Eight years ago today, the iPhone was officially unveiled. Since I was working for Microsoft on Office:Mac at the time, I was at the Moscone Center. We also officially announced Office:Mac 2008 (whose previous codename was Magnesium) that week, an announcement which got overshadowed by the iPhone announcement.
I remember that announcement. Since we were going to announce Office:Mac 2008, several of us got to sit in the VIP section for the Stevenote. Behind me in the VIP queue was the guitarist of Cheap Trick, which meant that I knew who the super-secret band was for the Macworld Blast party that night. During the Stevenote, I sat next to my then-manager. Just before it began, he told several of us that he was sick of seeing John Mayer at these things, and he swore he was going to storm the stage in protest if Mayer showed up again. He didn’t, but we had a lot of fun coming up with what the headlines in the tech press would’ve been.
I also remember the announcement because that’s the time that I got blind-quoted by Cult of Mac. I remember the calls that night to let the PR team know that it was me. They told me that no-one else would notice this thing because nothing was going to get column inches if it wasn’t iPhone-related. I was still freaked out. They were, of course, right. (It does mean that when I got approached a few months ago by the self-same writer of that story to do an interview, I laughed and laughed and laughed.)
Looking back at my blog post that considered what little we knew about the UX of the iPhone, it’s fun to see what I got right and what I didn’t. I guess it’s a toss-up about whether I was right about scrolling behavior, since the iPhone and Mac scrolling behavior was divergent for awhile, but now has converged to the iPhone model, and scrollbars have mostly disappeared, too. I was right about the apps that I can’t delete. I still have a stock ticker that I never use, and there are even more apps that I can’t get rid of. Tips? Really, Apple? Tips is like Clippy but even less useful.
My iPhone immediately replaced my iPod, and I effectively haven’t used one since. Once my iPhone got Exchange support, and thus I could stop trying to use Exchange Web Access 2007 on my iPhone, my iPhone became something that I didn’t let out of my sight. And, ever since I got that launch-day no-subsidy iPhone, I don’t think I’ve let an iPhone out of my sight. I’ve got an iPad to keep my iPhone company, too. The iPhone replaced my flip phone, my Palm, and my iPod. My iPad hasn’t replaced anything, although it has reduced my laptop usage some. Perhaps when the iPad hits its eighth anniversary, it will have replaced more.