A lot has changed since the first iPhone was released
Five years ago today the first iPhone launched. Here's our pick of five of the most significant bits of tech during the past half decade.
Twitter: Like it or not, Twitter is having huge impact on how news stories develop and how they are reported. From the Arab Spring to the riots in London, social networking sites have been playing a major role in some of the biggest news stories in recent years. Twitter is immediate, it is perfect for smartphones and it is full of celebrities being vapid. And pictures of cats.
Maps: There was a time in the not too distant past when we had to ask strangers where something was. Now, as with so many things, there's an app for that. By using GPS and mobile broadband, it is possible to get a pin-point accurate location and detailed directions to get you moving in the right direction. Unless the GPS is playing up, in which case you're still as lost as you were before.
Facebook: If Twitter is at the centre of developing news stories, Facebook is at the centre of endless hours of procrastination and people taking pictures of what they made for dinner. Facebook opened itself to the world in September 2006 and by the time the first iPhone arrived it had around 50 million users. At last count it had over 900 million.
Cloud: After months of bad puns, it would seem that we're finally getting cirrus about the cloud. Sorry. Services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Apple's iCloud are becoming more and more 'the norm'. People now expect to have access to their music, photos and documents on every device they own. Cloud services are making this possible. As a result, Dropbox and its ilk are constantly saving the day in offices up and down the country.
Tablets: First came the iPad, then the rest followed. While the desktop computer is far from dead, the tablet has certainly had a huge impact. We still do a double-take anytime we see someone using a non-iPad tablet. Just the other day we gawped in amazement at someone on a train using a Blackberry Playbook...without a hint or irony. With Google and Microsoft recently announcing their first tablet offerings, the ‘battle' (ahem) to be Almighty Overlord of the Tablets is sure to heat up.
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