1970s Smartphone Screen

1970s Smartphone Screen

Here we are contemplating alternative universes, and wondering what a smartphone might have looked like in the 1970s. Let the imagination run for a bit and here is the result.

1970s Smartphone

Strictly sticking with what apps might have been around and what the home screen may have looked like. Software and cloud type stuff. We’ll contemplate the hardware another time.

1970s Smartphone Screen

Konica Gram – Konica cameras had a good presence in the 1970s camera market. The get the nod for a 70s version of Instagram. Oh and this version penalizes the user for playing the whole follow – unfollow game. Down the algorithm you go.

Beta Max – Who would have been the You Tube of the 70s? Beta Max of course! Nice to be able to record, watch,and share our own creations with the world. I can sense this concept taking off!

What actually surprised me about reading up on Betamax is that the tapes were still in production up until 2016. The recorders had ceased production in 2002 tough someone, somewhere must have been buying the tapes for quite a while after. Learn something new everyday.

Pong – It’s the 70s and video games are becoming a thing. Pong would have been the Fortnite of it’s time. Let me rephrase that – Pong was the Fortnite of it’s time. Manufactured by Atari, the industry was about to blow up, and this was the beginning of the golden era of video games. Definitely an app slot on a 1970s smartphone.

Bell Labs Store – Ya no app store or play section here. Props to Bell Labs as the it played a critical role in the evolution of the telephone. There is a funny story, how the Bell Labs was on the receiving end of the first ever cell phone call from their rival at Motorola. Seems people have used technology to troll others, before anyone knew what trolling was.

Hungry Hungry Hippos – Classic. Move over Angry Birds, we have Hungry, Hungry, Hippos. Meet with people all over the world to gobble up as many digital pellets as possible. Show off your stats by climbing the ranks, unlock hidden boards and hippos, buy t shirts, stuffed animals, and more. Could how the a 70s digital version of Hungry Hippos would have took off!

Made with Visme

8 Tracks – Oh you know 8 tracks are going to be part of the equation. Records are so last generation and we need our tunes delivered with the latest tech! He we are. Spotify, Pandora, or anyone else

Pet Rock – Ok so pet rocks were not a cornerstone of the 1970s but apparently they were “a thing” for a while. Good to know people in the 70s wasted valuable money and bought frivolous stuff, simply because they can, just like modern day. Hey we build virtual farms, these days, so what can ya do?

Snarky comments aside someone took a shot at marketing this, and that someone made some money. Tip of the cap to Gary Ross Dahl, as he did just that. We’ll assume the digital version would have been available on a 70s smartphone.

Mood Rings –  Might as well piggyback off of the previous app with this app. Mood rings had a good run and so would a 1970s digital version. Think about it.. we tell the world what kind of mood we’re in on social media (or at least they can figure it out quick enough), might as well do it through accessories.

Red is excited, blue you’re calm, yellow signals imagination, and orange your daring. Think of it as like buttons, angry faces, surprised emojis, etc. Can only imagine what a startup post mortem would have read like after this app fizzled out.

Studio 54 – We’ve heard people say things such as “good thing the internet wasn’t around when I was younger”. We hear ya, and we can see where this type of atmosphere would have made for some “interesting” images, years later.

And of course the club would have had an app! Menus, performances, message boards, images, the whole nine. Hey maybe those lines might have been a bit shorter.. Or maybe they would have doubled in size. One can only wonder.

Godiva Truffle Flight Banner

Orange Crush – A good soda app, would have been front and center on any 1970s smartphone in our alternate universe. What other brand to rep that app besides Orange Crush?!

Lite – Brite – It’s the 70s and you need a logo. You don’t have a design degree but some good ideas. Visme and Canva don’t exist yet. Where do you turn? Lite Bright to the rescue.. Boom! Start from scratch or with some pre made templates, Lite Brite has it!

Hey, remember the paper? Well it’s still around because Lite-Brite is still around. Some things should be available for every generation to experience!

Saturday Night Fever Can’t do the whole 70s thing without mentioning disco right? Saturday Night Fever has it all. Disco ball, neon lights, and all. Break out the bell bottoms with matching blazer outfit it’s time to open up the app because You Should Be Dancing!

Tiger Beat – Tiger Beat is still around today both online and as a print magazine. I love technology as much as anyone, but there are some of us out there that remember the magazine world. Nostalgic to think of browsing the magazine stand, the smell of the paper and ink, flipping the pages, etc. Someday we’ll miss scrolling a website.

Reader’s Digest – Another classic whose brand has remained relevant through numerous years, variations of consumer consumptions, and economies. Yes in this alt universe, Reader’s Digest is the app the brings you the written word.

Kauffman’s Dept. Store – It’s the 70s so it’s a safe assumption that a department store app would have been a way to shop. Kauffman’s gets the selection for nostalgic reasons. It would be a while before Macy’s acquired the them so plenty of time to do some good old school shopping!

Anyways, that is that.

Thank you for reading and checking out our 1970s smartphone ideas! Look forward to more tech in alternate universes soon!


Wondering what other smartphones from the past may have looked like? Cool, us too!

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