Does the iPhone Need To Be a Phone?

Being old enough to remember a time when a rotary phone was the only way to communicate (unless you had a ham radio to talk to the truckers on the highway), at the time I couldn’t imagine improving upon the phone. However, by my early teens the new rage in technology was the beeper. You could say that the beeper was the first early form of text messaging, but we could only spell boobs backwards and use codes to inform our friends of something cool (or not) happening.

Within the last ten years, our way of communicating with each other has changed drastically. I no longer think about having to call someone over the smallest detail. Instead, I think about how (txt, call, facebook, twitter) to contact them, since the options are almost endless. I know how quickly each person in my address book will reply back to me based on what way I initiate communication, based on the subject matter.

I believe that through design, our phones should express this new world. Take the iPhone for example. You could say that, as a designer, i’m a die-hard Apple fan boy. I’m always a early adopter of Apple products and enjoy the detail and thought that is put into their product line. With that being said, does the iPhone or any smart phone for that matter, still need a phone function? To use the iPhone as the basis for forward thinking, shouldn’t they even disregard the word ‘phone’ in their product? I believe that through design and usability they could combine their functionality line-up of phone, address book, text messaging and all third party forms of communication into one application. It would be nice to see one simple application that could be utilized, lets say communicate, which only displayed your contacts, and with each contact you had the option of contacting them in all various options.

Since communication IS design, we must think beyond how we used to comunicate, and start thinking of ways to embrace the new changes. This includes being the architects of how we do so. Creating the demand or creating the software that propels society. This is how I see embracing the more efficient and new ways that are forward thinking.


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