Smartphone Terminology Basics


Let’s Talk about common smartphone terminology. Starting with Apple. Apple is an American company that makes smartphones, tablets, and computers. They make iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks. These devices run on iOS software. An “iOS” is an operating system for a mobile phone- it is the software that Apple smartphones run on.

You may also be familiar with the word “Android” being used to refer to a type of cell phone. At some point, you may have received a question like “is your phone an Apple or an Android?” Androids are non-Apple smartphones. Androids have software that most non-Apple smartphones run on. Companies that make Android phones include: Samsung, Huawei, Google, and more!

Now, how do Apple phones and Android phones make calls? You can find more details on how wireless calls are made in our article “Everything You Need To Know About Cell Towers”. Basically, when you make a call, a microchip in the phone chunks that verbal information into numbers. Those numbers are bundled together in a package inside of a radio wave. These radio waves then travel at the speed of light through the air to its intended destination. The phone receiving the call will then unpackage the bundle of numbers that were sent in that radio wave. This process is reciprocated in real time which is how you are able to make a phone call and a person is able to receive a phone call.

At home, your phone connects to your home “network”. When you reach a public place or your home, your phone does not have to use mobile data to connect to the internet. Instead, your phone can connect to Wi-Fi. Your phone uses Wi-Fi to connect to the internet when you’re at home or at a public place with free internet.

The information contained in the radio wave is considered Mobile data. Mobile data is how your phone connects to the internet and wireless towers when you are away from an accessible Wi-Fi router.

Let’s say you are at home and connected to Wi-Fi with your phone and you are trying to find something to do to pass time. Maybe you want to watch a show that’s streaming or playing on Netflix, or you want to look at Facebook, or maybe you want to read today’s news. An easy way to do this on your smartphone is by downloading apps. Using the word “Apps” is short for applications. These are software programs on your smartphone that help you do certain things like play games, look at the local weather, or send emails.

[1] How do cellphones work? – Explain that Stuff
[2]Wi-Fi – Wikipedia