Smartphones have rapidly made their way to the top of the "must have" list for people on the go. Personal and family travellers - along with people on business trips - have reaped enormous benefits from the many apps and services available on a variety of smartphones.
For airline passengers, smartphones are a sensible solution to security situations. A smartphone provides a portable package that includes photo and video camera, agenda and access to flight, hotel / housing, auto rental and dining information and advice, with maps / directional guidance for visits to new locales.
The instant flash of news via e-mails is a tremendous advantage when time and space are at a premium.
The Apple iPhone 4 created the usual sensation of the next wave from Apple upon its release. The phone received highest praise from Consumer Reports, even in light of a reception issue that - Apple reps insist - was greatly exaggerated in the press. Sales of the phone have been in constant orbit, and availability - particularly for the 32GB model - remains a tremendous challenge virtually everywhere.
The Motorola Droid (Android) has also proven to be a big hit as the trend of more and more people turning to smartphones develops. Motorola's big comeback was the result of the company's long delayed evolution from their beloved series of "flip" phones, and reception to the Droid series indicates that the company has succeeded in catching up with the demands of the smartphone market.
BlackBerry is a perennial favourite in the realm of smartphones. The company - RIM (Research In Motion) - followed up on its Bold 9700 with The Torch, its answer to both iPhone and Droid. The Torch features a slide-out keyboard and the new / highly redesigned Blackberry 6 Operating System, which will soon be available for download to the Bold 9700 and a number of other previous BlackBerry phones.
A recent trip to Memphis - for a visit to the world famous Peabody Hotel Ducks and a night at The Copa Memphis Music Festival - put smartphone use while travelling to the test, and the results were fabulous. Travel and hotel plans were confirmed, e-mails sent and received, and a magnificent series of photos - The Peabody Ducks and 6 groups and the scene at The Music Festival - came from the very fine camera on the BlackBerry Bold 9700.
A recent purchase of the iPhone (32GB model) compliments the BlackBerry in daily use, for both business and recreation, allowing full access to - and utilisation of - the universe of possibilities offered by smartphones, which will be part of an ever-growing number of lives for years to come.