The day I bought my iPhone was life-changing. I went from virtually never using my phone – often accidently leaving it at home in the morning and not realising until I got home of a night – to being glued to it day and night. Its gentle church bell alarm wakes me in the morning and my Classics app (I’m reading Paradise Lost on it) sends me to sleep at night.
Until then, I had been resistant to mobile phones – I’ve always had hand-me-down phones from friends, using a borrowed pay as you go SIM card from my brother. I rang people on landlines. I spent £10 a month on texts and occasional calls. Then the iPhone 3GS came out and everything changed. I queued at 8am outside the O2 shop to get it before anyone else and revelled in the grumbling of those couldn’t upgrade their old iPhones to the new one without paying off their contracts.
So how has the iPhone changed my opinions on mobiles? Quite simply, it makes my life easier. Ironically, the phone is perhaps not the most important feature and yet we refer to it, always as an iPhone and never as a mobile. I can check all 4 email accounts in one place without booting up my computer. I can check Facebook in a few seconds, can take photos and update Twitter on the go. I use my calendar to plan my week, Notes to record everything from train ticket reference numbers to my monthly outgoings, ShopShop for my shopping lists, RunKeeper to track my running routes and times, Converbot to check my cooking measurements….I could go on…
The interface is beautiful and intuitive- I’ve read criticism of it, I may even have sympathised with this pre-iPhone ownership. But as soon as I turned it on, I knew how to use it. The pretty icons, familiar symbols and logos all waiting to be explored. I had my doubts about the touchscreen keyboard, but it works like a dream, picking out the right letters as if I’m willing it to happen rather than my fingertip actually picking out the little letters. Texts you receive from each person are held in conversations, not separate messages that I previously battled to keep at bay.
It feels as though I have never quite discovered everything my phone can do and just as I think I’m coming close, I find something else. I was unduly excited to discover my calculator has a whole set of scientific buttons that only appear if you tip it sideways. I don’t even know how to use those buttons!
It’s this sense of discovery that is so appealing. You could argue that you shouldn’t just ‘discover’ new features of your phone but who are these tiresome people and where is their sense of fun?