Ten years ago, Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone. It was huge, so huge that it changed the way we used our gadgets. Jobs, back then introduced a cell phone, an iPod, and an ‘internet device’ combined together to form the iPhone. The original iPhone was at least five years ahead of all other smartphones that existed, which were clunky and limited to mere email based communication devices.
By introducing the iPhone, Apple was laying the foundation of future smartphone hegemony. Many followed the lead and survived, like Samsung, LG, and Motorola. Others, such as Palm and Nokia, differed to accept Apple’s vision of future and gradually saw their own downfall. Whether you are an iSheep or Android fanboy, one thing we all have to agree is; the introduction of the original iPhone changed how we live, profoundly. Here is how iPhone revolutionized our modern digital life.
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Multi-Touch Based Interface
Remember Blackberry? Yes, it is still alive, but as the ghost of once prominent smartphone leaders. A decade ago it was the Research in Motion or RIM’s Blackberry line up that was the flagship to beat. Everyone, from doctors to Wall Street bankers had one tethered to their belts. Everyone who tried to compete Blackberry followed its steps. From Motorola’s Q series phones to Nokia’s E series, they were all wide smartphones with a QWERTY keyboard located beneath the display.
However, Steve Jobs had other ideas. He was bold enough to break the conventions to launch a touch based device. Touch screen phones did exist before the original iPhones. They mostly had resistive touchscreens that needed to be operated with a stylus. Jobs believed the best stylus is our fingers and incorporated a superior capacitive based multi-touch display on the iPhone. Fast forward to 2017, how many smartphones can you find that doesn’t have a multi-touch display?
Over the last half decade, many smartphone OS came to the market apart from the iOS and Android. From Windows Phone, Samsung’s Tizen, Jolla, Ubuntu Phone, Meego, Blackberry’s BB10, to the ill-fated Symbian 3 from Nokia. They all crashed and burned, despite many of them having features superior to Androids and iOS, because they all didn’t have many apps.
One of the main reasons behind the dominance of both iOS and Android is the sheer volume of apps both App Store and PlayStore have. However, 10 years ago, mobile apps or software were small java files that did nothing substantial and were only used by geeks and enthusiasts. By introducing the App Store in July 2008, Apple finally brought apps to the masses. This was followed by other competitors as well. Today, we order our food, hail or rides, message our dear ones, find love, post food pictures; everything through one of the apps we have. Imagine how different the world would have been without apps?
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Finger Print Scanner
Finger Print Scanners existed even before the first iPhone. In fact, they were predominant in many of the IBM Thinkpads and other enterprise models. However, introducing a fingerprint sensor on a smartphone was a game changer. It made our devices more secure and dependable, as more and more people started to use their phones banking and digital transactions.
Today it is hard to find a flagship phone without a fingerprint sensor, either at the front or back. Forget flagships even the entry level phones like Xiaomi Redmi 3s or mid-tier Moto G4, comes with a fingerprint sensor.
The biggest problem with the early smartphones were their operating systems, which was in most cases a blown up version of feature phone operating system. This means the scope of things you can accomplish with your smartphone was very limited. Steve Jobs, on the other hand, decided to think the opposite of what every other executive in the phone industry would dare to. And that was to fit the famous and efficient OS X from the Macs onto phones.
It sounded impossible and ridiculous back then. However, the result was the iOS, a mobile version of the OS X that has been powering the iPhones since 2007. Today iOS devices have overtaken OS X or MacOS devices in terms of sale and popularity. In fact, Apple is finally putting its iOS-based devices such as the iPad Pro as a computer replacement.
On October 2011 we finally were able to talk to our phones. Thanks to Siri, Apple’s intelligent personal assistant. Voice recognition feature did exist many years before Siri. In fact, if you still have an old Nokia 3310, you can find voice dialing features in it. However, Siri made it cool and useful to use voice controls. Siri was smart enough to save your notes, schedule appointments and reminds you of your errands.
10 years later, we are seeing more and more devices that are centred around AI-powered Virtual Assistants, such as Google Assistant, Cortana, and Alexa, making it an integral part of our smartphone experience.
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(Image Credit: Flickr)