Having mentioned it more than a few times I thought I should at document my impressions of the iPhone – now we have been living together for a week…..
This will be a short post as I am not that good with the touch screen typing yet – am hoping this will improve. Apart from that – and the rather poor battery life I have to say that it is more than living up to expectations. The ease of use is amazing and the user experience shows what can be done if you think about people rather than about technology to leas design. It works – and you can start to see what this might mean in terms of augmented reality in the future as you use apps just to do small useful things as part of your daily life.
Now – I am not a typical user as I have an ongoing love affair with technology – but I saw a good friend of mine yesterday who has a far more pragmatic view of gadgetry and she is just as seduced as I am. With that reaction you can start to see how this is a technology that can leapfrog the shackling of the Internet to a desk and to make it part of your life. I don’t know if this is good or bad – but I do know I am already starting to think about what the embedding of technology into our day to day existence in this way could mean for our civic society. Let’s not just use this for better ad placement.
Interesting final thoughts. I think there are other parallels. While we might see this initially as “the embedding of technology into our day to day existence”, is that not simply a means to an end?
I was very taken by a short piece in BBC2’s otherwise not awfully good recent documentary series about the impact of the web. The extract showed what’s happening in South Korean schools now that web-based learning is very firmly established there indeed. The technology has, in effect, become “invisible” and what had really become embedded is access to information, the ability to find it, assimilate it, etc.
I’m a Windows Mobile user and have been into portable browsing since the days of the Psion 5. Because mobile browsing gets easier and easier to do, I find I use it more and more often. It’s often the simplest of tools that are the most liberating – Google Maps, train times, the London underground map. These, and the access paths to them do not, of course, need a demonstration of high technical ability by the user. The hand-held web still lags behind the desktop world. Strangely, there’s not a lot of sign that this is changing as rapidly as people’s browsing habits. Sad that there’s such a reality gap between the truth of WAP browsing and the way the advertisers portray it.
What Apple has done, and Microsoft is apparently failing to do (VHS/Betamax all over again?)is to make the iPhone desirable to many users who are currently concerned with neither the technology nor the information – it’s the must-have piece of pocket bling, even if you just want to send text messages. That matters not, because on the back of the sales income comes development. IMO Microsoft is playing catchup at present, and poorly. Their equivalent of the App Store is an utter technological turkey at present. The absence of headlines about this says a lot.
As for advertising, Google, Amazon and co are showing that there are better ways than in-your-face ad placement? It’s possible that many companies and suppliers will indeed view the technology mainly as a means to better advertising, though I suspect that this will end up being via more subtle methods than we realise, or notice.