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ExtraBITS for 3 July 2017

In ExtraBITS this week, we continue our celebration of the iPhone’s 10th birthday: Joanna Stern lives with the original iPhone for a day and some of the iPhone’s creators worry about its impact on society.

Trying to Live with the Original iPhone in 2017 -- The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern vowed to live with an original iPhone for a week, but she lasted only 12 hours, as summarized in this amusing video. The original iPhone lacks a front-facing camera, video capture, and Siri, and both performance and battery life were underwhelming. Worst of all, most apps and Web sites don’t work with it anymore. There was a headphone jack, but even then you needed a dongle to use non-Apple headphones. It’s easy to say that technology has advanced considerably since 2007, but it’s also clear that many problems stemmed from a lack of emphasis on backward compatibility. Be sure to watch until the end to see Stern’s helmet cam setup! The article is limited to subscribers, but the video is free for everyone.

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10 Years Later, iPhone Creators Worry about Smartphone Addiction -- During a panel at design firm IDEO, three former Apple employees gathered to discuss the iPhone’s impact after 10 years. All agreed that they’re concerned by society’s addiction to smartphones. “I don’t feel good about the distraction. It’s certainly an unintended consequence,” said Greg Christie, who led Apple’s human interface team. Bas Ording, who designed much of the iPhone’s multi-touch interface, said, “The positive is that it’s easy to use, so a lot of people can use it. The downside is too many people are staring at their phones. I probably do it, too.” And input engineer Brian Huppi, who helped develop the iPhone’s touchscreen, worried about how smartphone use is implicated in automobile accidents, saying “I’ve got to believe there’s just so many accidents on the road now from people looking at their phones.” However, there was also consensus that the iPhone has been as significant of a change as radio, television, and the Internet were, and that we’ll eventually adapt to it.

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