I got my iPhone yesterday. I am blown away. What’s really amazing about this little device is how well it functions and how many things Apple got right. I’ve owned several Palm Pilots, a few Windows Mobile devices, and even an Apple Newton, and you know what? They all SUCKED. Why? Because they were just cumbersome to use. None of those devices worked the way I wanted to work. They got in my way, rather than simplifying my life.
I think it’s funny that the industry has put so much focus on building pen and paper replacements. You pull out your stupid stylus and scrape on the screen like you’re writing on a pad. Why? Tell me why! You know why sticky notes and pocket organizers are so popular? Because they are easier and quicker to use than these ridiculous devices. And pads of paper don’t ring in the middle of meetings.
Apple took a better approach. By touching the screen you are doing what comes naturally. If you want to see something, you point to it. If you want to see the next set of items, you brush your finger on the surface like turning a page. If you need more space, you just turn the device sideways and everything flips automatically. It’s so intuitive that there is no manual other than a little fold out card. My Motorola RAZR has a manual containing over 100 pages!
The other great thing about the iPhone is that the implementation of each feature is just done so darn well. Web surfing is REALLY web surfing. No crammed in, miniature versions of web pages. Making a call could not be simpler, and checking voice mail is awesome. No nagging computer lady screaming at you to push 3 for this and 6 for that. No listening through 5 message to find the one you want. No remembering crazy menu options. You just look at a list of your messages and point to the one you want to hear. Simple.
With the iPhone, Apple has done what they do best; simplified the machine down to it’s most important features and presented them in a way that people can access naturally. Brilliant.