Then & Now: How Technology Has Changed In The Last 20 Years

by reternX

When you think about how technology has changed, you don’t have to go far back into the beginning of time just to compare the differences.

It can be as short as one generation, or around 20 years.

Let’s explore the “Then & Now” of some major technologies from the year 2000 up to the present-day 2020 and how much it has changed since then:


Then: Handheld “Bricks” from Nokia and Motorola

Now: Sleek Smartphones from Apple and Android

Back in the day cellphones were mainly used for phone calls and basic text messaging, mostly used by working adults from specific professions like sales and business for their transactions. They started to make “camera phones” in 2000 but they weren’t powerful enough to replace digital cameras.

Smartphones today are so advanced that they are more powerful than a supercomputer 10 years ago. You can pretty much do anything you can possibly think of doing with a computer on a smartphone such as shopping, playing games, social media, business, navigation and even booking a Balikbayan Box.


Then: Renting from Blockbuster or Buying VHS Tapes and DVDs

Now: Streaming Online with Netflix and YouTube

While cinemas are still around, you no longer have to go outside to see a new film or wait a few months for Blu-ray versions to be released. You can simply go online and purchase the film, or stream it on a subscription platform.

The same goes for television, TV Shows today are made available on mobile apps, where you can watch them “on demand” for free with advertisements or for a subscription fee you can pay digitally.

That means you don’t need to buy multiple devices for different viewing purposes like VHS players and DVD players, just your mobile phone or computer of choice (laptop or desktop). No more pressing rewind, or manually winding tapes, just skip the ads!


Then: Transistor radios, cassette tapes and CD albums

Now: Spotify, iTunes and YouTube Music 

Gone are the days when the only music on your phone were used as ringtones, everything can be downloaded and streamed on your device. There’s no need to go out and buy, or carry around fragile hard copies and save up for portable players like Walkmans and iPods. You only need to buy it once, and listen to it across all of your devices.

Thanks to streaming platforms and digital stores, you may collect and purchase every song or audio you desire to listen to. The same goes for radio, they can be streamed online without any signal problems as long as you’re connected to the internet. Some services even upload recorded versions so you can listen to them offline, whenever you want.


Then: Simple Text Messaging or SMS

Now: Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, iMessage

Remember phonebooks where you had to physically jot down contacts or look up book directories for people you want to speak to? Even old phones had contact limits, and sent messages individually.

Thanks to the evolution of phones into smart devices, you can download mobile applications like social media and chat platforms to send limitless messages to any number of people. You can stay connected online, and you’re not limited to text messages but can also make audio-video calls.

This is a big deal for people and businesses that require connection from different parts of the world. For example, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) don’t need to spend a fortune on international calls or phone cards to contact their family back in the Philippines. They can simply open their smartphones to send online messages or make a call over the Internet for free.


Then: Dial-Up Connections

Now: WiFi and the rise of 5G

The Internet today can be easily surfed anytime, anywhere thanks to WiFi connections. You don’t need wires or telephone lines on your computer or phone to connect anymore! In a few taps, you can connect to open WiFis or pay for more secure WiFi sources.

Furthermore, the development of 5G in mobile phones introduced a faster and more efficient way to connect your phone with different devices and technologies. That just shows how the present (and perhaps the future) gives importance to staying connected with technology and up-to-date on everything online.


It’s evident that there has been a huge technological advancement in the past 20 years, across all areas which had an immense impact in our day-to-day lives. It almost seems impossible to imagine what the next 20 years will be like.

At reternX, we empower businesses in the Balikbayan Box industry by providing the tools and technology they need to improve customer service, with something as simple as a mobile application that can be installed into a smartphone.

You may book a FREE DEMO with us to learn more.