The evolution of the smartphone

By: AP
By: AP

Panama City - Nielsen reports smartphone sales accout for 25% of the us mobile phone market. By the end of 2011, they'll account for the majority of phone sales!

The days of the phone being just a phone are about done!
Nowdays smart phones can do everything from booking an airline ticket
and paying your bills, to watching a movie or making a reservation at
your favorite restaurant.

Driving through the streets of south Walton... you see it everywhere... too many homes... not enough buyers.

While being a realtor is still a 'people' business, Tom Hopkins thinks
using his iPhone gives him and an edge in finding the right home quickly
for perspective clients and for keeping in touch.

"I think it makes me more mobile, there was a time I would have
to make certain to check e-mail 4-5x a day.... ....now my e-mail is in
my pocket wherever I go. Does not matter if I am in a car or restaurant.
I can respond to ones I need to instantly."

E-mail is nice, but it is the applications or 'apps' as they are known that enable Tom to better serve his clients. Now numbering 300,000... there are plenty to help make work go easier.

"Just simple stuff like mapping, GPS, if I am not certain where a property is I can get closer put in an address and it will take me to
it and I can look at it in satellite mode and see what is around it."

The realtor.com app is a favorite of Tom's... it enables him to find listings and photos of homes near where he is located without calls
or stopping by the office.

But for clients that live in another city he uses his camera to quickly get more detailed pictures and videos than a typical listing shows.

"So I go out to the property and in 7-8 minutes... take a comprehensive video w/iphone of property, narrate video, and within an hour or so I posted it to MobileMe acccount and sent a link to go look at it so they would see it first hand what the listing can't show."

Tom hopes that thanks to his smartphone more 'sold' signs will start showing up around south Walton.

Tom is also a big braves fan. With the MLB app he is able to watch every game on his i-Phone!

Apps, it is the new buzz word when it comes to smartphones. What apps do you like? Which ones do you use? After all... there are
more than 300k of them!!

My phone is the iPhone 3gs... of course I use it for all the basics... Facebook to update my fanpage and Tweetdeck for twitter.

Did you know there is a WJHG app where you can get the latest news and weather for your iPhone or Droid?

Thanks to the new airport the Southwest app with 'ding' alerts saves me on airfare and tells me when there are special deals.
When you get to a new airport and don't know where anything is... Gate Guru will guide you to your next meal.

What is that song on the radio? Shazam is a great one that will tell you!

My wife who did was not a fan of me shooting video of her... loves the
'Map My Run App' which tells you how far, how fast, and where you have been running.

My dad has an original iPhone... yes, even that dinosaur runs apps... and he loves the 30a app...

"I find that my favorite app for me is the 30a app that tells me what is going on along 30a as far as restaurants, activities, fundraisers. Just everything that happens along 30a."

Todd works for gulf power and is on the road all day... Being a big FSU fan he uses his Droid & Wunderradio app to listen to a sports talk station in Tallahassee.

Meanwhile here in the VIPIR 7 weather center, Droid user, Jim Loznicka, uses his smartphone to keep up with things that are out of this world.

"So this is the 'Google Skymap.' Basically whatever you are looking at, the phone is pointing to are the stars, constellations you are looking at. This 's-p' is the south pole so we are looking almost due south into the ground."

My friend Ashton loves the 'Talking Tom' app which allows you to pet, punch, and pull Tom's tail. It is a good way to pass the time and take out some frustrations.

For the young at heart Neysa takes her frustrations out with 'Angry Birds.'

One final app that cam in pretty handy for this story... 'Reel Director.' This entire story was shot, voiced, edited entirely on my smartphone. Needless to say, I definitely could not leave home without my smartphone.


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