Dear Steve Jobs

Dear Jobster,

Took a look at Time magazines top ten iPhone apps the other day. Given there’s 300,000 apps, I assumed there had to be some in the top ten that I couldn’t live without. I thought these “gotta have” apps would be just the excuse I need to buy myself an iPhone for Christmas.

1—Tweetie 2. Surprisingly, too few Positive Momentum readers have begged me to begin tweeting and I don’t read others’ tweets, so the number one app creates zero “gotta have” juice.

2—Yelp. Finds restaurants, bars, and other businesses and provides reviews. I like the potential, but the problem with most review services is the anonymity and mismatched subjectivity. Anonymity means it’s impossible to tell whether company shills are praising products in an attempt to increase sales. And subjectivity is fine if you know the reviewer and he/she has similar interests/tastes, but that’s hardly ever the case. Of more value than Tweetie 2, but hardly a “gotta have”.

3—Slacker. Sounds like a more robust version of Pandora, which I like. Custom playlists, no commercials, nice. I’d use it on occasion, but out of 300,000, the bronze medal?

4—Flight track pro. Don’t fly nearly enough for this to create any excitement.

5—Mint. Money and budgeting program. I’m not a budgeter. I can see why some people would like this app, but of little value to me.

6—Sling player mobile. Remote t.v. Cool, and I’d use it on occasion, but watching t.v. on the iPhone screen doesn’t seem too appealing. As you know, I’m waiting for the tablet. Tablet in hand, I’ll purchase this one.

7—The small chair. Stories, short films, readings, interviews, art. Exclusive content. Hard to say not knowing what the quality of the content is. Again, the screen size is a limiter and maybe I’d give it a go with tablet in hand. At the same time, I try to keep up with too many periodicals already, so this one doesn’t get generate much juice either.

8—Runkeeper. Basically a Garmin with one important advantage, much easier to read. Obviously, most personal technologies are made for people far younger than me with much better vision. Love the screen shot of this app. No more huddling in the laundry room trying to see if that was a 4:55 or 5:05 mile I just ran. :) First “gotta have” deserving of top ten status. But wait, my  iPod nano and Garmin easily slip into my back running short pockets, but the iPhone is too big (and heavier too). I’m not an arm strap guy so this complicates things.

9—Photoshop.com. Mobile photo editing. I don’t take a lot of pics and prefer working with those I do take on a much larger screen. Detecting a pattern? Tangent. I just got my first pair of bifocal contacts. Utterly amazing. I can read tiny footnotes, I can see Oregon and Canada clearly, and I’ve retained my boyish good looks. The optometry trifecta.

10—Locavore. Find locally grown, in-season foods. That’s the galpal’s job and she knows exactly where the food-coop is. Another one that doesn’t move the needle.

So SJ, that’s all you got?  Makes me wonder how most consumers adapt personal technology. Instead of consciously concluding this device is going to improve the quality of their lives, I suspect they feel a need to conform. There’s a tipping point (that would make a good book) where holding out translates to a loss of social standing. Since I’m not much of a social standing guy, I want to know the new device is going to make a positive difference in the quality of my life.

My final verdict? Not nearly enough juice to get me to iTouch or IPhone up.

Peace Out,

Ron

1 thought on “Dear Steve Jobs

  1. I think far too few people do what you just did- examine their actual need for a new technology based on their uniqueness. Instead they let the technology marketing create their “needs” as it does for millions others, thus homogenizing us all to some extent. All of a sudden, we all “need” GPS devises to find places while we are driving. Maps, mapquest, even cellphones in the car aren’t enough to find places anymore. Although they are convenient and may be a need in some unique circumstances, I hardly think they are a need for all.

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