Ever since that fateful day when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the Macworld Convention, the device has changed the world, especially Generation Y. The change is massive and widely felt, but what are the specific details on how things have changed with both cell phones and their users?
1. The screen encompasses the device
Back in the old days, cell phones had physical, clunky buttons that would aggravate users if something happened to them. Since Apple’s design took off, many phone makers have used the same layout, ditching most physical buttons for a big, beautiful display that diminish the aggravation of the device not registering quickly.
2. The touch controls
Not just a touchscreen, but a screen you actually touch — with your fingers. Apple did away with that stupid stylus, so now you can make a different type of tapping sound as you sit in the movie theater, texting and explaining to your friends why you took your mom to see Eat, Pray, Love. On a Friday night.
3. The Apps
The original device was useful enough. It shipped with a built-in Apple apps for checking the Internet, weather, e-mail, texts, stocks, calendars and the time, which was all most people wanted or thought they needed. But when the App Store opened, people suddenly had access to a stockpile of well-designed third-party apps, and developers were able to build an astonishing variety of custom apps. Now there are apps to use your smartphone as a catapult for limbless birds, a means to buy movie tickets, a steering wheel, a gun, a piano, a personal price scanner, business card and possibly a milking machine. A lot has changed and new apps come out weekly if not daily.
4. All Internet, all the time
The iPhone ushered in an age of all Internet, all the time, thus becoming society’s ultimate double-edged sword. For better or worse, it’s blurred the lines between work and home lives, as well as made communication a round-the-clock habit. Now, we have the ability to be both a learned scholar who reads classic novels such as The Count of Monte Cristo while commuting to work and a circus clown who walks into a lamp post while peering at a screen trying to stay up to date 24/7.
5. Learned Insomnia
Smart phones have introduced new causes of learned insomnia. On the plus side, flight delays and the DMV are way more bearable, as long as you can find a charger.
6. Safer World
This device has increased safety with apps for everything from vocal CPR prompts to health monitors (and decreased safety: see clown reference)
7. Relationships & Privacy
It has both increased our ability to stay in touch, even on the road and decreased our privacy (see police and government spying, a la 1984).
8. Information & Gaming
It has both increased literacy with tons of downloadable books and decreased our time and desire to read with equal amounts of games, videos, movies.
9. Time Management
It has increased efficiency with all kinds of time saving apps and decreased it with unlimited stupid pet videos.
10. The Good Outweighs The Bad
Bottom line, I’m an accountant, the iPhone’s not perfect, but on balance the good outweighs the bad, and the iPhone will be around until the next big thing. But then again, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
This post was written by David Baker, blogger for i-Adapters.com. David lives in Lake Mary, Florida. When he isn’t blogging, David is busy being a full-time student.