Up until a few months ago, I have been outside of the Apple universe. Numerous of you are loyal and enthusiastic users who repeatedly extolled how the products are far superior and have pontificated how could anyone use other products. OK, most of that talk was about computers and not the handheld devises, but still. Our reason for staying (and continuing to stay) with PC’s is because the lifeblood of our industry is the program AutoCad which to my knowledge either only runs on PC’s or it could be our employers choose PC’s because they are cheaper. So in order to remain compatible with our work computers, we have stayed with PC’s (and likely because they are cheaper).

At my previous job, all the others at my level were given iPhones as their work cellphones. Due to a technicality, I did not receive one. I did not press the matter (along with other perks) since I did not plan to stay and did not want to have reasons to feel obligated to stay. Regardless, I was a bit jealous. I’m not a tech junkie by any means. Heck, I finally got a phone with internet access only a year ago. I just feel the technology will trickle down and we’ll ‘make do’ with the affordable technology available to us. But then I finally switched jobs. Again my peers had iPhones as their work cellphones, so I asked to have one also and it was granted.

Now I had seen from the iPhones of both my father and sister that they are impressive, so I as very interested to explore what they are capable of. Between the music, the geolocation, the internal gyroscope, and even the camera, I have been blown away.

A couple years ago, I dabbled a bit with mp3’s. I was impressed at the portability and wanted to use them for music in the car. Outside of music in the car, I haven’t really listened to music either with a walkman or in the house. In regards to a walkman, I stopped listening to those outside the house in my mid-teens. I was out for a run in the city and I just felt I should be more aware of my surroundings for fear of not hearing an approaching car or a mugger. In the house, we stopped listening to music after we had our first-born. I think it was part due to keeping it quiet for her to sleep and part from fatigue of our old CD’s. Our CD buying dropped quite significantly after that. MP3’s improved our enjoyment of music in the car since I could burn a hundred favorite songs onto a CD. But due to the software we were using, it was very tedious to select and burn the songs from the original CD’s to the computer. I also tried working with low-cost mp3 players, but in the car we’d always forget to turn them off and they’d often be out of power when we wanted to use them. I did try out iTunes, but didn’t realize that it would only work with iProducts, so I abandoned it since I wasn’t willing to shell out the cash. I was also peeved that it’s a proprietary system requiring you to buy THEIR products. But now that I have an iPhone, that completely changed. I’ve been impressed with how easy it is to rate and organize the songs and upload them to the phone. I’ve uploaded all our CD’s and have been busy rediscovering so many songs that I rarely listened to since they are on albums with other songs I don’t want to listen to. I’m back to listening to music on a daily basis and may start wading back into discovering new groups. iTunes may reignite my interest in music the same way Flickr reignited my interest in photography.

As for the other aspects, they have been icing on the cake. I’ve always been a patient person and don’t get bored easily usually using down time to find interesting things around me. Now this is going to sound oddly ominous, but this devise has filled in those down times. When I’m in the bus or the metro or other waiting times, I pull it out and check my email (I’ve become much much better at responding because of it), play a game, or check on the news. I love the portability of having the phone and a mini-computer in one devise. With the geo-location you can check what are the local restaurants and how they are rated on either Urbanspoon or Foursquare. With the internal gyroscope you can see what are the current constellations in the sky (Skywalk) by pointing the phone in that direction or use the phone like a steering wheel for a number of driving games.

Since I’m big into photography, I must talk about the camera. It is incredibly convenient to have the camera included in such a powerful device. It is a decent camera even if it is not as versatile and powerful as a real SLR. But in addition to the convenience, there are multiple apps that make it fun to play with the images along with utilizing the gyroscope capability to create panoramic photos.

The power of the devise and the possibilities have really blown me away. I completely understand now all the hype that I had heard in the past.


~ by Frank on January 19, 2012.

2 Responses to “iProducts”

  1. Frank, long gone are the days when a mobile phone was just a device for making calls, sending text messages, and the replacement for a watch. It is truly amazing how a single product can be such a game changers as to create a shift in how we live our lives.

    The iPod did that for me back in 2003… The very idea that I no longer had to carry a binder full of cd’s in my backpack, along with a cumbersome “discman” player for my commute to work on the train each day was a big deal… But it was when I bought my first iPhone back in the summer of 2007, that the real shift in my day to day life changed for me.

    Non-users (even Blackberry users) really don’t fully grasp how this little device can have so much influence on ones life, but it really can simplify so many things. Not just email, music, books, games, etc… But it has become a tool, a resource, a veritable “Swiss Army Knife” of the modern world. I have used my iPhone as an alarm clock for years, so I ditched my old alarm clock. I use it as a sound generator to gently send me off to sleep each night. There is an app to turn it into a “level” which was great when hanging a picture recently. I use it as a transit map, to order movie tickets before heading to the theater, to add movies to my Netflix que, to deposit checks into my checking account from anywhere. I use it to keep up with my social media…. But beyond all of that, the camera and associated apps have completely changed the way I do photography. I shoot, process, and upload to multiple websites and sharing services directly from the phone. I have now shot more than 30,000 images with my phone, just since 2009. This is something I would never have even considered (as my $3,000+ in camera equipment sits on a shelf in my apartment).

    The culture of Apple is not the least expensive route, but the end user experience has more than made up for the added expense for me. One down side, is that my expectations that everything else should also make sense, and “just work” has been

    I am glad you have been able to experience the shift, and I hope you continue to explore the multitude of things you can do with the iPhone.

    Oh, and it also makes phone calls!

  2. Thanks, Devyn. I’ve also used the alarm clock function with success.

    One of the items I forgot to mention is both the email and calendar functions. It is so incredibly convenient to carry around my agenda in the phone and be able to access email from anywhere. I often spend the bus ride into work going through email either sorting them or responding to them.

    When the weather warms up, I will still try to get out and use the ‘real’ camera. I just got a 50mm and I would like to take it for a whirl in Old Montreal where I now work.

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