Technology

A look back at 15 years of iPhone use, and what’s coming next

The original iPhoneSource: iMore

On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs took to the stage at the Moscone Center at the Macworld conference by giving a keynote address, announcing the first iPhone. That’s right – it’s been 15 years since the original iPhone was released and, quite frankly, it changed the world.

Let’s look back at what the original iPhone looked like and what’s coming for the future of the iPhone.

The iPhone was very basic, but unlike anything else at the time

iPhone 3G blck

Source: iMore

Do you remember what the mobile world was like before the iPhone? It was a time when BlackBerry was king, Nokia was still popular (remember the Nokia N95?), and people still used foldable phones like the Motorola RAZR. Personally, I used an unlocked Sony Ericsson K800i because, at the time, it was considered a “cool” camera phone with a huge 3.2MP (LOL) camera.

The iPhone, Jobs said, is three things: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and an unprecedented Internet communications device. At that time, most cell phones and even other “smart” phones could access the Internet, but it was very basic and could only be accessed through Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) browsers. The iPhone completely changed this by allowing users to access full web pages as if they were on a desktop computer. And of course, although touch screen devices existed before the iPhone, they weren’t quite as good. Apple got it right with the touchscreen technology in the original iPhone, as it was the first iPod with a touchscreen, and it changed touch phones from that point on.

iPhone original defects

iPhone 4s iPhone 5s iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus Backup Assortment

Source: iMore

As great as the original iPhone was, let’s not forget all the things it was he did not do Owns.

We got stuck using native apps (Phone, Weather, Messages, Notes, etc.) or sub-web apps until the launch of the App Store in July 2008. And now we have millions of great iPhone apps available for download — if you can think about it, probably To have an app for that. Remember the influx of flashlight apps in the early days of the App Store? This is because there is no LED flash on the first iPhone, which means no flashlight. These flashlight apps only showed a white screen at maximum brightness, which was supposed to work as a flashlight. If you look at these apps now, you’ll probably realize how ridiculous this concept is.

The other big thing is copying and pasting. Yes, copying and pasting was not a thing on the iPhone until 2009, believe it or not. It’s something we can’t imagine life without now, but there was a time when you couldn’t do something as simple as copy and paste. Oh, and MMS photo messaging wasn’t a thing until iPhone OS 3.0 in 2009 either, and only for the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Crazy, right?

Can you imagine not being able to send photos and videos to your friends and family through the Messages app? Those were tough times…

These days, selfies are everywhere you go, but the original iPhone only had a 2MP rear camera and no front camera at all. If you want a “selfie”, you will need to use the rear camera and hope that your photo will appear correctly. The iPhone won’t get a front camera until the iPhone 4 in 2010. And video recording? This came with the iPhone 3GS in 2009 – the first iPhone was only capable of taking pictures.

You probably rely on your iPhone now for directions to a new place, right? While Google Maps came preinstalled on the first iPhone, it didn’t have turn-by-turn directions since it lacked GPS. Apple added GPS to the iPhone 3G to make the maps more accurate, but you’ll have to use third-party apps to get step-by-step directions, due to the complexities of licensing with Google Maps. But the original step-by-step directions finally arrived in 2012 with iOS 6, and you no longer need a third-party app for that functionality.

iPhone 6s rose gold and iPhone 7 Plus black

Source: iMore

Right now, you can get the iPhone on just about any carrier you want. It’s hard to believe that the iPhone was exclusive to AT&T for four years until the iPhone 4 finally hit Verizon’s network in June 2010. Soon, other iPhone carriers got their hands on their networks, too. For example, T-Mobile started selling the iPhone 5 in 2013. Now, you can get the iPhone on pretty much any carrier, including smaller MVNOs like Mint Mobile and Visible.

With iOS 14, Apple finally gave us more customization options, but the original iPhone won’t even let you use a custom home screen wallpaper.

Only with iOS 4 did Apple start letting us choose our own wallpapers to use. Until then, we were stuck with stock wallpapers – seriously, how did we manage that?

Today, you likely use Touch ID or Face ID, in addition to a passcode, to keep your iPhone secure. However, even though the first iPhone had a home button, it only used a four-digit passcode (six digits wasn’t even an option!) for security. Touch ID only became a thing in 2013 since the iPhone 5s, and Face ID arrived with the iPhone X in 2017.

As you can tell, the iPhone 4 was a huge step forward for the iPhone, and not just because it brought the first front camera and raised the rear camera to 5 MP. The iPhone 4 also introduced us to a Retina display in 2010, which had four times as many pixels as the original iPhone. Then, with the iPhone 4s, Apple added the integrated digital voice assistant Siri. Personally, I don’t use Siri as often, but I know some people who find it useful, especially when your hands aren’t available.

iPhone cameras

Source: Rene Ricci

The original iPhone also used the old 30-pin dock connector, which was heavy and annoying to use. Apple switched to its new format, the Lightning connector, with the iPhone 5 in 2012, which is much easier to use because it works both ways. Wireless charging also came with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X series in 2017, making it possible to charge your iPhone without the need for a cable. Finally, the first iPhone didn’t handle water well, but we now have an IP68 water resistance rating on the latest iPhones, making them more suitable for outdoor use.

The iPhone was clearly revolutionary at the time and definitely changed the world and affected the lives of many, including mine. In fact, had it not been for the original iPhone, I wouldn’t have done what I’m doing today. But it certainly wasn’t perfect, and it took time to come up with the best iPhone, a powerful pocket computer beast.

The way in front of the iPhone

iPhone 13 hero review

Source: Joseph Keeler / iMore

This year, we’re due to get the iPhone 14 (of course) and iOS 16. With a new iPhone, we can certainly expect things like next-generation processors and longer battery life, but I hope to see more improvements to the cameras. I mean, we’ve been into the 12MP rear camera for the past several years, so I’m hoping to see a bump in the megapixel count this year. Or maybe we’ll finally get a full-screen experience with a punch-hole front camera instead of a notch and even Touch ID at the bottom of the screen.

And with iOS 16, I’d like to see features like auto-rotate, improved interface customization, and swipe screenshots for other apps besides Safari. After all, it looks like we mostly got improvements in iOS 15, so I’m hoping to make bigger and better changes in the next iOS iteration.

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