It is quite nice working for a company that is constantly adopting new technologies. I can justify purchases of new gadgets to myself saying “its for research, after all I’m in the biz” :D One of my favorite gadgets of course is the iPhone.
I went out and bought a first gen iPhone 3 days after launch. I would not go so far as to say the first iPhone I bought changed my life, but it did considerably change how I used a device. Before the iPhone, I owned every other smart phone; Treo, Blackberry, Nokia 9100, Palm, sidekick. All of these devices just wound up being a big bulky phone. I never really used the “smart” features because they were inconvenient. But the iPhone was different. It had less features, but all of the things it could do I found extremely useful. Mail, TXT, Maps, Stocks, Camera, ipod, Calendar, Safari, Weather, and my favorite feature of all time, visual voicemail.
Then the 3G iPhone I bought last year made improvements, but they were honestly moderate at best. As a user, I could care less about the 2.0 SDK (but as a software services company, we LOVED the new busines opportunities the SDK brought us). The app store was introduced, but the applications offered were more novelty than really useful. Even today, I own probably 50 apps from the store and i still use the native applications 99% of the time on my device.
Yesterday, I bought the 3Gs (32gig, black). I instantly noticed that performance significantly improved. But my old iPhone’s performance was not half bad, so I really didn’t care about it. I played with voice control, I can see how useful it will become for me, but certainly not life changing. Then, I played with the camera. All I can say is WOW ! The quality of the 3 megapixel pictures and the video is jut awesome. Don’t get me wrong, my sony camcorder and canon camera produced MUCH better quality, but they mostly sit on a shelf at home. I don’t use them because they are inconvenient. (That’s the second time I said that, maybe I’m just really lazy).
I can’t tell you how many times I thought to myself “I wish I had my video camera right now”; and I’ve thought that in my personal and professional life. Often times at work, something special is happening in a workshop or strategy session where I wished i could have captured the moment. And there are countless times that is true with my two daughters at home. This new device allows me to capture those moments ad-hoc. That is life changing for me. I have one device that will always be with me and it acts as my personal assistant, my communications device, my information portal, entertainment & content management hub, and now will serve as my documentarian. Best of all, the features and the software are all elegantly designed. Everything about the iPhone is engaging & useful.
It is VERY rare in life that I am satisfied with technology. My dissatisfaction is the primary reason why I started EffectiveUI in the first place, to help fill the gap I saw between what people wanted from technology and what businesses were actually building. The folks at Apple have done an amazing job at respecting all of our desires for technology that “just works” – I’m in awe Apple, well done…
[Minor Update and Rant]
Just found out that AT&T no longer includes SMS with the iPhone data plans- the folks at the AT&T store failed to tell me. SMS just was turned off on my account with no notice. I missed several important messages. AT&T’s lack of customer focus can damage consumers’ impressions of Apple…