First impressions

Sunday, July 1, 2007

How does a machine have soul? We could try and answer by throwing around terms like usefulness, elegance and grace but all our attempts would sound prosaic next to the device I recently became acquainted with. Run and hide Crackberry, the iPhone is here.

For people to be drooling over a 4.8 ounce device is not unfathomable especially coming from Apple. This is different. During my first hours with the iPhone I literally felt nervous. I felt like I didn’t deserve this, it seemed unreal.

11:00am Saturday: Headed to the coffee house. Do I need my laptop or my notebook, or magazine? Was I really walking down the street listening to my phone? Wait… Whoa… phone call. Pinch Hello… conversation goodbye. Music!!!

Some of my friends think I’m crazy but for a UI designer this is as close to nirvana as I’ve ever experienced.

9:00pm Saturday: Driving to the liquor store. Wait, are they open? iPhone eight ball returns: decidedly so. Again… I’m not worthy.

It’s like those little knowledge cracks in your life are slowly getting sealed. Anything you wanted or needed to know is now within a few gestures. Why remember? Leave it up to the cloud, let your iPhone be your Receiver.

This device represents a new bar for HCI. It also poses many exciting questions and possibilities. My only hope is that Apple will offer an SDK in the coming months so the collective can contribute. I have confidence the will. Need we be reminded where cover-flow came from? We definitely can’t rely on the browser sandbox. It doesn’t offer the same grace and fluidity applications garner.