In this week’s edition of In Layman’s Terms, we’re going to look at a few definitions specifically related to mobile phones. Let’s begin.
SMS: SMS, which stands for “Short Message Service” is essentially text messaging in its most basic form. Pretty much every mobile phone on the market is capable of sending and receiving SMS messages, and can even send and receive directly to email accounts, in many cases. Most SMS messages are limited to 128 or 160 characters, though many smartphones use Concentated SMS in order to allow messages of up to 1,000 characters or more.
EMS: EMS, which stands for Enhanced Messaging service, allows users to include graphics, short animations and sound clips, and formatted text in phone-to-phone messages.
MMS: MMS(Multimedia Messaging Service) is basically an enhanced version of EMS, which allows longer text messages which can include rich media such as photos, audio clips, and video clips. Usually, this service is used to send images from one phone to another, though that’s not the only use for it. It allows for more and larger media files than EMS, which is MMS’s forerunner.
Smartphone: People throw the term ‘smartphone’ around a lot, but what exactly is a smartphone? What differentiates it from a cell phone? First, it’s gotta have a fully-functional operating system. A smartphone’s a lot more powerful than run-of-the-mill cellphones, as well, and can run a wide range of applications beyond the default installed programs. Finally, they generally feature a wider range of bells and whistles than ordinary cell phones, such as cameras, an internet browser, notepad applications, et-cetera.
2G/3G/4G: Essentially, these refer to the wireless hardware and technology standards in a generation of mobile phones. They determine everything from data rate to types of data to wireless hardware in a device. 2G is less powerful than 3G which is in turn less powerful than 4G- which is currently set to become the industry standard, although 3G is currently far more widespread.
SIM: SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module, and is basically the chip which your mobile service provider identifies you. It also contains security and encryption technology for your phone calls and messages, and may also store contact information. Remove the SIM card, and your connection to your service provider is essentially gone.
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