Wednesday, May 4, 2011

iPhone - The ultimate lifestyle convergence device

Now there's a mouthful of a title for a blog post!  But I really believe it's true.  The iPhone is the ultimate convergence device for improving your lifestyle, your efficiency, your work....just about everything!  It's part phone, part computer, part personal assistant, part organizer, etc.

Let me say up front that much of what I'm writing here probably also applies to the Android platform and its related smartphones and apps, but the iPhone is what I have experience with so I'm writing about that specifically here.

I got my iPhone a few weeks ago.  My wife had one for almost a year before that so I had ancillary experience in using hers and saw the huge potential of the device.  The problem is that I was too cheap to buy one for myself!  Let's face it....these things are expensive.  Not so much the phone itself, but the monthly data plans and cell service!  Add it all up over the course of a year and it's a whopper of an extra expense to take on.

So.....the expense kept me fretting about getting one for quite a while until I just couldn't take it anymore.  There are so many times when I've been out and about doing something and it occurred to me that having an iPhone would not only come in handy, but it would also enhance the enjoyment of my life.  I finally broke down and got one.  Not once since then have I thought about the expense of owning and using it.  It's that great.  Once you have it, the expense of it fades into the distance and you forget about it.

Maybe a statement like "enhance the enjoyment of my life" sounds extreme, but to people who own and use.......and I mean really iPhone, you know what I mean.  Not only do I use it for the common every day things like sending/receiving email, calling people, calendars, etc, but the world of the App Store has let me load up the phone with about 25 apps that have organized and improved my life, let me enjoy my hobbies more, let me get around easier, and many other things....including some gaming as well!

Most of the apps were free.  The most I paid for any one app was $10 for a specialized photography app that I purchased to make planning my photography outings easier.  But all together I probably didn't spend more than $30 on apps for my iPhone.

Now the iPhone never leaves my side.  I find myself reaching for it when I would have ordinarily gotten up to go to the computer in another room to do something.  News, Facebook, sports, weather, email, Flickr, Twitter, internet, casual photography, reading my RSS feeds, managing my To-Do lists, listening to music, checking prices while I'm out shopping, checking what the latest bird is in our back yard feeder, mapping my bike rides with the GPS, etc.  I do it all on the iPhone.

I read a great quote the other day in an article about smartphones.  The author of the article was trying to pin down a generic definition of what a smartphone is.  He said, “A smartphone is a device whose uses go well beyond calls and messaging. In fact, I would define it as a phone you use at least half the time for something other than calling and messaging”. 

I completely agree with that statement.  In fact, I almost never use my iPhone as.......a phone.  

Yes, the screen is relatively small when comparing it to a computer, but I don't sit there staring at it for hours at a time like I do with a computer screen.  It's a bit here and a bit there throughout the day, and that's what I mean when I say "convergence device".  You find yourself using it for so many different things at so many times during the day that it becomes a part of the way you function.

If you're debating whether or not to get an iPhone, don't waste your time.  Just get it.  Don't wait on the iPhone 5 because you never know when it's going to come out and you'll miss enjoying the iPhone every day until then.  Just go get the iPhone 4 and start enjoying it today.

As part of this blog going forward, I've created an iPhone category on the left side and will be posting about the iPhone, great apps that I find, and other topics in the future.  In fact, I like the iPhone so much that I also purchased an iPad 2 and will be blogging about that as well.  I hope you find the articles interesting...

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