I am admittedly an Apple fan. I want to be open, honest and transparent about that, though I’m sure you would be able to detect my affinity for Apple products by the second paragraph of this post. Some of you out there may read this an detest the idea that I could be so passionate about a company that has a more expensive product with a closed ecosystem. I have long respected the clean design of the Apple hardware lineup and been willing to pay more to have a computer that “just works.” I have always believed in the importance of well designed software, that is easy to use by virtually anyone, virtually free from crashes or viruses. I realize this is not everyone’s experience, but it’s been mine, and I’m grateful for it.
The first iPhone was introduced in January of 2007. It was a magical moment for me. I’d been a Blackberry user; first one of the larger models and then the unbearably small Pearl. It was great, for it’s time. I had, for many years, been an iPod user and I longed for the day where my phone and music player could be merged into one stellar device. When Apple released the iPhone with “full” web browsing, built-in iTunes integration and a beautiful multitouch screen reminiscent of Minority Report, I was amazed.
I couldn’t actually get an iPhone until the 3G came out due to a contract with Verizon. I suffered with a Razr for a short time while I saved money on the data plan by selling my Blackberry. Leaving Verizon was hard; after all they’d really done nothing wrong: service was great, customer service not too bad, reasonable prices…they just didn’t have an Apple branded phone.
After getting the iPhone 3G, I never ventured more than 15 feet away from it, except once, during the 2 years of ownership. I’d sooner forget pants than my iPhone. The iPhone changed the way I lived, the way I saw the world. Having Google Maps at my finger tips meant I’d never get lost or be unable to indulge a craving, Sushi became one search, and one touch for directions from right where I was standing. Any information was a voice activated Google search away. Twitter became 1000x more relevant, Facebook too. I found my digital camera sitting at home as the iPhone 3G camera was “good enough.” After the iPhone things were never the same, not just for me, but for the world.
The Blackberry was a great phone. I am not trying to diminish the importance that Blackberry had. It however, is nothing when compared to the iPhone. The iPhone actually changed the paradigm of mobile telephony and data communications. Seriously, think about AT&T without an iPhone and tell me they’d even be competing with Verizon. The power had always been with the carriers and the service…and one device changed it all. After Apple released the App Store, everyone seemed to want to build an app store, so much now that even web browsers are getting app stores. The idea has been worn thin by copycats galore, not that that is a bad thing in all cases.
So how did the iPhone change my life?
Productivity: I’d be remiss to not start off with this. Between calendar, tasks lists and notes, I have never been more organized and able to capture thoughts and ideas in my life prior to this. Sure I could carry a notepad, but is any notepad searchable and able to be backed up easily.
Communications and Social: Phone, Text, MMS, IM, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Yelp, etc. Sure there are other phones that do this but none with the same level of ease
Mobile Google/Information: It’s not just Google, it could be IMDB, Wikipedia or the Dictionary, no mobile phone before the iPhone gave me access to this much information in a user-friendly interface. Sure my BB’s WAP browser could go to wikipedia but really, come on, have you tried that…it’s terrible.
Entertainment: Music, Movies, Pictures – the whole experience is incredible. I can stream from services like Last.fm or Pandora or use my built in iPod. In my opinion, not one other music player comes close to the iPods simplicity and elegance.
News: I love reading news. Between the various apps that sync with my Google Reader and the numerous publication specific apps I can get my fill of any type of news, on-the-go anytime I want.
Games: Yes, I like to game and while I truly do miss the Boggle experience from my Razr, you simply can’t top the iPhone for games. Everything from action games to strategy and word games.
Visual Voicemail: It’s an experience that I’d never seen before and keeps me from listening to irrelevant voicemails that stand in the way or pertinent ones.
I’ll be writing a post later this week highlighting my favorite iPhone apps, the ones I can’t see living without. The iPhone has absolutely changed my life. What about you? Has the iPhone changed your life?