speed trains, without the time to question whether or not something is in our best interests. Ten years ago, you could get by without a smartphone. Now it's almost impossible to function in Hong Kong without them. Even our education system has to catch up. Many schools have banned the use of smartphones during class because they fear students will exchange messages. But, on the other hand, smartphones do make useful dictionaries and calculators. At some point, we have to find a balance between progress and comfort.