A growing number of manufacturers are integrating smartphone operating systems into home phone handsets. But is this software actually appropriate for use as part of a landline setup in the domestic environment? Here is an overview of the ins and outs of this trend.
The steady trickle of smartphone ownership since the iPhone’s introduction in 2007 has turned into a flood over the last couple of years, with affordable handsets and high end devices sharing the same essential set of features and taking the international market by storm.
Android is by far the most popular smartphone operating system, appearing on more than 75% of new devices at the moment and squeezing iOS, Windows Phone and BB 10 into their own, much smaller niches. Indeed, home phone manufacturers have not been insensible to this emerging trend and various companies have attempted to jump on the smartphone bandwagon by building Android-based devices that offer functionalities similar to when you get XML applications for Cisco phones.
There are positive and negative aspects of this approach that need to be considered, from software and hardware concerns.
Enhanced functionality in home phones means that applications such as VoIP and video calling can live alongside standard landline services.
Impressive hardware, storage and processing power lets home phones do much more, from playing games and running productive apps, to taking photos and playing back media files.
Touchscreen interfaces are more flexible than physical keypads, as well as being better able to provide a number of interactive functions for display purposes than traditional monochrome phone screens.
High end components and a big, bright touchscreen require more power and thus the battery of a home handset will not last as long, which could interrupt calls and reduce its portability.
Lots of apps and other services will further encourage people to use the phone, draining its charge.
Millions of consumers already own smartphones and tablets which they can keep at home and use then required, arguably rendering a separate handset unnecessary.
It is this last point that might prove to be the most compelling, because home phones with Android onboard are rarely any cheaper than fully fledged smartphone equivalents. And since they lack SIM card slots or mobile antennas, they cannot function outside of the range of the base station.
It could be argued that smart home phones only exist as a means for certain manufacturers to jump on the bandwagon with full smartphones without fully justifying the existence of these devices.
Of course, the appropriateness of a smart home phone might vary depending on the household. In a domestic environment when perhaps not everyone has a smartphone or tablet, offering a central device that fits into this category with the software to match could be a boon.
Android apps for home phones and XML applications for Cisco phones show that people do want a broader range of capabilities from this type of handset, so writing it off so early is unhelpful.
Scott Elsworth writes tech and software articles for blogs and websites across the internet. You can get xml applications for cisco phones to enhance their basic properties, which is something he feels is more appropriate for modern homes than smart capabilities.