This week in mobile history – Culture. Netflix. Friday.

The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world.

New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for the hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Looking back, it’s crazy to see how far the industry has come in less than a decade – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that a increasingly awesome for gaming, music, Web browsing, communication, and everything in-between.

So we had this idea that could bring back tiny nibbles of nostalgia for all, a look into the history of the mobile space. Below you will find many of the major happenings for week 19 from 2001 and forward.



If there is anything we had in common with ourselves form a dozen years ago, it was a desire for connectivity. A collaboration between Hotspotzz, a Utah-based WiFi provider, and Kampgrounds of America got us one step closer to just that. It is exactly what it sounds like – camping WiFi. Kinda twisted, but at the same time, mad respect.

May 15, 2003 – WiFi in the Great Outdoors


TV shows have recently adopted a new concept in mobile tech called the “Second screen experience. Shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead have adopted this second screen technology to play along with the show and give you new depth into what is happening. Interestingly, 11 years ago, the New York Philharmonic was trying to give you the same thing on your PDA. This is just too cool you can’t not read it.

May 10, 2004 – Coming to a Theatre Near You?



Seven years ago, we were already dreaming on a bigger iPhone screen. Rumors were swirling that a new iPhone (which turned out to be the not-bigger iPhone 3G) would have a bigger screen than its predecessor. Back then this would have been an innovative step forward, but it turned out to be false anyway. One thing that was not false was Adam Lein’s devotion to Windows even back then. In his article of the time he describes pen flicks that were configurable for a variety of actions. Good times. Too bad that didn’t catch on.

May 14, 2008 – Bigger-Screened iPhone to be Announced at WWDC?

May 15, 2008 – I Love My Pen Flicks



These days, if you told someone that they use their phones for data more than voice, you would look at them like they had lobsters crawling out of their ears. I mean duh, right? Well as recently as five years ago, this was not such a no brainer. People started realizing just how powerful these pocket computers actually were.

Our second headline just goes to show how naive we were. I will go ahead and say unequivocally and forcefully that no flash ever looked good on a smartphone. We were just fooling ourselves back then.

Finally for a bit of fun, how about some smartphone dominoes to give you a happy Thursday.

May 14, 2010 – NYT Says Cell Phones Used More for Data Than Voice

May 11, 2010 – Flash Looks Great on Nexus One with Froyo

May 9, 2010 – Smartphone Dominos!



Joe Levi is pretty much the smartest guy on the planet. No one is arguing this point. So when Joe decides to hit you with some knowledge, ya’ll better learn. So, Mr. Levi, why are download speeds faster than upload speeds? Ya’ll learning?

And to round off our week in tech history, we have two events that happened in the same week, but seem like they’re in some kind of highly localized distortion of the space-time continuum (Oh no! Not another highly localized distortion of the space-time continuum). In short, one seems like it was just yesterday, and the other seems like it was ages ago. Netflix came to (some) Android phones just four short years ago. I’ve had Netflix on my phone since my first Android – the Samsung Galaxy S III, so this is weird to me.

Finally, it seems like just yesterday when Rebecca Black was reminding us what day of the week it was. Over and over, 150 million or so times. Well, she had an app too. I’ll just leave you with that.

May 12, 2011 – Netflix Now Streaming to (Select) Androids

May 11, 2011 – Why Are Download Speeds Faster Than Upload Speeds?

May 10, 2011 – What Day Is It? Rebecca Black Tells You in this Android App




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About The Author
Adam Doud
Adam joined the tech world after watching Jon Rubenstein demo the most epic phone ever at CES 2009. He is webOS enthusiast, Windows Phone fan, and Android skeptic. He loves the outdoors, is an avid Geocacher, Cubs/Blackhawks fan, and family man living in Sweet Home Chicago, where he STILL hosts monthly webOS meetups (Don’t call it a comeback!). He can be found tweeting all things tech as @DeadTechnology, or chi-town sports at @oneminutecubs. Read more about Adam Doud!