Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs first revealed the iPhone. It’s strange to think that it’s been a whole decade since Apple basically revolutionised mobile communication. And accidentally revolutionised mobile gaming.
It’s strange to think that for the first few years of its life, gaming was an also-ran in the minds of the people at Apple. It was a nice side-line, but few could have predicted that it’d become a multi-billion dollar industry.
So today’s Monday Musing is a bit of a love letter to that slab of glass and plastic that’s been hanging around in your bag or your pocket for the past decade. And a toast as well, to another ten years of excellence.
A world without iPhones
I’m old enough to remember a world without iPhones. Hell, I’m old enough to remember a world without iPods. If today’s mobiles are smartphones, then it’s fair to say that the first one I ever used was dumb as a box of out of date sandwiches.
We texted, we called, and that was about it. WAP phones changes things a little, but the rudimentary internet you could get up on your phone was quite frankly laughable. And while the games you could play on them were fun, they were little extras and nothing else.
But the advent of the smartphone era brought about a massive change, not just in the way we communicate, but in the way we play. Suddenly we had the whole world in our pockets - the internet, a camera, social networks.
Smartphones mean we’re always tethered to something other than ourselves, be it information, other people, or a distraction from what we’re meant to be doing.
And as the iPhone has evolved, getting bigger and more powerful along the way, so have the ways we play on it.
There have been some truly astounding gaming moments along the way, for gamers of all persuasion. From the free to play casual revolution, to hardcore experiences like The Room and Monument Valley.
And one thing has remained the same - the level for entry to playing on your phone is super, super low. Getting a game and starting to play is as simple as a few taps. There’s no extra language of play to learn because you’re using the same moves as you do when you’re using your phone.
You’re pinching, you’re swiping, you’re tapping. You’re tilting, talking, and interacting using all of the facets that the phone has to offer. And that creates massive room for innovation and experimentation, two of the things that make gaming so enjoyable.
So here’s to ten years of the iPhone, and here’s to another amazing decade. I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited to see where the device will end up after twenty years. And if you stick with us here at AppSpy, you’ll be the first to know.