Don’t ask me why. This is each
year the same experience. About the same time.
I am on vacation and my iPhone doesn’t want to come with me.
Forgotten in a cab the night before leaving, or smashed by my 18 month old son a few days after arriving, … the effect is the same: I am away, out of the office, with no spare device. Free as a 20th century boy.
This is a great experience. A Freudian slip for sure but this parapraxis offers me the opportunity to test myself: how long could I go without the most important (material) thing in my life if I am to believe what my nearest and closest tell me, and what do I miss the most in this f****** machine ?
Just like a yearly diet, I will confess that I enjoy this digital Ramadan (it is much longer than a digital shabbat for sure). My limit, each year, is “two weeks clean” as geekaholics anonymous might say.
I am just back from vacations, back from my iRetreat.
Ready, fresh, fit, sharp. And I see clearly why I now have a new iPhone and what I really missed.
Let me share with you my conclusions and The State Of My iPhone in 2012.
Smart(phone) doesn’t speak
Year after year, I use less and less the phone part of my... phone. I just call my mom, I text my friends and I think that my family, and my beloved clients ;), are the only people I don’t find intrusive when they “voice”-call me.
I would guess I’ve easily reduced by a factor of 10 the time spent talking on the phone in the past 5 years.
Email can wait, even Twitter can wait
And you don’t need your own device to access them, thank you webapps!
Last year, what I missed most was my email. And Twitter.
This year I kept the situation under control. Is that the same process as for voice calls that starts for emails ? I can’t be sure and to be honest, I think not but, certainly, you can live without your emails for a couple of hours. You may smile but this is kind of new to me...
And for Twitter and Facebook, this is just the same. And if you REALLY have something to check or to share, web apps are just so great at Gmail, Twitter and Facebook that you just need to borrow ANY device around you for a few minutes. So, either you can wait for your laptop or you can borrow a mobile device, to mail, tweet etc... your everyday life.
And for maps? Well, Google maps are such an awesome service but they also changed our relationship to the city and its people: don’t be shy, just ask how to get where you’re going from this beautiful local in front of you! My experiment may have been too short but having maps always with you seems not critical in a normal context.
My top 3 reasons apps to relapse
Here is the main part of my experience. Where it really started to itch and burn.
If I had to make a top list of what I missed, it will certainly be apps. And not native apps (even if Apple Weather app could easily make it to the top10 list).
And the winners are:
I love this app. Again, you will laugh at me but I now can’t think of running without it and if you run, you know how addictive it is.
So, two learnings here : my personal data is what I really miss when I lose my iPhone and sensor-based / health-dedicated applications may be the most critical in our smartphones.
Phones became smart when they received a camera... Just like leaving the cave with vision.
There is no other way to use Instagram but to switch on your smartphone (preferably an iPhone until recently). Being a hardcore user, how many times a week or a day do you want to post a photograph ?
As a point of entry, it definitely makes sense for Facebook to have bought the most social / critical app in my list.
I don’t use this app so much... But when you hear a great tune and don’t know the artist, you miss it so much. This is may be the most magic app of all. A wizardry that we previously couldn’t even imagine. This may not be critical but this is an addictive super power.
So, augmented reality is certainly a great source of great apps to create and download.
Epilogue - locked forever
At last, I changed my iPhone. And this year, the experience was just crazy. In 10 minutes, with no forum, no notice, … my iPhone was here again. When I say MY and don’t mean MY NEW iPhone but actually, the exact same iPhone, with my photographs, data, acounts, appointments, apps, etc. iCloud is such a great service (especially when compared to MobileMe) but an even greater asset for Apple. I was last year considering moving to Android, after all, it is my duty to test and know as much as possible about different options... but I am so hooked to iOS that I can bet that next year, you will be able to read here: The State Of My iPhone - 2013.