This is a guest post by Christine Morris. Her own popularÂ site:Â Apps n Hats reviews iPhone applications and compliments her fortnightly podcast. Â If you’d like to follow Christine on Twitter, you’ll find her stream here. Â TheÂ Apps n Hats Twitter stream can be found here.
This article fromÂ TechCrunch tells us thatÂ The iPhone/iTouch combo is;
“…the fastest-growing consumer electronics product of all time.”
What is it about this device that has people wrapped up in its magic?
I’ve always been excited by technology and when the T5 came out from Palm, I could hardly wait to get one. But, as with most technology, the *novelty* wore off. I played a few games, set up a few calendars, and got bored after a few months. Bored of the difficulty entering text. Bored of putting in a wifi card that I had to carry around if I wanted connectivity. Bored of finding a contact but not being able to phone them without finding a phone first. Bored with how big it was. Bored with how hard it was to turn off.
Palm Tungsten T5
Image Source: Flickr
What is the magic spark that makes you really love what technology Â you are using?
Whatever the magic is, the iPhone has oodles of it. I have had this phone for nearly 18 months, and I am still just as excited about it as I was when I first had it, and I’m excited for the future of it too. I’m not sure I have ever owned a piece of tech where the novelty didn’t wear off. Does this mean it’s not a novelty item?
I don’t want to just sing praises, iPhone owners mostly do love their iPhones, or they don’t, that’s fine too, but for me here are the main reasons why I think it’s made that cross into my life, why it moves from a “piece of kit” to becoming “my right hand”.
This device has crossover. What I mean is, it isn’t just a gaming device, but it isn’t just a work tool. This may be a reason for its success. I can use it in my job, my home life, social aspects and much more. Even it I am using it to travel for example, it becomes a way to find my way and stay in touch as I do. Here are some categories I notice the crossover and what makes it *the one*.Â These things I get out of the iPhone, and it makes it my little piece of lifestyle I can’t live without.
Because of the apps and portability of this device it can be used in an education environment. Wired recently covered a story about Education and “How the iPhone Could Reboot Education” Around 48% of the students were given an iPhone / iPod touch which would accompany their studies.
â€œFor us, it isnâ€™t primarily about the device,â€ Rankin said. â€œThis is a question of, how do we live and learn in the 21st century now that we have these sorts of connections?â€¦. I think this is the next platform for education.â€
The app ‘4Track‘Â is being used at one of the places I teach at to supplement music/recording sessions. It lets you record 4 tracks of different sounds which the students can then use to edit together.
I have also recently discovered ‘iSaidWhat‘ which lets you record sound and then using the tools in the app to edit it, rearrange it etc. A really quick easy to use app that shows them the waveforms. Fantastic. These are only a few in the amazing wealth of apps that can enhance a students experience.
Because of the iPhone, traveling potentially has become far easier. There are apps that can help you to catch your flight, train, bus or search for the nearest taxi place. Once you get there you can use the maps and navigate successfully without getting (too badly) lost. There are also some amazing translation apps that speak the translation for you so you can communicate better when you are there. You also can use some of the many postcard apps which mean you can just take a photo of your holiday and with a click or two, it gets sent to a contact in your address book after they print it and stamp it for you.
Also, using voice search within the Google App (I still find amazing), I can be busy and not have time to type into my phone, and all I need to do is speak into it to find a location or place I am looking for. Then once it’s found it can direct me there or give me a phone number that I can dial immediately with one click.
A newer app is FastMall, and if you have been to a mall in America you know they are huge and you always need a map to find your way around. Well this app does that plus – more importantly, you shake it to find the nearest bathroom! Blessing.
This is what really made services like Twitter seem a far more useful thing. Once I had an iPhone, using Twitter fast became one of the primary things I used my phone for. It makes these services much more accessible and keeps us connected to or friends and family. We have instant access to their information and I think it helps us to form connections where we all help each other. I find it an amazing situation to be in that if I have a question or need advice I am a tweet away from someone who will help, or someone I can offer help to. We feel a part of their lives and they feel a part of ours.
We can update our blogs, WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr etc from where ever we are, and we can compare high scores through Open feint as well as compete against each other.
I carry my iPhone around with me everywhere. It is the one item I don’t think I can do without. I don’t want to try either. We have choices of cases, holders, ringtones, all these things to help define our style. The biggest lifestyle change is being able to have information on demand. I messed up a site I was working on and was going to be away from my computer for some time, FTP on the go saved me from worrying about it the entire time I was out. I was able to ftp to the site, fix the error and forget about it.
In the pub, someone was asking about a really old movie, out came my iPhone, loadedÂ IMDB app and I had the answer. If I am in a shop I can take a photo of a product and it tells me review information for it, and where I can get it cheaper. This has saved me a lot of money!
This phone has provided me and my friends with some great moments of entertainment. At parties it is pretty fun to use uArt app, which puts a beard on a photo so you can then shave it. Or I launch Assassin FPS, a first person shooter that uses your camera so you can shoot your surroundings! For folks without an iPhone, they love this, and can’t believe some of the apps and things it can do. There are charades games, quizzes, even TV guides and movie apps to let you know what’s playing where.
It’s not just for you. The iPhone can be used for your kids and teens. It has schedules so you don’t miss their recitals, and it has lots of children’s books and comics so you can keep them happy. It has shopping apps so you can list your recipes, groceries and items you need to pick up for the week. It makes my family life run aÂ little bit lot smoother.
Image Source: Flickr
After all that, I still can’t decide what is the magic factor.
It has changed the way I work and play.
Is it the Hardware, the Apps, feeling part of a bigger community who have the same device, connecting me with that community or, is it the combination of those?