A cell phone’s advanced features are all the features that make each phone more than a phone–for example a camera and video-recorder, a FM radio player or an MP3 player.
Following is a list of the advanced features, each with its short definition.
Most modern cell phones come with a built-in camera, allowing you to take still pictures through your handset, to view them, send them to friends and to export them to a PC.
The current standard for resolution is 1.3 Megapixel. Some camera phones also come with built-in flash and with the ability to take self-portraits by looking at yourself on the external screen when the phone is closed.
Streaming multimedia support. This feature allows you to play video content on your cell phone by “streaming,” i.e. without previously downloading it. In some cases, this same feature allows you to view real-time broadcasts on your phone.
MP3 stands for MPEG Layer 3, and is the most common format for electronic audio content such as music, ringtones, etc.
Different cell phones have different MP3 capabilities. More advanced models allow you to download and play music with your cell phone, as you would with a dedicated MP3-player. Other models only support MP3 ringtones. Others yet do not have any MP3 capabilities at all.
iTunes is a popular media player introduced by Apple Computers. Cell phones equipped with iTunes Player allow you to download, organize and play digital audio files such as music, spoken word, etc. through your phone–without the need for a dedicated unit (an iPod).
Some cell phones come equipped with the ability to listen to FM radio stations through your handset. In some cases, the phone enables you to pre-program a number of stations as you would on your car radio.
Some phones have stereo FM-radio capabilities, while others require that you use a headset so that the headset cord becomes the antenna that picks up the radio signals.
If you have a music phone with an FM transmitter, you can broadcast your tunes to nearby radios that pick up FM frequencies. For instance, you can broadcast your favorite playlist to your car radio.
A cell phone with attachment viewing capabilities allows you to open and view the contents of email attachments in formats such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
While many cell phones have some basic email capability, only more advanced models offer the ability to open attachments in Microsoft Office applications.
GPS stands for Global Positioning System, and is a satellite-based technology that allows you to determine your location, receive directions or even locate a loved one (provided he or she also has a GPS-enabled device).
Most cell phones manufactured today have a very basic GPS technology enabling police to locate you if you called 911 from your mobile phone. A phone with full GPS services support, instead, gives you a range of other features such as the ones mentioned above.
Bluetooth is a popular short-range wireless technology able to connect devices like cell phones, headsets, printers, laptops, etc., in order to transmit or synchronize data.
Bluetooth-enabled cell phones may have different capabilities, depending on the level of sophistication. The most basic level is the capability for your cell phone to transmit a signal to a wireless headset (the common “Bluetooth” headset) or to a car-kit, enabling you to keep your cell phone in your pocket while communicating.
More advanced Bluetooth capabilities allow you to send wireless signals from your cell phone to a Bluetooth-enabled printer or to communicate data to other cell phones enabled for the same technology.
Bluetooth technology is slowly making obsolete other short-range wireless technologies, like infrared.
Cell phones enabled for this feature are designed to send a wireless signal so a special Bluetooth stereo headset, providing you with a superior (and fully wireless) entertainment experience. The same headset can be used to communicate.
Two-handed gaming experience. The majority of today’s cell phones provide a basic ability to play videogames. More advanced models, however, give users a fuller experience by allowing them to employ both hands to play, much like with a dedicated videogame unit such as a Game Boy. In most cases, this is accomplished through buttons or directional keys located on either side of the handset.
Many camera phones allow the user to record, store, play and send video-clips. On some cell phone models, the maximum length of video-clips allowable is pre-set (e.g. 30 seconds, 1 minute); on others, it is only limited by the phone’s internal memory capacity.
A QWERTY keyboard on a cell phone is a miniature version of a standard typing keyboard, such as the one on a PC. QWERTY are the first six in the first row of letters. Many of today’s “smartphones” feature a full QWERTY keyboard, allowing the user to type (or “thumb”) text a lot more easily than on a standard cell phone keypad.
A cell phone that features an infrared port uses a beam of invisible light to transmit wireless information to such devices as a PC. Cell-phone infrared technology is used for a variety of applications, including using the phone to link your PC to the Internet, or transmitting wireless information to other Infrared-equipped cell phones.
Voice-driven controls on a cell phone enable you to “speak” the commands rather than entering them manually through the keypad or other control buttons, thereby keeping your hands free for other activities such as driving, typing, etc.
The most used among voice-driven control is voice-dialing–which enables you to dial your phone by voice command (e.g. “Call home/Call Jennifer/Call 911”). There are two levels of sophistication of voice-dialing. The most basic is requires that you “train” your cell phone to recognize the specific way you pronounce your entries. The more advanced requires no training and enables the phone to recognize the entries even if spoken by anyone.
Some cell phones are built to withstand a modicum amount of wetness or rain without getting damaged. These are particularly useful to hikers or people who work outdoors.
Some cell phones can be used as a modem to connect a computer to the web.
This feature allows the user to link the cell phone to a PC and synchronize such information as calendar, to-do lists, phonebook entries, etc., especially through such applications as Outlook.