Wednesday, October 20, 2021

A keenly-anticipated book for modern iPhone users

This month, I have just spent the longest working holiday of my life at what I describe as a “concentration camp for self-improvement.” No, this isn’t a metaphor for where I went on holiday – and it’s not a particularly helpful one, frankly – it’s actually the title of a book by my co-author and fellow Apple veteran Peter Kazanjy. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of his tips didn’t turn up in your own, similarly

themed book. But if you are someone like me, who is sucked into the Apple ecosystem like a mousetrap every time the new iPhone comes out, I’m hoping you might find this one a little surprisingly helpful. For what Kazanjy describes as an ongoing series of self-improvement sessions, I suspect, will have a much wider appeal. This guide contains some rather extraordinary claims for the iPhone, making it a potentially

useful source for all other working Apple fans if you thought, oh yes, iPhones are a bit lacking in productivity. Certainly, they will have an influence on your organisation if you ever go for a ‘cohort meeting’ at which the average role lasts about an hour or so… …as for the rest, all I’ll say is watch out: their prices don’t come cheap. Not only does this book contain content that I wish I’d made use of in both

business and pleasure, but the whole thing sold out quickly, something which makes me think that Apple products do indeed go hand in hand with a lot of soul-searching. After the huge increase in the following month, from Amazon.co.uk, the book remains in stock and sells for £29.95 – which is a lot cheaper than the iPad. Besides the ethos, there is also a refreshing lack of hype in this first-hand account of two

people who have been at Apple for more than 20 years, both of whom have gone on to become self-sufficient futurists. Their first reason for hating the iPhone isn’t so different from mine – that it’s just another smartphone… but their second is more instructive. They believe it was taken “before the building of a bridge” and are pessimistic about its ability to solve all our transport needs. Their second reason is

more interesting: they believe that the iPhone was never intended to be a stop-gap between the high-end style of what we call “PCs” and “tablets”. It was designed only as a “second terminal” when it was started, they argue, but the growth of iPhone as a desktop computer, and how it now acts as our internet-enabled “computing muscle” has delayed that final piece of the Apple jigsaw. In actual fact, a MacBook Pro

10-hour battery-life, a deep-resume on its battery and a perfect syncing capability and data management mean that a PC is now far more demanding and no longer as dependent on the cloud, as the iPhone is. I’m not quite sure if they really expect us to think that the iPhone should be renamed ‘a PC’. They certainly miss the day when iPhones, unlike the MacBook Air, were top of the line for our content-and-entertainment

needs. Or maybe they do. That said, if Kazanjy’s test is to challenge the idea that Apple products are indifferent to format, then I have just come across the clue. We are bombarded with a very effective group of apps designed to convince us that we should be rebalancing our computing needs so that we no longer need desktop PCs. From a time when we thought we could just chuck our netbooks and laptops in the bin and

have the world by the tail, now we seem to want them to be in much more critical use – as our laptop when we’re on the bus. So perhaps these times of onanism in the wake of the iPhone 13 will have an influence on other, less-competitive gadgets. But their departure from the ‘classy’ netbook trend might also reflect a sea change in attitudes to computers, as they become ever less expensive and ever better at doing

what they are supposed to do. In my first presentation of the book on stage at the TED conference, the huge impact of technological change was made even clearer: we may not be sure about this tech and how it impacts on society, but we definitely know that great things are coming out of it. And that might make one of these guys, or you, happy.

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