This post will cover definition of all mobile terms from A-Z. I can say it categorically that not all mobile phones users know the meaning of even the most popular mobile terms such as AMOLED, ANDROID, BLUETOOTH, EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) , EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), EGPRS | EGSM (Extended GSM), Email client | EMS (Enhanced Message Service), EV-DO | EV-DV, Exchangeable covers, External Antenna Jack, External Display E.T.C Well you need not look elsewhere because i have painstakingly compiled the list of all the terms that are popularly used from A-Z (Courtesy gsmarena.com) read on and feel free to ask your question(s) where necessary.
The name usually given to original GSM, CDMA, and TDMA networks. It uses the spectrum more efficiently than analog (1G) systems, and offers digital encryption of conversations. 2G networks introduced data services for mobiles starting with SMS.
Analog cellular phones were the first generation while digital marked the second generation.
3G is loosely defined, but generally includes high data speeds, always-on data access, and greater voice capacity.
The high data speeds are possibly the most prominent feature, and certainly the most hyped. They enable such advanced features as live, streaming video.
There are several different 3G technology standards. The most prevalent is UMTS, which is based on WCDMA (the terms WCDMA and UMTS are often used interchangeably).
3GP is a simplified version of the MPEG-4 Part 14 (MP4) container format, designed to decrease storage and bandwidth requirements in order to accommodate mobile phones. It stores video streams as MPEG-4 Part 2 or H.263 or MPEG-4 Part 10 (AVC/H.264), and audio streams as AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AMR-WB+, AAC-LC or HE-AAC.
3GP is designed for effieciency to make it suitable for Streaming across mobile phone networks and storing on mobile devices with very littel storage capacity. Video rarely exceeds a QVGA resolution of 320 x 240 pixels but there are VGA or even D1 resolution exceptions. Audio is usually encoded as either MP3 or AAC-LC (Low Complexity). Framerates for most mobile devices are Limited to 15fps.
There are two different standards for this format:
- 3GPP (for GSM-based Phones, may have filename extension .3gp)
- 3GPP2 (for CDMA-based Phones, may have filename extension .3g2)
Both are based on MPEG-4 and H.263 video, and AAC or AMR audio.
When transferred to a computer, 3GP movies can be viewed on Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms with MPlayer and VLC media player. Programs such as Media Player Classic, Totem, RealPlayer, QuickTime, and GOM Player can also be used. Some cell phones use the .mp4 extension for 3GP video.
802.11 is a set of IEEE standards for wireless local area networks (WLAN). The most common variant is 802.11g, which is backwards compatible with the older B variant. 802.11g devices are sometimes marked as 802.11b/g to indicate this compatibility. There is a newer version – 802.11n – that provides higher maximum speeds and better range.
The 802.11g standard’s typical speeds are rated up to 54 Mbps.
A-GPS (Assisted GPS)
Assisted GPS (A-GPS) is used to speed up start-up times of GPS-based positioning systems. GPS may have problems getting a lock when the signal is weak and in such a case A-GPS would assist in getting a lock.
This, however, is achieved by the use of an Assistance Server, so a data connection is required and charges may apply for the data transfer.
A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile)
A2DP is used for streaming stereo music wirelessly to headphones or speakers over Bluetooth.
Unlike other Bluetooth profiles (Headset and Handsfree), A2DP is one-way only and streams a stereo signal.
The accelerometer is a built-in electronic component that measures tilt and motion. It is also capable of detecting rotation and motion gestures such as swinging or shaking.
The most common use for it is to activate auto screen rotation on mobile devices when the user changes their orientation from portrait to landscape or vice-versa.
Another modern application for the accelerometer is to control the mobile device music player with gestures (Sony Ericsson Shake control or Samsung Motion play technologies).
Accelerometers are also utilized for enriching the gaming controls (navigating by tilting the device instead of by pressing keys).
Another popular mobile phone feature based on an accelerometer is turn-to-mute. It allows user to mute an incoming call, silence an alarm or pause the mobile music player simply by turning the device face down.
A string of characters containing both letters (A-Z) and numbers (0-9).
An alphanumeric text entry field will accept both letters and numbers. An alphanumeric keypad is one with both letters and numbers on the keys.
AMOLED display (Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode)
AMOLED is an emerging display technology used in portable devices like mobile phones. Active-matrix OLED displays provide the same performance as their passive-matrix OLED counterparts, but they consume significantly less power.
This advantage makes active-matrix OLEDs well suited for portable electronics where battery power consumption is critical.
A method of transmitting information using energy waves. It doesn’t have discrete levels but is a continuously variable wave. Human voice for example is transferred by directly converting the sound wave to electricity.
Analog cell phones (known also as 1G) used this technology. However virtually all modern cell phones use digital signals (2G or later).
Android is a Linux-based smartphone operating system and software platform created by Google.
The Android platform is supported by the Open Handset Alliance and is open source. Any manufacturer can use Android on their phones and software written for the platform will run on Android-based devices regardless of manufacturer.
Android competes with Windows Mobile, S60, and other smartphone platforms.
The physical device used for sending/receiving radio waves. Older phones used external antennas while most current phones use an internal antenna. The size and shape of the antenna is designed according to the type of radio waves being used.
APN (Access Point Name)
APN is the name (web address) of an access point for GPRS/EDGE/UMTS data connection. Usually wireless carriers provide the APN to their end users.
A common connector for plugging in a standard pair of music headphones such as the ones found on music players, computers and most other electronic devices with audio outputs.
It can support stereo and/or microphone, depending on the number of separate connector rings on the jack.
Some phones offer only a 2.5 mm jack, which is a smaller variety of the same principle.
Headphones supplied with mobile phones usually have a mic somewhere along the cable and a remote button that allows for managing calls without using the phone.
Some manufacturers opt for placing a 3.5mm audio jack on this remote control instead of directly on the phone itself. The reason for this is that 3.5mm jacks take up quite a lot of internal space; plus, in this way the user gets to keep the remote control/mic functionality while using third-party headphones.
Auto-focus is a feature of digital cameras that allows them to focus correctly on a subject. It enhances the quality of the photo over fixed-focus cameras and allows for close-ups (or the even closer macro shots).
Phones use passive auto-focus with contrast measurement. This means that the camera needs contrast to focus and have problems focusing on a blank wall or in low light conditions.
Some phones can use their camera LEDs as a focus assist light to help deal with the latter case.
AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile)
AVRC is a Bluetooth profile that allows remote control of media playback on other devices. Supported functions are play, pause, stop, next, and previous.
It is usually coupled with A2DP so that, for example, wireless headphones use A2DP to stream the music and AVRC to control playback.
A specific range of frequencies (for example those between 1850 MHz and 1995 MHz) are called a band.
Bandwidth is used to measure the data throughput of a channel or connection. It’s the amount of data that can be sent over a connection in a given amount of time without distortion. It should not be confused with band.
The bar form factor is the most common and simple form factor for a mobile phone. The body of a bar phone is one, single block and has no moving parts (aside from the buttons). “Locking” the keyboard is done to prevent accidental key presses when the phone is carried in a pocket, purse, etc
A fixed station that uses radio waves to communicate with mobile devices. It serves as the link between the user’s device and the carrier’s network.
Base stations range in size and area of coverage. Some may cover a radius of several kilometers while others cover only a few city blocks. Most stations transmit in all directions but there are also directional antennas aimed at a specific direction.
Usually base stations are owned by a single carrier but may offer roaming coverage for other networks.
A binary digit. The values of a bit are either “0” or “1”. Eight bits form a byte.
Bluetooth is a wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks.
There are two important parameters of Bluetooth devices – class and supported profiles.
“Class” signifies the distance at which a Bluetooth connection is possible. Most mobile devices are Class 2, which means they have a range of up to 10 m. Class 1 devices are rare and have a range of up to 100 feet.
A “profile” is a type of Bluetooth connection. The most common are the Headset (HSP) and Handsfree (HFP) profiles that enable the device to connect to a wireless headset or handsfree.
Some other profiles are OBEX (OBject EXchange) which allows transfer of files, contacts and events; A2DP, which adds support for streaming of stereo sound and AVRC, which allows remote control of playback.
bps (Bits per Second)
A measure of data transmission speeds, the amount of bits transferred in a single second. Typically, speeds are measured in kbps (1000 bits per second).
Note: kBps (with a capital B) denotes bytes per second.
Not necessarily the same thing as a manufacturer, as most carriers do not fabricate their own devices, but rather acquire them from manufacturers and sell them under their own brand. This is called re-branding.
In data communications, a “broadband connection” is a connection with a high speed of data transfer (greater than 56 kbps). Generally, it is fast enough to support streaming video.
A piece of software that allows the user to access Internet sites.
Most current handsets are equipped with browsers capable of viewing common websites (those intended for a desktop browser).
Web browsers on budget cellphones may be capable of viewing only websites specially made for mobile devices. The most advanced devices currently have web browsers with full Flash support that allows them to play even embedded Flash video (such as the videos from YouTube)
A string of 8 bits.
Typically, one byte equals one character of text but in some cases (especially with non-Latin alphabets), two or more bytes are used. Because of this, an SMS written in Cyrillic or Chinese alphabets has shorter maximum length than one written in the Latin alphabet.
Some phones feature a camera that gives them the ability to work as a digital camera. Often (though not always) the camera is also able to shoot video.
The most important characteristics of a camera are the resolution (measured in megapixels), lens focus type (either fixed or automatic) and the presence of a flash. The flash could be either LED (single or even double) or xenon.
The number of megapixels is not always a good measurement of the quality of the photos, but if you plan to print pictures, you would generally get higher quality ones out of higher megapixel cameras.
Auto focus lens are not a guarantee of better image quality, but fixed focus cameras are usually inferior. Most importantly, only auto focus cameras can allow shooting of really close objects – i.e. macro shooting.
Some phones offer optical zoom but those are rare. Most use digital zoom, which degrades the quality of the photo.
Cameras that can work in “video mode” are characterized by the maximum resolution and framerate (frames per second or fps) of the recorded video.
Capacitive touch sensors are used either as buttons or on touchscreens. They work by sensing the electrical properties of the human body instead of pressure and generally they don’t work with a stylus so they don’t allow handwriting recognition. However, capacitive touchscreens feel more sensitive than their resistive counterparts.
Capacitive touch screens are also considered more durable than resistive touch screens.
In some countries, it is prohibited to use a mobile phone while driving so special accessories are sold which let you make a call without holding the phone in your hand.
Such accessories are sold as kits that may include a holder for the phone, a battery charger, connections to an external speaker and microphone for better audio quality, an external antenna for better reception and a junction box with data port for optional fax/modem connections.
Carriers (sometimes service providers, operators) are the companies that sell the use of a wireless network. Usually they own the network though some (called MVNO) do not.
The network consists of base stations (cell towers) and the infrastructure linking them.
The service allows the user to access the network and they are billed by the minute (for calls) or by kilobytes (for data transfers). Such services are sold as packages known as “calling plans”.
NOW CLICK THE LINKS BELOW RELATING TO YOUR MOBILE TERMS TO VIEW THE DEFINITIONS:
CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) | CDMA2000 | Cell | Chipset | cHTML (Compact HyperText Markup Language) | CIF (Common Intermediate Format) | Clamshell | CMOS (Complementary metal-oxidesemiconductor) | Color depth | Concatenated SMS | CPU (Central Processing Unit) | Crosstalk | CSTN (Color Super Twisted Nematic) | CTIA | Custom ringtones
D-Pad (Direction Pad) | Digital Zoom | Display type | DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) | DNSe (Digital Natural Sound engine) | Downlink | DRM (Digital Rights Management) | Dual-band | Dual-Mode | Dual-SIM | DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld) | Dynamic Memory
EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) | EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) | EGPRS | EGSM (Extended GSM) | Email client | EMS (Enhanced Message Service) | EV-DO | EV-DV | Exchangeable covers | External Antenna Jack | External Display
FCC (Federal Communications Commission) | Feature Phone | Femtocell | Firmware | Fixed-focus | Flash Memory | Flight mode | Flip-down phone | FM Radio | FM Transmitter | Form factor | FOTA (Firmware Over-The-Air) | FPS (Frames Per Second) | Frame Error Rate | Frequency | FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
H.263 | Half-QWERTY keyboard layout | Handwriting recognition | Haptics | Hot Spot | Hot Swap | HSCSD (High-Speed Circuit Switched Data) | HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) | HSP (Headset Profile) | HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access) | HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) | Hz (Hertz)
Land line | LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) | LED (Light-Emitting Diode) | Li-Ion (Lithium Ion) | Li-Polymer (Lithium Polymer) | Linux | Location-Based Services (LBS) | Lock code | Long SMS | Long term evolution (LTE) | Loudspeaker
Macro | mAh | Mass Storage mode | MB (Megabyte) | Mbps (Megabit per second) | Megapixel | Memory card slot | Memory effect | Messaging | MHz (Megahertz) | Micro USB | microSD | microSDHC | Microsoft Exchange (Server) | MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) | MIDP (Mobile Information Device Profile) | Mil-Spec (MIL-STD) | Mini-USB | miniSD | MMC | MMCmobile | MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) | Mobile games | Mobile IM (Instant Messaging) | Mobile WiMAX | Modem | Monochrome | MP3 (MPEG Layer 3) | MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) | MPEG-4 video | Multitouch input method | Music playback time (battery life) | Music Player
Packet Data | Pager | PC Sync | PCS (Personal Communications Service) | PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) | Phone Book Access (PBA) | Phonebook | PIM (Personal Information Manager/Management) | PIN code (Personal Identification Number) | Pixel | Pixel density (PPI) | Polyphonic ringtones | POP3 (Post Office Protocol) | Port | Predictive text input | PTT (Push-To-Talk) | PUK Code (PIN UnlocK Code) | Push
RAM (Random-Access Memory) | RBDS (Radio Broadcast Data System) | RDS (Radio Data System) | Resistive touchscreen | Resolution | Ringer ID | Ringing profiles | Ringtone | Roaming | ROM (Read-Only Memory) | RS-MMC (Reduced-Size Multi Media Card) | RSA (Rural Service Area) | RSS (Rich Site Summary) | Ruggedized (Rugged)
S60 user interface | SAP (SIM Access Profile) | SAR (Specific absorption rate) | Screen protection | SD (Secure Digital) | Secondary camera | Sensors | Side Keys | SIM | SIM lock | Single-Band | Skin | Smartphone | SMIL | SMS (Short Messaging Service) | SNS (Social network service) | Soft keys | Soft Reset | Speed Dial | Stand-by time (battery life) | Stereo Speakers | Streaming Video | Stylus | Sub-QCIF | SVGA | Symbian | SyncML
Talk time (battery life) | TCP/IP | TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) | TEST | Tethering | Text messaging (texting) | TFD (Thin Film Diode) | TFT (Thin Film Transistor) | Theme | To-Do list | Touchscreen | Trackball | Transflash | Transflective | Tri-band
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