We all know how influential Apple can be. In the first weekend of the 3G iPhone release over one million units were sold. When I was in line for the first iPhone last year, I was standing in line with super-blogger, Robert Scoble. Here's a post he shot off while we waited in line together. I think Robert Scoble is a pretty smart dude. I asked him how important the iPhone launch was in terms of milestones in technology. I remember exactly what he said (even a year later), "these only come around once in a while - this is as important as the Windows 95 launch." At the time, I didn't realize it. But, he was right. The iPhone launch was a big deal not just in terms of gadgetry but in terms of bringing the web, the REAL web to your pocket. The effect of the iPhone isn't just felt by iPhone owners, it's also felt by nearly every new mobile phone purchaser. Whether you have the new Samsung Instinct or the Blackberry Bold there are elements that that are uniquely iPhone.
So, last Friday morning I woke up at 5am. My wife looked at me like I was totally insane (and with the loving patience that spouses of gadget freaks must endure) and I set out to the mall to hit up an AT&T store. I arrived and realized I was number 30 in line. Everyone was excited. There were an equal number of existing iPhone owners and new iPhone candidates. I thought that the 3G iPhone wouldn't be as big of a deal as the original - after all, it's not that different than the original iPhone. I was incorrect. Hundreds of people filed into the mall. Most of them didn't get iPhones. I didn't stick around to experience the disappointment. I got mine. It's white 16GB and named Snowball. I won't go through the activation problems I had - suffice to say I was without a phone for about 4 hours (which is unimaginable - I'm jittery just thinking about it).
My iPhone did finally activate and I was in love all over again. The most remarkable change was the new firmware which included the app store. There were over 500 applications. Some seemed better than others. But, there were some real quality apps. A post on ReadWriteWeb really describes this iPhone release - it's about the apps. Sure, you can have those apps on your first generation iphone, but many of the location-based apps won't be as fulfilling. Also, the 3G network really adds value to many of the apps.
My favorite app right now is the Pandora app. Pandora allows you to stream music over the web given individual music channels that you create. So, if you really like Elvis Costello you can create an Elvis Costello channel and Pandora will play Elvis Costello and artists like him. They do a great job of playing music you'll like. I set up the Pandora app on my iPhone 3G, plugged it in to my car stereo and started streaming channels in my car. I drove all over the place, streaming music to my iPhone and listening to it on my car stereo.
I was so excited about it. Pandora streaming to my phone while driving. It's another one of those moments when I realized that the future is about Web Application delivered to your devices. Always slightly ahead of the curve, Apple is pushing the envelope. It makes me think that Splashtop is really in the right place at the right time. Our emphasis on Web Applications as the core of our lightning fast environment is the right bet. If any of our readers have an iPhone or use iTunes, I'd be really interested in which apps you find exciting.
Just for fun, here's an episode of "Will It Blend?" featuring the new iPhone 3G:
update: Techcrunch wrote an article today that similarly praised Pandora.