In the last 10 years, the Apple iPhone has changed our lives in more ways than we can imagine.
Remember when we went to restaurants and walked down the street without staring at our smartphones? How we checked our e-mail once or twice a day instead of every minute and had a work-free weekend without touching base with co-workers and bosses?
Thank the iPhone for the always-on culture, for building the app economy that brought ride-hailing cab alternatives, visual dating tools and the constant sharing of upload-from-anywhere travel photos.
As we approach the 10th anniversary of the iPhone on June 29, there’s a great book in this, and not just the birth of the iPhone, but how it’s evolved in the last decade as well.
The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone (Little, Brown, 380 pp., **½ out of four stars) by Brian Merchant, an editor at Motherboard, isn’t it, unfortunately.
In a nutshell, Merchant’s book dwells on Apple’s penchant for secrecy (old news, don’t we all know this?) and expands beyond the basic story of the device’s birth with long passages on the history of touch screen, gyroscopes and other smartphone features.
The iPhone wasn’t just Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ idea. Credit goes to an overworked and under-appreciated team of engineers who did the grunt work and came up with many of the features. When Merchant focuses on the basic history, he’s in good territory. It’s a great story — with Jobs changing his mind on several key details at the last minute, and the iPhone not being finished and looking like it wouldn’t make the planned Jan. 7, 2007 reveal at the Macworld conference. (It went on sale six months later.)