My husband and I mourned the passing of Steve Jobs. I was in Indianapolis for a concert, sitting in a theater watching my colleagues at work, when Rob’s text arrived: “Steve Jobs is dead.”
I gasped when I read it, which then prompted my friends to ask what had happened. After I shared the news, everyone without exception had to let out a sigh of sadness. Although not everyone there owned an iPhone, an iPad or a Mac computer, one cannot doubt the tremendous influence Jobs had on technology and on how we human beings interact with it.
I’ve never met Mr. Jobs, but I’ve been interacting with his lovely toys for about 18 years now. The first Apple computer I’ve ever owned was a Performa 405, an entry-level unit that had only 4 megabytes of RAM (I later upgraded it to 8 MB). I also owned a PowerBook 180 (remember that one?) and got my brother a PowerBook 165. Add to that the very first CD-ROM drive Apple ever released, which was oh so slow but at the time such a cool thing to have.
Not a cake
When the first iPod came out (that little white box with the now ubiquitous white earbuds), Rob decided to give me one for my birthday. He covered the packing box in chocolate frosting and stuck a candle in it. He turned off the lights and sang “Happy Birthday,” then gave me a knife. I thought I was slicing into this perfect cube of a cake, but as I tried to push the knife further down, it wouldn’t budge. I started to scrape the frosting off the cube, and that’s when it dawned on me: This wasn’t a cake, it was the new iPod! Of course I got really excited. Since then at least five iPods have come and gone through our home.
Our love affair with the iPhone began with Rob, who was singing its praises since he bought his first one. I was hesitant to jump aboard the bandwagon, as the phone I was using at the time was working just fine, and was able to do more than the iPhone could do. However, once text forwarding and sending SMS messages to multiple recipients were added as features – that’s when I wanted an iPhone, too. Rob and I are each using an iPhone 4.
It isn’t just my phone, but my music player (it comes in handy when I need to study music for shows), e-mail reader, reminder device, portable gaming console, and note taker. I record rehearsals with the Voice Memo app, check the weather of my destinations when I travel with the Weather app, compose and check e-mail with the Mail app, and even do some simple word processing with the Pages app. With my iPad (and now the iPad 2) I read books, take notes, and read online newspapers.
Yes, there’s pretty much an app for everything.
I shoot videos of my daughter at playgrounds (she has also learned how to do it, too, on her iPod), play Scrabble or Words with Friends, keep the contact information of people I work with, and send out texts to coordinate events.
But a lot of the apps I’ve fallen in love with have been recreational, having nothing to do with work. Allow me please, for this long weekend, to add a list of apps that will have you wanting to put your feet up on the couch with these time consumers:
1) Angry Birds. Now a classic, there are three versions of the game: Classic, Rio and Seasons. Just letting any one of these awesome birds get launched from the slingshot to their waiting victims is just hilarious.
2) Plants vs Zombies. I haven’t even gotten to the end of this one yet. I prefer to play it on my iPad because of the size of the board.
3) Machinarium. My husband must be credited for getting me into this one, which runs exclusively on the iPad 2. I have no idea how far I’ve come yet, if at all, but trying to figure out the puzzles in the game have wracked my cerebrum into kingdom come.
4) You Don’t Know Jack. Oh, this irreverent, fun-packed game show is just such a trip to play. The host is incredible. Cooker Masterson is amazing.
5) Tiny Tower. I have about over 45 feet done, but there are more to go. Whew!
6) iBooks. I have no idea how many books I’ve kept in my library, but I do keep a good amount of them on my iPad.
7) Words with Friends. I get my derriere handed to me on a silver platter each time I play. I’ve won some and lost some, but it’s always a good time.
There are even more apps I’ve been asked to sing for, but I’ll save it for this list first.
Have a happy, long weekend, everyone!