The iPhone was the device that took handheld computing from something only nerds could stand to something useful for “normal” people. Looking back at what Apple announced (video) back in 2007, two things stand out: How primitive the first iPhone actually was, functionality-wise—no third-party apps, no multitasking, no copy-paste, etc.—and how revolutionary it was.
In the above-linked video, you can hear people gasp as Jobs demos scrolling and pinch-to-zoom. Which shows what an epic leap forward the product was. When your demo makes the audience audibly gasp in delight, you’re doing things very right indeed.
This New York Times article on the backstory behind the development of the first iPhone, apart from being interesting reading in itself, shows just how much Apple bet on that product and how flatfooted it caught the competition. (It’s an extract from the very good Dogfight, which you should read if you have any interest in the technology business.)
Now the platform has had enough time to mature that people whose lives are sad can fill the Internet with blather about how boring the accumulated improvements to the platform are. Boring, boring, boring. Yawn. Multi-tasking, a full-on Q-Branch fingerprint sensor, retina screen, massive performance increases. Yawn.
It must be very sad to be one of those people.
Apart from the progress of the iPhone itself, it’s mind-boggling just how many other devices and technologies in my life the iPhone has devoured. (And yes, if you swing Android, a modern Android phone can do pretty much the same things.)
The iPhone is now the camera I carry around, it’s my GPS, it’s my alarm clock, it’s my music player, it’s my exercise tracker, it’s my weight logger, it’s my Twitter window, and it’s my podcast player. All of that in my pocket.
But wait, there’s more! Thanks to the maturation of Bluetooth my iPhone also talks to my FitBit and the Automatic device in my car and plays podcasts over my car stereo. Seriously, listening to a podcast on the bus, then getting in the car and having the same podcast continue playing over the car stereo from inside my pocket is so future it’s almost ridiculous.
It’s going to be amazing to see what the next seven years will bring.
Nic reports his experiences so far with voice computing from Amazon and Google and is a bit mystified at the reaction to Apple’s HomePod.
After a few weeks of using iPhone X I’m ready to join the congratulatory choir.
Nic is interested in smart homes. His contractor let him know how the wealthy are already using them.
Apple’s neglect of the pro market is causing a lot of gnashing of teeth in Apple-nerd circles, but it’s true to Apple’s vision.
There is unrest in the Mac community about Apple’s commitment to the platform. Some are turning their eyes to building a Hackintosh to get the kind of computer Apple doesn’t provide. Here’s what it’s like to run a Hackintosh.
Car nerds are dealing with some cognitive dissonance as car technology changes.
The Oasis is Amazon’s best e-ink reader to date, but it’s not good enough for the price.
Nic buys an Amazon Echo and is indubitably happy with the fantasy star ship in his head.
The problem isn’t ads. The problem is being stalked like an animal across the internet.
The DS416j is a nice NAS for light home use. Just don’t expect raw power.
The Core Dump is moving to GitHub Pages. This is a good thing, most likely.
Thoughts on Apple Watch after half a year of daily usage.
Predictably, the Paris attacks brought the anti-encryption crowd back out of the woodwork. They're at best being willfully disingenuous.
Things to consider when planning to build a site on a compressed time table.
Nic provides some basic not-too-paranoid tips for securing your digital life.
Installing Jekyll on an EC2 Amazon Linux AMI is easy. Here are the steps.
After wearing the watch for over a month, Nic has thoughts on its future. Spoiler: Depends on how you define success.
Turns out “it's just a big iPhone” is a stroke of genius.
Some technical terms still confuse people who should know better, like journalists.
How to host a static site on Amazon S3 with an apex domain without using Amazon’s Route 53.
People fear change, so new technology is used as as a faster version of the old. This makes technologists sad.
Nic loves his Pebble and looks forward to the Apple Watch, but realizes he’s in the minority.
Nic loves books, but he loves their content more.
Nic is worried about the fragile state of our technology and thinks you should be as well.
Nic tries to understand the WATCH. It doesn't go well.
Nic thinks home integration could be Apple’s next major category. Read on to find out why.
Nic is frustrated with his Kindle and would love to see Apple make an e-ink reader.
The iPhone was announced Jan. 9, 2007. It now occupies a huge chunk of Nic’s life.
Nic is very impressed with the speed of the iPhone 5S and iPad Air.
Nic buys a Nexus 7 to test the Android waters.
Nic outlines some of the risks of ceding comments on news stories to Facebook.
Nic is bemused by the sturm und drang surrounding the iOS-ification of Mac OS X.
Web publishing used to require heavy-duty nerditry, but no longer.
Nic is creating an e-book. He shares what he’s learned so far.