Do you send and receive more phones calls or e-mail? If your answer is e-mail, or you wish it were, then a new breed of telecommunications devices called an e-mail phone or Internet phone may soon find its way into your kitchen or living room. Essentially, an e-mail phone, or e-phone for short, is the merger of telephone and computer. With most of these new screen phones, that means being able to read and reply to electronic mail directly from the phone, without starting up (or even owning) a PC. With some, it also means being able to search through the Web to make vacation plans or research homework assignments though at slow speeds and on a rather small screen. And you can still make phone calls, too.
No computer experience is required to use an e-phone. Most let you sign up with Internet service provider (ISP), which typically charges about $20 per month. Once you're past this tedious work and enter the account information into the phone, you can check your e-mail from either your computer or phone.
To assess your e-mail account from one of these phones, you typically have to select e-mail service from a menu. Phones with touch screens have an icon (图标) for that on the opening screen. For other phones, you press one of the buttons lining the bottom or sides of the display, much as with an ATM machine. The phone then calls your ISP. When the ISP picks up, the phone automatically transfers your account name and password. Once accepted, the ISP will start sending the phone your messages. By touching the item you want to read or hitting a button next to it, the message will be displayed. Once you've read it, you can reply to the message, move onto the next one, or, with most phones, delete the message from your account. You can check your e-mail manually, but most e-phones can also be set to check several times a day automatically. In automatic mode, the phone flashes to tell you mail is waiting. If you happen to be using the phone when it is scheduled to check for e-mail, the phone will automatically try again when the line is free.
One serious drawback to e-mail by phone is that it cannot receive (or send) attached files, whether they contain documents or graphics. Some phones will attempt to display simple text files as part of the message, but other types of files will appear as gibberish(乱码), or not at all. If you share the e-mail account with a PC and don't delete the message, however, you can usually retrieve the message and file on your computer.
1. An e-mail phone is an improved device of telecommunication in that ______.
A. it can record a message in the form of e-mails
B. it can be used to receive and send e-mails
C. it can be connected with computers
D. it can be used to visit websites
2. Compared with a traditional telephone, an e-mail phone probably ______.
A. has a colored screen
B. has a larger size
C. has similar key arrangement
D. does not have a receiver
3. When an e-mail phone is being used to make phone calls, it ______.
A. cannot receive new messages
B. send out a signal of new messages
C. cannot display e-mail messages
D. automatically checks new messages
4. One fundamental flaw of e-mail phones is that people cannot use it to ______.
A. receive or send e-mails with attached files
B. receive attached files with documents
C. read attached files with graphics
D. read only messages in the form of simple text
5. It can be inferred from the passage that e-mails phones are designed to ______.
A. make transmission of e-mail messages faster
B. make communication through e-mails cheaper
C. make communication through e-mails easier
D. make communication through e-mails more popular