iPhone X, the Power in Your Pocket

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I recently attended a conference in Atlantic City on the future of technology. Topics included self-driving cars, virtual and augmented reality, designer babies, nanobots, the implications of artificial intelligence, and more.

One session in particular really stayed with me: The Smart Phone.

Assuming you own one, have you thought much about your smart phone and how ridiculously powerful it is? It’s an equalizer for access to information. It’s an instant connection to the whole wide world.

Exactly 10 years ago, the first iPhone was released. Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone as a combination of three devices: a music player with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communicator. The days of duck-hunting on a flip-phone keypad were over. Do you remember typing “222” for the letter C? Not very convenient! The first iPhone boasted a big responsive touch screen, a proper keyboard, and nimble navigation.

Fast-forward 10 years later: The new iPhone X has facial recognition and you can shop online using your FACE to make payment. It has photography and film capabilities that rival a professional studio. It can instantly connect you to millions around the globe and shoot stunning HDR video in 4k resolution. It’s trained to know your voice and only respond to you. Just think about it. Imagine everything you can actually do with your smart phone right now and it will boggle the mind. At first the microphone was dumb, and then we taught it to understand us. The camera just took photos and then we taught it to recognize us. Imagine what’s in store for the iPhone 2027! It’s both exciting and scary.

The iPhone X starts at $1,000, and many are complaining that this is much too expensive. Consider for a moment this revelation from esteemed economist, Brad De Long. He ran some numbers on the iPhone X’s 256 GB of memory and 4.3 billion transistors in its A-11 processor and discovered that building an iPhone X in 1957 would have literally taken all of the money in the world.

Specifically, it would have cost 150 trillion of today’s dollars, which is one and a half times today’s global annual product. The CPU would have taken up a hundred-story square building 100 feet high and 2 miles long and wide. And to power the CPU, it would have drawn 150 terawatts of power—that is 30 times the world’s current generating capacity!

Meanwhile, in 2017, we’re carrying this device in our pockets. Pretty wild, isn’t it? $1,000 doesn’t seem so astronomical when you think about it in those terms.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the iPhone, check out these awesome books below. And as always, if you have any questions on your devices whatsoever, come to CPL’s Drop-in Tech Help! We hold it every week.

Jacket.aspx The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant

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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Not Quite Old School Anymore

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been lagging behind in embracing some technology.  I was still using a flip phone and was quite content with it.  But in keeping with my recent foray with new things (moving into a new home and buying way too many new things for it) and the fact that my phone was barely working, I took a huge leap and bought a smart phone.

It was quite a process and I took my time in researching the various options.  I started off by going to Cheshire Library’s website and under Research it! I clicked on Consumer ReportsFrom there I looked up the articles reviewing smart phones and thoroughly read them.  This was a great resource for someone who didn’t know anything about smart phones.  I settled on a phone I thought would be the best for me.  But in the end, knowing I would need some tech help from my daughters, I went with the same phone that they have.

cell phone 2If you are looking to move to a smart phone, or are thinking of replacing your current smart phone, the Cheshire Library is a great place to start.  Besides Consumer Reports, here are a few books that also might help you.

Galaxy S4 – The Missing Manual

Teach Yourself Visually –  android phones & tablets

IPhone: The Missing Manual