Ever since I updated my iPod touch to the new 2.0 firmware and installed a bunch of apps on it, the battery life got a real beating. Am I really using it more? If I were to make a mental statistic of my usage pattern, it should be roughly the same. With one major difference. Before this new update, I used the iPod mostly for listening to music and the occasional web browsing.
However, things dramatically changed when the update arrived. I can’t even remember the last time I plugged in the headphones. So while I may not be using it more, I am using it with its screen constantly on.
For me, the device mutated from a music player with some additional abilities to an Internet device with the ability to play music. I am still amazed when I remember getting it, and thinking what a wonderful music player it is. And just when that shine was beginning to fade, this new firmware gave it a new meaning and purpose.
It’s no longer an iPod to me. It changed the way I use the Internet. I don’t know if this is the future of computing. I don’t think this type of device is going to replace a “full fledged computer” very soon. I work with lots of desktop applications that I just can’t see on an iPod right now (think Photoshop, Lightroom, Flash et al.) But I do think it is the future of lifestyle computing.
It may sound like I am a bit infatuated with Apple and their stuff. Maybe I am. But I remember two distinct events in my life when I was so amazed by a piece of technology: when I got my first ever personal computer (a blazing 486DX2 running at a mind boggling 66MHz). And the transition to the Mac many many years later, which was like discovering a whole new world.
These were moments when I felt like I was 12 years old again and I’m unpacking the much desired PC, inhaling new smells and trembling hands. After the 486 I got a bunch of other computers, yet I never experienced that emotion and sheer desire to discover what that new thing can do.
I guess this is what people call Apple’s ability to give people a sense of “childlike wonder” and “capture their imagination” about their products. Because we all remember our first contact with an object that we wanted and that changed the way we experience things in our life, whether it was a computer, a car, or a washing machine.
When Dell or Sony or Microsoft or whichever company will be able to put out a product that can do that, I’ll be more than happy to give them money for it.