In some ways seven years doesn’t seem that long ago, but in many ways you could make a case for a time “Before the iPhone” (BiP) and “After the iPhone” (AiP), aka the the iPhone Singularity :
- The web was accessed almost entirely on desktop and laptops.
- Web 2.0 sites and social networks were not the experience of most people.
- The Web is mostly static and pull, and text based with supporting images.
- A few people had handheld devices (mostly blackberries) but they were largely focused email with a few apps and web browser were crappy.
- The biggest questions for the web was whether to build your site / application for 16″ or 18″ monitors (or 22″ if your were fancy), and how you supported IE 6 (IE 7 being new on the block and Firefox was the challenger).
- Corporate technology was driving consumer technology expectations (mostly with cheaper, previous generation hardware).
Then on January 9TH, 2007 Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, in a classic keynote that is well worth rewatching even if only for the first 4 minutes.
- Many people only experience the internet and the web on mobile phones or tablets.
- Many people only experience the internet and the web via social networks.
- Email, and even text messaging (SMS), is in decline replaced with instant messaging (im) sometime within social networks, sometime in standalone apps.
- The Web is dynamic and push, increasingly video streaming but mostly image based with supporting text.
- For the Web , you need to figure out how to support touch ( very different from Hover ) and screen sizes from 3 1/2″ to 20″ (and maybe even 60″), and how you support HTML5 features not supported by chrome/safari/firefox or, if your in a corporate environment, IE 7 (the most update microsoft browser on Windows XP).
- consumer technology expectation drives corporate technology.
iPhones changed not just phones but accelerated massive changes in communication, computing, and media. It has very much been a another internet revolution similar to the introduce of the browser.
Thank you Steve and Apple!