The single best selling product in the world, the iPhone, celebrates its tenth year since launch. Robust design, innovative technology and extensive marketing made the iPhone go from a piece of technology to a lifestyle statement. But it is also interesting to note how this device has impacted human life as a whole. So remarkable are some of the changes that post iPhone generations will not be able to visualise the pre-iPhone life. Let us look at the ten ways in which the iPhone has changed the way the world works today.
Reduced hardware size :
While hardware kept getting smaller with computers and basic handsets, it wasn’t until the iPhone that the electronics industry really upped its game. The iPhone packed tons of computing power in a pocket sized device and hardware manufacturers were forced to match up. Research and innovation took place in everything from RAM and ROM to batteries, speakers and sensors.
Made Complex software accessible to all :
The iPhone App store revolutionised the software industry by making software affordable to the common man. The sheer number of users brought down software costs and made complex tech functionality available to everyone. Now you wouldn’t think twice about making a list, taking notes or budgeting on your phone, but without the iPhone such functionality would have been available only in premium business license software.
Enhanced Human Machine Interfacing :
The iPhone reimagined human machine interaction with the touch screen. Before that machines were needed for us to communicate with other machines. Whether it was the keyboard, keypad or stylus, we needed an intermediary – any other form of device interaction was the realm of sci-fi. The iPhone touch screen, specifically the onscreen keyboard, changed everything. Not only did it make us all comfortable with this user interface, but it also drove further research in this direction – leading to voice, gesture and movement interface. It opened up the possibility of a future where a man will be no different from the device he wears.
Made technology a fashion :
Pre-iPhone technology was boring. Does anyone remember the pagers, Nokia mobiles and Blackberrys of yore? They were insipid and uninspiring – practical but clunky. The iPhone added glamour into technology – associating sophistication and class with phone design. Other phone manufacturers followed up, and a slew of mobile accessories arose – now all tech must be stylish if it does not want to bust.
Created the flexible working lifestyle :
Pre-iPhone, the lines between work and home were clearly drawn. Even with Internet and mobile, you were limited to answering work calls (which you could ignore) and had to be on your computer to get any office stuff done. But the iPhone changed everything. The various apps and the Internet on the go mean every company can give you a remote desktop on your phone. Now you can work in the trams, while shopping and even in the bathroom! Unfortunately, everyone also has to work harder to maintain some work life balance.
Made hobby photography more professional :
Before the iPhone, quality photography was the realm of professionals. Everyday photos were homely and boring; only the professionals created art with their large hand mounted cameras and equipment. The iPhone bought the HD camera into everyone’s pockets. This, combined with an array of photo-editing apps, means anyone can do cool photography now. And let’s not forget the front-facing camera that set of the whole new selfie trend.
Made news more meaningful :
Thanks to the iPhone, we no longer have to wait for next day’s newspapers, or even 24-hour news channels to air something. Any major event is filmed, tweeted and broadcasted on social media by bystanders eager to share. Most news comes straight from the source, with human emotion, opinion and experience interweaving to recreate the incident for you.
Combined Entertainment with Communication :
Before the iPhone, a phone was only for communicating. You had other devices for entertainment – television, music player, and your gaming station. But the advent of the iPhone revolutionised the entertainment tech industry – which actually went from being hardware focussed to software focussed. With music, gaming and video apps, the general public turned to their smartphone for entertainment. This marked the end of certain devices like MP3 players and Nintendos and spawned other new businesses that were entertainment focussed but software driven (think Soundcloud and King Games)
Influenced how children learn :
The advent of a slew of learning apps made education much more interactive. Learning is much more dynamic, and children from the post iPhone era use all their senses to acquire new information. It’s no longer about reading and memorising but more about playing a game and learning as a side effect.
Made arguments boring :
Future generations will never know about the endless debating with family over irrelevant facts. Now, you can just whip out your iPhone and ask Siri – let her unemotionally end the discussion. The answer to any question is now at our fingertips – all thanks to the iPhone!