Ten Years of iPhone: How the iPhone Revolutionized Mobile Technology
While CES’s 50th anniversary might have been at the forefront of everyone’s attention last week, another important tech milestone was reached: Apple’s iPhone turned ten. Over the past decade, the iPhone has not only revolutionized technology but also the way we travel, work, communicate, and consume information. It’s worth mentioning that the iPhone isn’t the only device in this arena anymore and that it certainly has had help in disrupting the mobile landscape. However, the iPhone has contributed to a significant shift in the way we use mobile technology.
The iPhone introduced us to the world of apps with the arrival of the App Store on the iPhone 3G in 2008. Nine short years later, most of us can’t imagine a life without our favourite apps. From banking, to getting around, to connecting with people via social networks, apps have become a part of our daily routine and enable us to get more done than ever before.
Getting around in an unfamiliar area could be a very frustrating exercise before we had GPS built into our phones. Sure, you could purchase a GPS device for your vehicle but it was expensive and unhelpful when it came to walking. Paper maps also left a lot to be desired and don’t even get me started on the subject of asking strangers for directions. While the iPhone wasn’t the first with built-in GPS, it definitely made using GPS on a phone popular.
Phones had built-in cameras long before the iPhone hit the scene but I can’t recall ever being tempted to replace my point-and-shoot with my flip phone. These days, the cameras on our smartphones make the dedicated cameras we used ten years ago look like child’s play. The quality of the photos I can take with my iPhone now is just astonishing. And what’s more, the front-facing camera has spawned a new type of photograph: the selfie.
Staying connected to work and email certainly wasn’t a new idea by the time the iPhone came out. In fact, Research in Motion had largely cornered that market with its BlackBerry devices. Since BlackBerry devices were secure, worked seamlessly with Microsoft Exchange, and could be integrated with corporate apps, corporate IT departments were reluctant to stray from them. However, it wasn’t long before everyone from employees to CEOs wanted to branch out into iPhones and, eventually, Android devices. This led to a new approach to mobility in the workplace: BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device. Under the BYOD model, employees can choose and purchase their own device instead of being bound to company issued devices.
Starting with the iPhone, smartphones have greatly improved the text messaging experience. Many of us have forgotten that before the iPhone, SMS or text messages came through as separate files. Each time you received one, you were forced to open a new file and you had to open each message individually to go back and review a conversation. These days, we enjoy threaded conversations that keep everything together in a neat little package. Not to mention that keyboards have improved by leaps and bounds and we now have a wide range of emojis that can express any mood. All this has resulted in the death of phone calls. These days, we’re definitely more inclined to text than to talk on the phone.