10 Years of Smartphones: New Forms of Portable Fun

According to a report published by e-commerce specialist Jumia last summer, more than 40% of the Ugandan population can be classified as internet users, thanks in part to the increasing penetration of affordable smartphones on its market. While this is still below the global average of close to 50% (and to some countries where the percentage of connected individuals often reaches 80% or more), it continues to grow – thanks especially to the large variety of affordable smartphones already released and set to be released by manufacturers. A decade after the release of the original iPhone, that has marked the beginning of the smartphone era, let’s take a look at the novel forms of fun available to the ever-increasing smartphone using population in Uganda – and the world.

Mobile games

In just a decade, mobile gaming has overtaken all other platforms when it comes to revenue – and it will continue to grow. The variety of games running on smartphones is amazing. You can come and try the best online blackjack in the universe with Wild Jack casino on the go, and dig into virtually any other type of game from puzzles to action games and racing titles on the same device, even run evergreen games released on “golden era” consoles that will never go out of style.

The majority of the mobile games available today are ad-supported, meaning that they will not cost players anything.

Audio and video streaming

In January 2016, Netflix has launched its service worldwide, giving birth to “a new global Internet TV network”, as Reed Hastings, CEO of the company, told the press. This has made a wide variety of original and third-party content available to anyone with a smartphone in their pockets for a monthly flat fee, which makes Netflix’s offer attractive to pretty much any user anywhere. But pocket-sized entertainment doesn’t stop here: there are plenty of other – often free – streaming options available worldwide, like FM radio stations from all over the world, videos through YouTube and other outlets, and many others.

Social media

While social networks existed before smartphones, their existence gave them life anew. Today, social networks are the favorite pastime for generations of smartphone users. There are many options available, some – like Facebook – based on sharing content on a daily basis, others built on sharing photos, exchanging messages and video clips, and their likes. Social networks started out as a means of gathering people with similar interests but today, they have become a major force in the entertainment market, thanks in part to the decade of smartphone use.

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