Yesterday’s post on my miserable experience with the Tom Tom is in sharp contrast to today’s with my new Apple iPhone 3G. Although Apple is perhaps the world’s consummate master of the short product life-cycle, you’ve got to hand it to them when it comes to understanding that things need to work in human terms and not in machine terms. Need to move from one “page” to the next…simple, just flip the page with your forefinger as you would a paper one! I literally taught myself how to use the iPhone in just a few minutes and largely without resorting to the manual…its that “transparent”. The iPhone is the epitome of convergence (bringing together many different types of functionality, e.g. phone, camera, email, web browsing, etc.) and user-friendliness. Even their maps are easier to see and use than the purpose-built Tom Tom!
My motto in recent years has been “want less”. This doesn’t mean that I’m some kind of Amish Troglodyte (no offense to the Amish intended, actually I’m a great admirer). Simply put, the difference between today and a few years ago is that I no longer embrace technology for its own sake…it has to really be useful before I’ll buy it (or should I say, before I’ll keep it?). And the iPhone is both useful and incredible fun to use. I can actually envision the day when I can walk through airport security with nothing but my iPhone, a small Moleskin notebok and pen, plus an ultra-thin wallet in my back pocket.