Mobile Phones Android 444 444 people found this article helpful What Makes a Smartphone Smart? Smartphones offer additional features beyond a typical cell phone By Liane Cassavoy Writer Liane Cassavoy is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire who has been reviewing and writing articles about smartphones since 1999. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Liane Cassavoy Updated March 24, 2020 All About Smartphones What Makes a Smartphone Smart? All About Biometrics How A Smartphone Recognizes Your Face Finger Scanners: What They Are How Touchscreens Work Should You Communicate Only With Your Smartphone? James Boast/Ikon Images/Getty Images Tweet Share Email A smartphone adds features to a cell phone—such as email and web browsing. It connects to the internet and offers personalized services as a result. 1:54 Why Are They Called Smartphones? Key Smartphone Features In general, a smartphone runs an operating system that supports mobile and web applications. Apple's iPhone runs iOS, and BlackBerry smartphones run BlackBerry OS. Other devices run Google's Android OS, HP's WebOS, and Microsoft's Windows Phone. By 2020, Android and iOS capture almost all the global market. Apps While almost all cell phones include some sort of software—even the most basic models these days include an address book or some sort of contact manager, for example—a smartphone creates and edits Microsoft Office documents, download apps such as personal and business finance managers, capture and edit photos, get driving directions via GPS, and create a playlist of digital tunes. Web Access More smartphones can access the web at higher speeds, thanks to the growth of 4G and 3G data networks and the roll-out of the new 5G standard, a mix of mobile data and Wi-Fi data makes these devices powerhouses at consuming media. Messaging All cell phones can send and receive text messages, but what sets a smartphone apart is its handling of email. A smartphone can sync with your personal and, most likely, your professional email account. Most smartphones support several email accounts. Others include access to the popular instant messaging apps.