Hi folks. Yesterday was the release of iOS 11 and this year is also the 10th anniversary of the iPhone itself. I found a post a couple of days ago on Twitter which lists five ways the iPhone has influenced the world around us. As a companion piece to this article, I thought I would mention how the iPhone has enhanced our lives in general. Although, there will be some overlap in this list between this and the other article but, there are things which has made the lives of a certain portion of the population (with disabilities) easier in reading, writing and communicating with others.
Apple Pay is something that took a long time for me to grasp because, I didn’t have an iPhone which was compatible with this feature until late last year. Also, I didn’t feel comfortable with the concept at the time until this summer. I guess it was the safety which I was concerned about! Now, I use it as regularly as I can and can do it with ease. Although, I do need guidance as to where the sensor is so I can put the iPhone on it and bingo, I’ve paid for my item. I hope that one day everything can be paid for using both Apple Pay and other companies equivalents to it, so there will be no need to carry cash.
The use of social media has also been a great benefit to myself and I guess everybody who uses Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat these days. Even doing this blog wouldn’t be possible without my iPhone in 2013 and I’m very thankful for the use of social media because, it has help me stay in touch with old friends and make some new ones in the process. Even getting a chance to communicate with my favourite musicians and actors has been possible with the iPhone. For example: I follow five of the six main voice actors on The Simpsons and have communicated with a few people associated with The series on Twitter. Also on Facebook I have had the opportunity to meet and disguss topics which I have an interst in with a group and I have even become an Administrator of one or two of them.
The use of Safari also has enhanst my ability to go on the web and search for things on Google. I even bookmark things which I want to read again later on because, they May change as time goes on. I do this with my favourite bands, TV shows, etc and that is how I follow some of my favourite famous people outside of social media. Even YouTube has been possible to use with an iPhone because at first, when I had the iPhone 4s in 2012 there was the YouTube app. However, when iOS 6 came along that app was taken off and I had to find YouTube videos using Safari. fortunately, I was able to do that quite easily and I have tried the free YouTube app on the App Store but, I didn’t like it because I didn’t have as much control as I do when using Safari.
The use of applications in general has made my life a lot easier and much less reliant on The media and other people at times. For example: I use a few applications for getting the weather in my local area and some of them also have weather warnings, which are sent out via push notifications. This has not only helped myself but other people around me, when severe weather or nice weather is on the way. I even use applications for getting around using local transit and this has also made life a lot easier. The only thing is that you need to have more than one transit app, in order to find the best one for you and I use 2 of them, depending on the situation at the time. As far as I’m concerned, any app which helps me get around is alright with me.
Not only do I get voice interaction from Siri, but I also get to hear voices on my iPhone with the use of VoiceOver. In case you don’t know what that is, it is a screen reading software which operates using gestures and double or two finger tapping on icons on the screen, in order to activate an app or to type out a letter or punctuation mark. With VoiceOver, I can do this either on the screen, use dictation or use a Bluetooth keyboard to help me type out: emails, text messages, posts on Twitter or Facebook, composing blog posts, etc. It is not only useful to the blind but also people with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. In my case, I’ve been blind since birth and this feature of the iPhone is what I use most of all, out of any feature on this device. Even the voices have expanded to many different languages and are both male and female sounds. I’ve talked about the voices themselves in past posts here but I will say that I am quite impressed with how many voices in different dialects there are, in Apple’s speech library. With iOS11 the new Siri voices sound even better than I thought. This is especially true of the new female Siri, who sounds quite nice, in what ever dialect you select. The American female Siri souds younger than the other voices in the past and both male and female voices, are available for download. But, they are bigger files than ever before and take up more space. As for the other voices, not much has changed, with the exception of promoting Nikki from being the American female voice of Siri, to being a standalone voice for download in VoiceOver.
iTunes and Apple Music
With the iPhone we were all able to listen to music digitally, through iTunes as well as streaming services like Spotify and various applications, which allow us to listen live to individual songs and albums and radio stations. We also were given the chance to buy our music on the iTunes Store for a cheaper price, than a compact disk would cell at a record store these days. Altho, in my last years of buying CD’s, they have come down in price to about $10.00 or so. However, some albums on the iTunes Stor have sold for as low as $4.99. The real plus with the iTunes store is that in some cases, you could buy albums you could no longer find on CD, because they are out of print or no longer sold where you live. Sometimes it goes the other way, in that the album you want is not available in your country’s iTunes Store. I had run into that a numbr of times!
I have had a lot of joy browsing and purchasing music, TV shows and some movies from the iTunes Store in the past years and that is how I have managed to come up with posts for this blog and my other blogs, related to The Simpsons and even Weather Radio.
With Apple Music, I can now listen to and download (for free) albums by bands which I can’t afford to spend money on at the moment. I can even do that with songs which are only available as an “album only” track on some albums, instead of having to buy the whole album. This has made my listening experience even more enjoyable and has been a big help, with having to learn songs to sing for people in my apartment. I wish that was around back when I went to school because, that would have been a great help in learning songs for my school ensemble.
I have been able to text since 2011 but this has greatly improved since I have migrated to the iPhone in 2012. Even iMessaging has been a real plus for me, when people can’t simply text me and I don’t mind that. The only thing I don’t think is necessary is adding affects to a message but, I wil add emoji’s to some text messages.
Hearing The Real Voice On The Phone
With iPhones and some other smart phones we get to hear a persons actual voice and not just the phone quallity voice on the other end of the line. I notice this the most with the iPhone and I love it when I hear the actuall sound of a voice so I know what to listen for, when I meet them in person later. Some other phones also allow this and I think it’s great, that we get to hear the voice as it was meant to be heard. We can leave the phone quality voice to walky talky radios and landline phones, thank you very much.
Other Miscellaneous Things
I like being able to create reminders for myself, to let me know about up coming appointments and engagements. For those who like to play games on their phones, there are plenty of them out there. The news app is a good thing to have so you can keep tabs on what is going on in the world. The callender is another good thing to have, so you can plan events throughout the year without having to put down the phone. Taking photos is another thing which is good and the quality of the picture is even better now than it was with other phones and, with iOS11 there are even more improvements to photos. For those who are hearing impaired, there are options for hearing aids and such to compliment the iPhone. Watching TV is now possible with your iPhone and even your iPod Touch and iPad, with the new Apple TV app. If you are recording a voice memo it comes out in your actual voice, much like on the phone.
Those are just some of the things thatthe the iPhone has given us to improve our daly lives and make the world easier to live in. You could say that your iPhone is your: Computer, note taker, calendar, phone, radio, two way radio, virtual girlfriend or a boyfriend, Road map, GPS, etc. in your hand and there is no telling, what Apple will do in the future to improve the iPhone or discontinue it in the coming years. I guess 10 more years as possible but it won’t be the same into thousand 27. You can be sure that the iPhone you’re holding in your hand now will not be around 10 years from now and you will look back and wonder where you would be without this device.