10 Ways The iPhone Changed My Life
The Debrief: Happy Birthday iPhone, you wonderful thing, you!
On 9th January 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone. Ten years and ten models later, over one billion iPhones have been sold around the world.
Embarrassingly, I did not trade in my beloved Blackberry Bold for an iPhone 3G until 2010. Whilst I try to tell myself I was channelling my inner Kim K, it may have had more to do with an ill-advised 24-month Vodafone contract and a reluctance to give up BBM. But I have not looked back since.
Despite the fact it has just gone past midday and I am down to 46% battery, I love my iPhone, and, in spite of the incessant drone of over-compensating android users, I am almost certain I will remain a loyal iPhone user for a very long time.
Truth is, the iPhone has changed my life; and I am not ashamed to admit it.
1. The Swiss Army Knife of Technology
In the early years of high school, my school bag resembled that of a pubescent Mary Poppins. Along with my school books, my Charlie Pink body spray and my Dream Matte mousse, there was my Sony Ericsson K750, an Ipod Mini, my school calculator and a Samsung digital camera (it was the MySpace days, you never knew when a good picture moment could arise)
Today, while my handbag still contains lots and lots of crap, I only carry one technological device: my iPhone. A phone, a camera, computer, calculator, games console, mp3 player and even a trusty flashlight are all combined into one 5x2” handset.
2. The Death of The Phone call
As a teenager, I spent hours on my landline phone. Reluctant to use my little to non-existent mobile credit, I would use the landline phone to call the friends who I had spent all day with, to chat all evening. Today, with most of us on Unlimited Minute contracts, phone calls have never been cheaper, but, like many, my iPhone is used for anything but.
With the ability to text, tweet, email, WhatsApp, Facebook message or send a VoiceNote, it is no surprise that phone calls are a thing of the past, with a 2016 study reporting that 31% of smartphone users had not made a phone call in the last week.
You can be sure in the knowledge that unless you are my Grandmother, your phone call will be duly ignored and responded to with the ‘Sorry I missed your call, what’s up?’ text in due course.
3. Constantly Connected
Before the rise of smart-phones, if you sent somebody an email and they were not at their computer; your email would remain unread until they were. Today, we are almost always constantly connected and contactable at all times. Which on the one hand is great, not-so-great when you are trying to avoid an awkward conversation and find yourself falling victim to those two pesky blue ticks.
The rise of the iPhone has also encouraged the widespread availability of public WiFi which is now available in most airports, shopping centres and even hospitals. When I decided I had had enough of the Western world and all the strains and stresses it entails and decided to go and ‘find myself’ in South East Asia, I, like many other like-minded travellers, found that South East Asia has bloody good Wi-Fi accessibility.
4. Information Right At Your Fingertips
Whether it is finding out bus times, checking your bank balance or sneaking the answer of the tie-breaking question at the pub quiz, having an iPhone means that information is available to you instantly, whenever and wherever. Never again, will I have to trawl through a book, or even have to go through the pains of logging on to a computer, to find out anything. Ever.
5. (Almost) Never Getting Lost Again
As a nine year old, me and a fellow Brownie Guide were escorted to the middle of the woods, given a compass and a slightly out of date Ordnance Survey map, and told to find our way back to the camp. An hour and a half later, I had found my way out of the park campsite and onto a small village high-street. Brown Owl said that unfortunately she couldn’t award me with my orienteering badge and my orienteering skills have yet to progress much since. Luckily for me, I now carry an updated, detailed map of the whole wide world in my pocket.
Introduced to the iPhone 3G in 2008, GPS and apps such as Google Maps and Apple Maps meant that we never have to reluctantly ask for directions ever again.
6. The Rise of the Selfie
As an avid Myspace user I was a dab hand at the mirror pic and through years of practice had perfected my outstretched-arm emo angled shot, but it was in 2010, when Apple introduced the front facing camera on the iPhone 4, that selfies really became a thing. So much so, that in 2013, Oxford Dictionary named ‘selfie’ their word of the year.
And it’s not just selfies; whether it’s fomo-inducing holiday snaps, aerial images of my dinner plate or a ten-minute video of me very drunkenly singing over Adele at Glastonbury; with an iPhone everything, and anything, can be recorded and instantly uploaded to social media.
7. There’s an App For That
An avid user of Uber, Deliveroo, WhatsApp, Spotify, Instagram, Shazam, Snapchat and loads more, the App Store has changed the way I retrieve information, the way I travel, the way I communicate and before I, thank god, left the dating game, it was beginning to change the way I looked for (and failed to find) love.
Not available on the first iPhone model, The App Store was introduced on the iPhone 3G in 2008. Today, the App industry worth tens of billions of pounds, with over 2 million apps available for download in the App Store. And there is much truth to be found in their snappy slogan; there really is an app for everything, from ordering alcohol straight to your doorstep to monitoring your menstrual cycle.
8. The Power of the Emoji
When writer Fred R. Barnard said a picture was worth a thousand words, I am not quite sure a small cartoon eggplant was the picture he had in mind. Today, I can communicate with my friends almost entirely in pictogram, letting them know I am so over the day already with a simple yellow face with crosses as eyes and that I want to get very very drunk this weekend with a picture of tiny red-dressed dancing lady.
Although found on Japanese mobile phones as early as the Nineties and introduced to most of us in the format of MSN emoticons, it wasn’t until Apple’s introduction of an emoji keyboard that we began completely substituting words with tiny cartoon pictograms.
9. Gone Gaming
Although today my iPhone is relatively game-free, I am not afraid to admit I am a reformed Candy Crush addict. Although it has been long-removed from my iPhone to free up extra storage for sly screenshots and pictures of pretty girls on Instagram, Candy Crush was the perfect procrastination through a particularly difficult exam period when it was released in 2012. Thanks to overnight successes such as Angry Birds, Pokemon Go and my personal third-year favourite, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, the Apple App gaming industry is worth millions and remains one of the highest-grossing categories.
10. The Magical Power of Rice
So, I am aware that this remedy is not fool-proof but I, myself, have saved two completely unresponsive iPhones with a bag of Uncle Ben’s. A phone that can be retrieved from the dark depths of the toilet bowl and resuscitated to former health by a bag of rice? That sounds pretty damn good to me.
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