How That iThing Has Changed My Life

On this 10th anniversary of the introduction of the iPhone, I got to thinking about the impact of the smartphone and how it has changed my life. First, a clarification, I’ve never owned an iPhone. Some six years ahead of that marvelous device, I was given a first-generation Blackberry which did a lot of the same things – email, calendar and was a pager, but not a phone (yet). I still have it and it still works (but I don’t use it).

I graduated to later generation Blackberry devices, which added the phone capability. When I left corporate life and ventured out on my own in business, I transitioned to the Palm Treo – a terrific little smartphone that did a lot of the same things.

Then came the iPhone in 2007 and the masses discovered the smartphone. Like everyone else, I wanted one but my mobile carrier, Verizon, was slow to make the iPhone available and so in frustration I purchased my first Motorola Droid thinking it was a stopgap until Verizon added the iPhone. I’ve never looked back and am on my 3rd or 4th generation Droid. (I’ve lost count.) Just this week, I cracked my first glass screen due to carelessness – not a bad record over all these years.

But, let’s get to the point. I’ve put together a list – in no particular order – of how the smartphone (synonymous with iPhone) has changed my life.

1- Today,, on the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, I received an email update from my son on Mount Kilimanjaro.

2- No need to wear a watch (with the added benefit of an alarm clock).

3- No need for a GPS in the car.

4- Can listen or watch a baseball game anywhere.

5- Can listen to my favorite radio station (WMVY on Martha’s Vineyard) from anywhere. In fact, that station went off the air to over-the-Internet only and then back again to over-the-air. It is “listener supported” – and I do help contribute to keep it going. For that matter, I can listen to anything, thanks to TuneIn radio, Sirius and Pandora. I’m seriously into music.

6- I no longer scribble reminder notes or grocery lists or To Do lists.

7- My appointment schedule/calendar is always in my pocket.

8- I don’t have to remember a single phone number (and I don’t).

9- I’m not surprised by a sudden thunderstorm or snow squall (thanks Weatherbug).

10- I can instantaneously access my bank account – a convenient feature in college years when my son(s) would deplete their bank account and need money transferred – with no notice. That used to require getting to a bank branch to see a teller meaning if I got the call after 5 pm on Friday there was no money in their account for the weekend. That actually happened – probably more than once.

11- I know the score of every baseball game as it’s being played. This may not be important to you, but as an avid fantasy baseball participant for many years, it is awesome.

12- News is instantaneous with alerts that appear as soon as something happens. We used to rely on radio, TV and word of mouth for instant news.

13- Now, I have access to my files and my computer from anywhere thanks to Dropbox, Google Drive and LogMeIn.

14- I have a flashlight and a calculator (handy for figuring out tips) and a camera everywhere I go.

15- As long as I have cell service, I also can set up a hotspot for WiFi.

16- I can record a program on my television from anywhere at any time.

17- I can order Starbucks from anywhere and it’s waiting for me when I get there. Other than Starbucks, I haven’t paid for anything else yet, but I suppose that is coming soon (Android/Apple Pay).

18- On the golf course, I know exactly how far I am from the pin.

19- I can watch television programming or anything on Netflix.

20- I can read a book or magazine or newspaper from anywhere (Nook and Kindle).

21- I don’t have to carry a subway map or commuter train schedule.

All of this can be summed up in one word – CONVENIENCE. What did I miss on your list?