We’re in year six of the iPhone.You could be forgiven for taking it for granted at this point in your life. If you use one, and odds are you use some sort of smartphone that was influenced by the iPhone, it probably has become integral to your life.
We’ve put together this appreciation for the iPhone, an amazing gadget, as a reminder of all it does to make life better.
Before you cry bloody fanboy, or any other attack, just about everything we write here can be applied to Android, or Windows Phone. We’re just using the iPhone in this case because it’s what we use.
So, when you start to lose your mind over Apple versus Google in the comments, take a deep breath and understand that we understand that this could also be said for Android.
Ok. Ready? Here we go…
If you can believe it, there was a time when you needed to print out directions before you left home. Before that, you had to carry around a giant book of maps just to figure out where you were going. With the iPhone that is not an issue! The whole world is in your pocket, complete with a handy blue dot to tell where you are on the map.
This one is iPhone specific, but ... boy is the iPhone an attractive piece of design. It feels solid in your hands, but light. It just looks cool.
As video gaming evolved, it became more expensive, complicated, and time consuming. The iPhone reversed all of that. Games are cheap and simple. Over time, we expect they're get more complicated, but for now it's nice to have a mix of simple and fun games.
Truth be told, the best way to ingest Twitter is on your computer with the tweets just rolling in. But, the iPhone is a second best option, and because of its mobility, it's probably better than the desktop. Waiting for a friend at a bar? Hop on Twitter to see what's happening in the world. Want to share what's happening, use Twitter on the iPhone.
Not everyone likes golf, but, let's say you do. The iPhone is a game changer. (Literally.) For $30, you can get an app that gives you yardage reads on the course and keeps your score. Over time you can see how you're shooting and what your handicap is. Pre-iPhone you were paying hundreds of dollars for that stuff, or doing it all by hand.
If there's no iPhone, there's no Instagram. If there's no Instagram, Kevin Systrom and his team probably don't get a $1 billion payday from Facebook.
Systrom isn't the only person who managed to build an enormously valuable company through the iPhone platform, either. It's pretty amazing that such a valuable ecosystem grew out of iOS.
The digital camera was neat compared to a film camera. But, it was far from ideal. You still had to load photos onto a computer and then share them with friends. With the iPhone you can tweet, email, Facebook, or Instagram your photos to share them. Or, with other iPhone owners you can just do Photo Stream, which allows for easy sharing.
When you fire up your computer there's generally a delay before you can actually use it. With the iPhone, just slide to unlock and bam, you're ready to go.
The iPod on the iPhone is the best iPod in the world. The Spotify and Pandora apps are better versions of radio. Podcasts are great on the iPhone. You can wirelessly send music to speakers with the iPhone. It's just great if you like music.
Thanks to Square, and other payment companies, if you're a small business, you don't need complicated, fussy payment software. Just a dongle and you're on your way.
Between Twitter, Kindle, Instapaper, news apps, and Apple's Reading List, you'll never be without reading material if you have an iPhone.
The 'Retina' display isn't just a marketing gimmick. It really is a crystal clear, gorgeous display.
For the most part, Passbook has been forgettable. But! It can be used in advance of a flight and skip the line. And, for places like Starbucks, you can use your phone to pay for coffee with Passbook.
If someone told you in 1999 that there was a computer that could do a thousand different things, you might have thought to yourself, 'I bet I need to read a fat manual to figure it out.' The iPhone has no manual. It's dead simple to use, and for the most part it just works. Your mum could get one and figure it out without your help.
Sorry! They just are. Vine, Instagram, Mailbox, just to name a few started as iPhone exclusives. Heck, the Google Maps app is better on the iPhone than Android.
This is a bit redundant, but with podcasts, books, and games, long trips feel a lot shorter
Don't laugh, but the idea that you can put something in the calendar on your phone and have it show up on your desktop calendar is great. Or taking notes in Evernote and having them show up on the web is super handy.
It's the ultimate Swiss Army knife. Email, maps, phone calls, video and photo camera, gaming, movies, and about a thousand other things fit in your pocket with ease.