10 Dec 2007View Comments
I have in my hand a piece of, well, glass, metal, some plastic, and, erm, lithium polymer. A strange collection of stuff, but believe it or not, it is still enough to make many people go “Oooh”.
Yep, just over a month since its launch, my “review” iPhone is still drawing stares, gulps, “yums” and sticky fingermarks. Even Dan Robinson, our client editor who is well acquainted with many more enterprise-oriented devices, agreed that when it comes to mobile browsing, the iPhone is a winner.
He’s not wrong. Indeed, the iPhone is so good that I rarely use anything else to access the internet when I’m at home a state of affairs that seems to have given my laptop the hump. Much as I hate to hurt its feelings, the poor thing is just too cumbersome to use for a casual browse and a quick poke around my inbox.
Some months ago I wrote a blog about a friend of mine and his views on the future of web browsing. He, having just watched top-notch sci-fi flick Minority Report, was terrified by the thought that one day he would have to put more effort into browsing than just moving a mouse around and clicking it a bit.
His concern was prompted by the scene near the start of the movie in which ace pre-crime investigator Tom Cruise foils a murder by waving his arms around madly in front of a big computer screen. By flapping his hands around like a demented mime artist, Cruise accessed digital archives and real-time “pre-cog brain images” to lead the police to the would-be assassin.
Cruise’s computer filled my mate with dread, such is his aversion to any form of physical activity other than essential bodily functions, but I thought it was pretty cool. Unfortunately for my friend, I think the iPhone brings this type of user interface closer to reality. Everyone that I have demonstrated the pinch and pull method of control to has been more than a little keen on it. Most have even taken to kicking their keyboards and mice around a bit and praying for the day when a screen with a virtual keyboard is the only thing that clutters up their desks, at home and at work.
With the prospect of UK-wide high-speed broadband looming on the horizon, the humble home PC is looking increasingly outdated. If the success of the iPhone is anything to go by, what more and more people will demand is an all-singing, all-dancing web access device that’s fast, good looking and compact, but doesn’t require any annoying peripherals. A sort of computer version of Tom Cruise, without all the off-putting Scientology baggage.
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