ack in 2007, I would start each day by grabbing my Nokia phone (which played Snake, a pinnacle of mobile gaming) and my iPod, shoving them both in my pocket to scratch the daylight out of each other. It was a First World Problem, for sure, but it was one of those daily annoyances that build up to become enormous as they're revisited day after day.
Then came rumor that Steve Jobs was going to reveal something at the next Apple media event. Something huge. The Technorati had been reading digital tea leaves for years, saying that every quarter prior to this was the quarter when Apple would finally unveil an iPod/Phone mashup. But despite my wishing it to be so, just so that I'd have one less thing to carry around each day, it never happened.
Until it did.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up an Apple iPhone at the MacWorld Conference in San Francisco, in this Jan. 9, 2007 file photo.. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
Jobs stood on stage on January 9, 2007 and unveiled "An iPod. A Phone. And an Internet communicator." The iPhone was unlike anything that had come before it. It combined a mobile phone and a music player in an easy to use package, leveraging (some might say cannibalizing) the popularity of the iPod. That first iPhone introduced us to the concept of apps and social media on-the-go. Overnight, a new world of sharing (and oversharing) your every moment and meal with your followers became as simple as taking a picture, going to the Facebook for iPhone page in Safari on your iPhone, then resharing. OK, so maybe it wasn't "simple" back then. But it certainly was a lot better than having to wait to use the desktop for everything!
In the decade that's followed, the iPhone has triggered a societal shift. We are always connected. To work, to our friends, to those that we want to be like and want to be like us. Our iPhones are our constant companions, letting us escape into mobile games that once required entire separate gaming systems to run (between Final Fantasy, Pathfinder, and Hearthstone, it's a wonder I get anything done during the day), access the world's library of digitized music, and browse practically all of human knowledge (the good, the bad, and the Reddit). They help us find and build communities. The iPhone and all the devices its inspired in the decade since its inception have gone beyond "convenience" to "lifeline."