Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day the very first Apple iPhone launched. Over the years, the iPhone has replaced all sorts of gadgets that we once needed to carry separately. Let's take a look at what the iPhone has, in many ways, completely replaced.
The MP3 player
The iPhone replaced the iPod. Sure, for a bit we still carried iPod nanos and iPod Touch devices but, largely, most of us listen to music on our smartphones now.
Come on, are you telling me you still carry one of those? I'll let it slide if it's an HP 12c financial calculator.
A level and compass
I know I just used my iPhone to level out a railing I installed on my stairs recently. It works for most tasks, like hanging pictures! It has also completely replaced a compass for most tasks, though you should probably use one that doesn't need a battery for long hikes.
It hasn't made them obsolete just yet, but we're getting there. With Apple Pay, you don't need to carry around a full wallet of credit cards. Just tap your phone at a retailer's checkout machine and get on your way.
Once upon a time we needed to carry either a portable hotspot or a modem that plugged into our laptops for internet access. Now our iPhones can provide that signal, acting as a Wi-Fi hotspot wherever we go.
I take almost all of my notes on my iPhone now, instead of on a real piece of paper. I love that it syncs with my iPad and Mac, too, so my notes are everywhere I go.
Ok, maybe not entirely, but the smartphone is definitely treading on the computer turf. I rarely ever touch a computer on the weekends, something I did all the time before I had an iPhone. In a lot of ways the computer in our pockets is replacing the traditional one on our office desks.
Books aren't dead, and as an English major I dread that actually happening. But the iPhone has helped to replace books when one isn't available. Just buy one from Amazon or iBooks and start reading no matter where you are.
Did you ever have a thermometer hanging outside a window at home? I did growing up. No need now, I just turn over in bed and ask Siri the weather, or open up one of the dozen or so weather apps I have loaded on my phone (don't ask me why.)
The last time I kept a paper calendar was in college. Now, with a calendar on my iPhone, I have every work and personal meeting at my fingertips. No need to remember to add it to a desk calendar when I get home.
I kind of miss the days when I'd get in the car and drive until I was actually lost. Now, no matter where I go, I can fire up Google Maps or Apple Maps and find my way home in a matter of seconds. I don't think I even know how to fold a paper map, do you?
I still own a mirrorless camera for taking more professional shots, but most of us use our smartphones for taking most of the pictures we shoot. And our pictures are synced effortlessly to the cloud so we can view them whenever and wherever we want.
I use my iPhone for all of my alarms. It works 99.9 percent of the time, until the random day I forget I had the volume turned low and wake up in a panic running 15 minutes late. Point is, I no longer use a real alarm clock next to my bed.
I don't remember the last time I flicked on my bedroom lights manually. I use Apple Home to control my Philips Hue smart bulbs in most of the rooms in my house either by voice or through a button on my phone. Why do I need a light switch?
I'll end on a somewhat sad note. In some ways, the iPhone and smartphones have killed off real social interactions at the dinner table. We're checking Twitter, Instagram, the news and more, when maybe we should be talking to the people in front of us. The iPhone certainly changed the world, didn't it?