I held out for a long time when it came to getting a handheld wireless device - ie a Blackberry (who?) or an iPhone. I have a laptop at home, so I can log in to work emails remotely whenever I need to, and I didn't like the idea that I'd always be "connected". That just didn't appeal to my occasionally anti-social ways.
Who was I kidding?
I received my first ever iPhone last week and haven't looked back. I was a fool - how did I survive without Yelp? The Weather Channel? The multitude of ringtones?
If you also work in an industry even remotely creative, you'll know that the iPhone is THE object you MUST own. Blackberry has lots its cool. If you're a designery type, it's Apple all the way, lest you want to risk much mockery. The Capsule designers will verify this with a sneer, should you have the guts to inquire. I was lured away from the Blackberry and into the clutches of the iPhone by the promise of all those applications.
So yeah, now I do check my email at 3am if I happen to wake up. I do look for reviews of the restaurant we're about to walk into, I also listen to the npr on the bus home, and write dumb status updates on Facebook.
Big business has not ignored these technological developments - in fact there are now about 100 branded iPhone applications. Most recently, Kraft Foods created the iFood Assistant, a recipe finder database that helps you build recipes (mostly recipes that require Kraft ingredients - surprise!).
According to Brand Week, an application typically costs around $50-100k. A lot of money for a small business, yes, but peanuts to the goliaths out there like Kraft.
Much of the focus so far has been on either commerical applications that encourage us to buy more, or entertainment apps (iFart, anyone?) that are a waste of time. I'm looking forwad to the time when it becomes more affordable for anyone to create apps, when non-profits can come onboard with new ways to help us contribute more to our communities.
I'm a big fan of the Best Friends Animal Society - what if I could login to see a webcam of the animals I sponsored? Or get updates on their progress and their (hopefully) adoption?
There are so many ways that the new social media can help those organizations that truly need it. Just like the internet has, I really hope the possibility presented by iPhone applications can too.