iPhone: Changing the paradigm of connection
There are dozens of thoughts swirling through my head after Jobs’ keynote at Macworld, but there is one that is uppermost in my mind and, perhaps, is a slightly different perspective than others about the amazing package Apple has delivered with the iPhone.
The accelerating human-to-human connection that a global internet and mobile telephony provides is astounding. But when you think about the implications of the world’s knowledge AT YOUR FINGERTIPS with extremely powerful handheld devices it gets even more interesting, lifechanging, and truly an enormous catalyst to drive interactions online.
Not that smartphones haven’t existed before…it’s that they’ve been “just OK” since they’re replete with compromises. I love my Treo 700p and think it’s cool…but the operating system and applications on it (I use the PalmOS version) feels like the old, shaky, MacOS 9 instead of the robust, unix-based Mac OS X operating system (which the iPhone is based upon). The Windows Mobile version of the Treo is worse since Windows Mobile feels like Window98 stuffed into a phone and has a PC-centric user interface.
The iPhone is a reinvention of the concept of a portable, rich, elegant, comprehensive communications device for your hip or purse and if the keynote or Apple web site animations are any indicator, this is going to be one phenomenal device. Are there tradeoffs and compromises? Probably…but sitting on my desk right now is the first generation iPod which looks laughingly clunky right now even though it was launched in October of 2001. My…how things have changed with the iPod devices in that short time. We can expect the same with this class of device from Apple and others.
Now think about the trends in social software; in Web applications; in video, audio and animations; in education. How cool is it that you could easily and seamlessly interact with them all from wherever you happen to be at the moment?
I can only imagine the possibilities of searching Google and having location-based advertising show up. Or being able to grab a picture and moblog on the spot. Or working on some machine and quickly looking up the manual online (I do so now but go to my computer, find the PDF, print the page and take it with me). Learning (education and training) is the category that promises to be changed the most since why bother to memorize tons of information and data when you can just look it up? Having the world’s information at your fingertips will have profound implications and I’m already experiencing many of them today via my Treo and the fast Verizon EV-DO network.
I have one year left on my Verizon contract with my Treo 700p but will undoubtedly buy one of these anyway and sign up for Cingular. Wow.
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.