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Twenty-One Things Big Smartphones Have Made Obsolete -

Whether you love or hate them, smartphones are here to stay. And they have replaced quite a few items since their inception.

Digital E-Readers

Say goodbye to the Kindle and the Nook. Okay, honestly, many people may refuse to give up their treasured e-reader (especially at first). But these devices really are not that necessary anymore. Granted they may be easier to read than a smartphone due to their “e-ink”. And their battery life is, for now, superior. But how long will it be until smartphones have their own e-ink or some type of equivalent? Size wise, e-readers still hold a slight advantage. But some smartphones are quite big now.

Paper Books

Again, some people will stubbornly cling to their paper books because they prefer them. And that is fine. But like it or not, they are going to be slowly fazed out over time. They will still exist in the future, but not like they have in the past.


Hm. Well, it is fairly obvious that bookshelves will be a lot less useful in the future since paper books are being fazed out. So it is a good bet that this type of furniture will, at some point, be eliminated or merged with something else for an entirely different purpose.

Book Stores

And yes, as we are all slowly witnessing, book stores are becoming obsolete. Borders is declaring bankruptcy, and Barnes & Nobles is having trouble too. Eventually, most book stores will simply mutate into a digital repository of information and stories for the masses to buy. Amazon is a good example of this.

The Compass

Yes, that's right! Something other than books. Finally. Anyway, there's an app for that. That being a compass. And you do not even need an Internet connection for it to work properly. You will never be lost (direction wise) again. Unless the battery dies.

Alarm Clocks, Watches, and Calendars

Unless you just love alarm clocks , then you do not need to bother with them anymore thanks to your smartphone. Watches either. And a paper calendar? Why? Just type in some notes on your phones' calendar, and you are finished. Time your notes with an alarm for occasions that you do not want to forget about.


Yes, there is an app for this as well. The flashlight app comes with three brightness settings, and it is more than adequate enough to illuminate your surroundings.

Paper Star Charts??

Thanks to the Google star chart, you have the ability to look at all the constellations in the sky from your smartphone. Just hold it up, and tilt your smartphone around to see the location of different constellations. And this app does not require Internet access either.

Translation Books

Smartphones can also help you learn other languages. Should you find yourself in a country that does not speak your language, then your smartphone can help you figure out how to communicate with people or read signs.


Your smartphone has an app for your Webster dictionary as well. It may not be titled “Webster”, but it will still do the trick. A good pick is the Arcus Dictionary app. Best of all it is free, offline, and there are no ads displayed.

Paper Grocery Lists

Do you still use a paper grocery list? Well, save some trees and just use your smartphone. Mighty Grocery Lite is a good pick, and it does not use ads. It is also free.

Music Players

Why bother with an iPod anymore? In fairness, an iPod is slimmer, less bulky, and probably has better battery life (for now) than your smartphone. But if this does not matter to you, then you may as well use your smartphone to play your music on.

Portable Gaming

It is still a bit too soon to dismiss the PSP or the Nintendo DS, but it looks like smartphones will replace these devices or be merged with them one day. Sony is already trying to merge a smartphone and a PSP. Time will tell how well this goes. But for casual gamers, there really is no need for anything other than their smartphone.

Paper Maps

There are many different types of maps for Android that replace the need for paper maps. Many of them require Internet access, but some do not. Mapdroid is one app that does not require Internet access. It lacks GPS and some other features, but it is a good map. Just make sure you have enough room on your SD card.

Laptops & Desktops?

Again, this is only true for a small number of people. Most individuals would still prefer to have a laptop because it is obviously easier to type on, watch video, and some specialty software programs can only be used on a laptop or desktop. Eventually we will probably just combine the two, so that your smartphone is the brain while the desktop or laptop is the body. This is already the case with the Motorola Atrix and the lapdock. But it is still in its infancy.

Cameras and Camcorders

Again, professional cameras and camcorders are not going to disappear any time soon. However, cameras and camcorders for the average user may become less popular thanks to smartphones.


Instead of writing it down on that piece of paper, just type it out on your smartphone. More trees saved.


Seriously, most calculators are just not that necessary anymore. Even calculators that do complex functions like trigonometry can be found as an app for your smartphone. The only advantages some of these calculators have is that they can run on solar energy.

USB Flash Drives

With the increase in memory storage for most smartphones, why carry around a usb flash drive anymore? It is not really needed unless you just want a backup on top of another backup.

Undoubtedly, there are many more areas where a smartphone has made other devices irrelevant. And who knows what the future will bring. Only time will tell. ©JR All Rights Reserved

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