Look at the image above. It is a screenshot of iPlanner from 2012 when I first started using the app to note down my wife’s shifts, annual leave and other important events that needed to be referred to from time to time. My wife uses the app as well and we keep the schedules synchronised so that each of us know where the other is if a hospital appointment for the kids or something else pops up. It is easy to use, completely familiar in every single way and 4 year’s later we are still using it without ever thinking about how seamless the experience is.
The same is true of TomTom, PocketMoney, Awesome Notes, MiCal, Evernote, PocketCasts, Notefile, Kindle, Instapaper and so many other third party apps that have been installed on my iPhone for a very long time. Add to this my over-familiarity with Messages, Photos, Clock, the Camera, Safari, Mail and most of the other defaults and it has become a ‘no-think’ device that I just pick up and use multiple times a day to get things done.
I don’t think about processor speeds, customising the interface, other phones which may do things a little better and all of the other aspects that used to capture my imagination when I was heavily into phones. I watch people still trying phone after phone and wonder what the end game is there. I get that it is a hobby and can understand that, but even they must know that it is a futile one that is driven by looking for the perfect phone, something that will never exist. If you stick with something for a long time and it becomes incredibly familiar, and if it is very reliable of course, that perfect phone will come to you and you will save a lot of money.
So, for many of us the iPhone is ‘the’ phone and the chances of moving away from it in the future are close to zero. It is embedded in our lives, it works every single day and it is just there. Why would I change?
Despite owning more than a few Android devices, and I still have some here for freelance work, I have never felt that way about an Android phone. They feel temporary, as if something much better is around the corner, and they do not give that same sense of permanence I get with the iPhone.