So tomorrow is the big launch of the latest iPhone, with iPhone OS 3.0. There has been a lot of fanfare for months, and a lot of controversy, mostly having to do with upgrade fees, either with the iPod Touch or the latest and greatest iPhone version. The new and improved OS is already available for those of us willing to shell out another $10 upgrade fee. This is where I’m already irked. I just got my iPhone last summer (just before 2nd gen launch, grr) and already I’ve had to fork over $20 for upgrades. Not that I really mind I guess, $20 is a paltry fee for the shiny new toys that it comes with. Unfortunately though, I generally do not use my iPod touch for anything more than an MP3 player that integrates with my shiny car. When wi-fi access is limited to hotspots and a 50-foot radius within my house, I don’t really have much use for it, considering I’d rather just sit on my laptop and do something less productive. I can however, read the news and watch Youtube videos while I’m waiting for an oil change or auto inspection. That does come in handy, even though the shop is probably the best I’ve been to.
So the question then becomes, is this where computing is going? With the numerous ‘netbooks’ out there and seemingly all phones going the way of the browser capable, is this what we’ll be working on in the next year? I know I won’t be able to do much programming ON my little handheld device, I don’t think I’d be happy trying to use all the <shift> key characters that will generally have to take me to another keyboard screen. But I can see a lot being able to be done from one of those little things, from email to being able to read attached documents, and the simple copy and paste, we can be connected to work anywhere. So I will assume that in the next few months, some or all of our apps will need to start getting more compact and more iPhone/Blackberry friendly so that the CRMs can work from anywhere, or our continuing medical education programs can be viewed and interacted with on an iPhone in the local wifi-enabled coffee shop. Nothing like learning about a specialized medical technique on a 3×5 screen over coffee and a danish while some kid plays a folksong on the guitar in the background.