The Rise of the Multi-Screen Generation

Today almost everybody owns a smartphone. Even those who resisted one for many years and were happy to use their old flip phone are now having trouble finding a phone that doesn’t fit into the “smart” category.

It wasn’t until the early years of the 2000s that mobile phone screens started to be in colour. For example, Blackberry’s first colour-screen, the BlackBerry 7210 (7230 in Europe), only came out in 2003. With a resolution of 240 x 160 pixels, 16MB of storage and 2MB of RAM it wouldn’t meet the standards of today’s generation of users anymore.

Paving the way for a new kind of phone

One of the main catalysts that catapulted phone and tablet technology into the new millennium was the release of the first iPhone in 2007. It was neither the first gadget with touchscreen technology nor the first phone that could connect to the internet and play music. However, it’s intuitive usability and the OS, which essentially made the device a mini-computer that happened to be able make phone calls, completely “reinvented the phone”. Users now had much higher expectations of their phones and other companies including Samsung, Amazon and Google followed suit.

Multi-Screen Generation
Photo: “Computer With Mobile Phones Colorful Application” by KROMKRATHOG

The multi-screen generation

It didn’t take long for these new mini-computers to become an integral part of our everyday lives. One of the results of this rapid technological development was the equally rapid rise of the multi-screen generation. Having a film playing on the TV while using your mobile phone or your tablet has become normal for the majority of people.

But most of us don’t just use devices randomly – context is key. Our phones, for instance, are our main tool for keeping in touch with family and friends via social media and text messages while tablets are most often used to shop for things. TVs and monitors are still the preferred tools for streaming movies and videos.

But we don’t only use multiple screens separately. Today’s technology also allows several screens to work together. Google’s Chromecast, for example, allows you to share laptop or phone screens on your TV. Little games and apps that allow you to connect with your friends now also transcend the single screen. The Cybeer Bar, which lets you pour your friends a virtual beer, is a good example of this.

Today’s technology consumers therefore want the interplay between screens to be as smooth as possible, which in turn drives tech developers to do their best to make better products that their clients will want to use.

The multi-screen generation has become a huge driving force behind the technology industry. We no longer rely on one single device but instead use the gadget that best suits our need at the time. Getting multiple screens to work together smoothly to get the most out of our devices has therefore become an integral part of most people’s everyday life.

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