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25 Things Made Obsolete By Your Smartphone

Over 25 years ago, the MP3 player disrupted the portable CD player industry. Now, your Smartphone has made the MP3 player and 24 other everyday items largely obsolete. Here’s a list of 25 items people with smartphones don’t use anymore.

1. MP3 Player

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The MP3 player, popularized by devices like the iPod, was introduced in the late 1990s, revolutionizing how people listened to music. It allowed users to carry thousands of songs in their pockets, making CDs and cassettes almost obsolete.

Today, smartphones have taken over this function completely. With music streaming apps like Spotify and Apple Music, users can access millions of songs instantly without needing a separate device. The convenience and multifunctionality of smartphones have made MP3 players a thing of the past.

2. GPS Devices

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Stand-alone GPS devices became popular in the early 2000s, providing reliable navigation for drivers. Brands like Garmin and TomTom were household names, offering detailed maps and directions.

Smartphones now come with built-in GPS capabilities and apps like Google Maps and Waze. These apps provide real-time traffic updates, alternate routes, and points of interest, making dedicated GPS devices unnecessary for most people.

3. Digital Cameras

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Digital cameras became widespread in the late 1990s, offering a new way to capture high-quality photos without film. They ranged from simple point-and-shoots to advanced DSLRs for professional photographers.

Smartphones now feature advanced camera technology, with multiple lenses and high-resolution sensors. Most people find their smartphone cameras sufficient for everyday photography, reducing the need for a separate digital camera.

4. Alarm Clocks

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The electric alarm clock, a staple in bedrooms for decades, first appeared in the early 20th century. They evolved from simple mechanical devices to digital clocks with various features.

With smartphones, the alarm clock function is built-in, allowing users to set multiple alarms, choose custom tones, and even wake up to music or podcasts. This convenience has led many to ditch traditional alarm clocks.

5. Landline Phones

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Landline phones have been around since the late 19th century, connecting people across great distances. They were the primary means of communication for households and businesses for many decades.

Smartphones offer not only voice calls but also text messaging, video calls, and various internet-based communication methods. As a result, many people have canceled their landline service in favor of using their smartphones exclusively.

6. Calculators

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Electronic calculators became widely available in the 1970s, making complex calculations quick and easy. They were essential tools for students, engineers, and professionals.

Modern smartphones come with built-in calculator apps that can perform everything from basic arithmetic to advanced scientific calculations. This makes carrying a separate calculator unnecessary for most people.

7. Flashlights

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Portable flashlights have been around since the early 20th century, providing a convenient source of light for emergencies and outdoor activities. They range from simple battery-operated models to high-powered LED versions.

Smartphones come equipped with flashlight functions, using the camera’s LED flash. This built-in feature means people no longer need to carry a separate flashlight for most situations.

8. Portable Gaming Devices

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Portable gaming devices like the Game Boy and PSP became popular in the 1990s and 2000s, entertaining on the go. These devices had dedicated games and controls for an immersive experience.

Smartphones now support a vast array of mobile games, from simple puzzles to complex, console-like experiences. With app stores offering countless gaming options, dedicated portable gaming devices are less common.

9. Handheld Video Cameras

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Camcorders became popular in the 1980s and 1990s, allowing people to record their memories on tape. They evolved from bulky VHS recorders to compact digital models.

Smartphones now offer high-definition video recording with advanced features like stabilization and slow motion. This capability has led to a decline in the use of separate video cameras for everyday recording.

10. Voice Recorders

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Voice recorders, or dictaphones, have been used since the mid-20th century for recording lectures, meetings, and personal notes. They evolved from analog tape recorders to digital devices.

Smartphones come with built-in voice recording apps, providing an easy way to capture audio anytime. This has made standalone voice recorders largely unnecessary.

11. Personal Organizers

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Personal digital assistants (PDAs) like the Palm Pilot, introduced in the 1990s, helped people manage their schedules, contacts, and tasks. These devices were precursors to modern smartphones.

Today, smartphones have integrated calendar and task management apps that sync across devices. This functionality has rendered separate personal organizers obsolete.

12. Maps And Atlases

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Printed maps and atlases have been used for centuries to navigate and explore the world. They were essential tools for travelers and adventurers.

With GPS and mapping apps on smartphones, users can access detailed, real-time maps of anywhere in the world. This convenience has made paper maps a rare sight.

13. Remote Controls

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Remote controls for TVs and other devices became common in the mid-20th century, allowing users to change channels and adjust settings from a distance.

Smartphones can now function as universal remotes through various apps, controlling everything from TVs to smart home devices. This capability reduces the need for multiple physical remotes.

14. E-Readers

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E-readers like the Kindle, introduced in the 2000s, revolutionized how people read books by providing a digital library in a compact device. They offered convenience and portability for book lovers.

Smartphones, with their high-resolution screens and e-reader apps, allow users to read books, magazines, and articles on a single device. This has led many to forego separate e-readers.

15. Wristwatches

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Wristwatches have been used for over a century to keep track of time. They range from simple mechanical watches to advanced digital timepieces.

Smartphones display the time prominently on their screens and offer additional features like alarms and world clocks. This multifunctionality has led some people to stop wearing wristwatches.

16. Music CDs

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Compact discs (CDs) became the dominant format for music in the 1980s, replacing vinyl records and cassette tapes. They offered high-quality sound and durability.

Music streaming apps on smartphones provide instant access to vast music libraries, making physical CDs less relevant. Many people now prefer the convenience of streaming over maintaining a CD collection.

17. Video Rental Stores

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Video rental stores like Blockbuster were popular in the late 20th century, offering movies and games for rent. They were a staple of weekend entertainment.

Streaming services accessible via smartphones now offer a vast array of movies and TV shows on demand. This convenience has contributed to the decline of traditional video rental stores.

18. Travel Guides

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Printed travel guides have been used for decades to provide information on destinations, accommodations, and attractions. They were essential for planning trips.

Smartphone apps and online resources now offer up-to-date travel information, reviews, and booking options. This has made carrying bulky travel guides unnecessary for most travelers.

19. Notebooks

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Notebooks and journals have been used for centuries for writing, sketching, and note-taking. They come in various sizes and styles, catering to different needs.

Note-taking apps on smartphones allow users to quickly jot down ideas, create lists, and organize their thoughts digitally. This convenience has reduced the need for physical notebooks.

20. Weather Radios

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Weather radios have been used for decades to receive real-time weather updates and emergency alerts. They are especially valuable in areas prone to severe weather.

Smartphones provide instant access to weather forecasts, radar maps, and emergency alerts through various apps. This real-time information has made dedicated weather radios less essential.

21. Business Cards

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Business cards have been a standard networking tool for exchanging contact information. They are often used at conferences, meetings, and social events.

Smartphones enable users to quickly share contact information via email, text, or digital business card apps. This digital exchange has reduced the reliance on physical business cards.

22. Home Thermostats

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Traditional home thermostats have been used for decades to control heating and cooling systems. They range from simple dial models to programmable digital units.

Smartphones, paired with smart thermostats, allow users to control their home’s temperature remotely. This convenience and added functionality have made older thermostats less appealing.

23. Photo Albums

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Photo albums have been used for over a century to store and display printed photographs. They come in various styles, from simple books to elaborate scrapbooks.

Smartphones and cloud storage services allow users to digitally store and organize thousands of photos. This ease of access and sharing has led many to forgo traditional photo albums.

24. Board Games

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Board games have been a popular form of entertainment for centuries, bringing families and friends together for fun and competition. They come in many varieties, from classic games like Monopoly to modern strategy games.

Smartphone apps offer digital versions of many board games, allowing people to play solo or with others online. This digital convenience has impacted the traditional board game market.

25. Dictionaries

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Printed dictionaries have been used for centuries to look up word meanings, spellings, and usage. They are valuable reference tools for students, writers, and anyone seeking to expand their vocabulary.

Smartphones provide instant access to online dictionaries and language apps, making it easy to find word information quickly. This instant access has made bulky printed dictionaries less common.

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