This has got me thinking about the potential of apps for archaeologists. The many geospatial functions of the phones such as GPS and compass combined with satellite mapping available through the internet have obvious uses for archaeologists in the field (see here for an account of one archaeologist making use of his iphone during excavations and here for a list of useful apps for archaeologists). Co-ordinate capture, field note taking, instant uploading of geo-tagged photos, weather forecasts, access to the web (and thus journals, databases, other archaeologists etc) and even leveling tripods can all be easily assisted by smart phones right now.
However, their is scope for much much more. Practical apps are one thing but more general interactive apps will, I think, be a big thing in the next few years. The National heritage Board of Sweden have recently released an Android app (beta version) which searches heritage data in your locality and presents it in your hand with locational information. An Irish equivalent would be typing in ringfort to your mobile and being shown the locations of the ringforts in your vicinity and any information available on them. Of course the GPS ability of your smartphone would also tell you how to navigate to them. The next step on from this is the idea of 'augmented reality'.
As yet, app development is at a very early stage and their use for archaeology is rare (although watch this space for a Seandalaiocht App to be launched very soon), but with the opening up of mapping data in the UK and hopefully someday in Ireland, along with open-source repositories of information such as wikipedia there is scope for the development of new realities experienced through handheld devices that were only a sci-fi fantasy twenty years ago.