My iPhone Lineage: Part Two

I’m celebrating the history of my iPhones! Read Part One here. 

The iPhone 3GS (2009)

What a beauty. Luckily it got wallpaper in iOS 4, unlike the 3G…

The 3GS shared the same case design and shape with the 3G but included major internal improvements. It kicked off Apple’s “S” strategy by taking the current form factor and making major improvements to the internals and adding other features. While the 3G did alter the case of the original iPhone a bit, the internals were mostly the same, including the CPU. The 3GS included a much faster CPU, a higher quality camera with the ability to take video, faster network speeds, a compass, and a smooth and oil-resistant oleophobic display.

My contract with Sprint ended prior to the release of the 3GS but I decided to wait because I didnt’ want to buy a phone that was about to be replaced. Compared to the 3G, the GS was extremely fast and fluid, which was especially helpful with all of the games and apps that started shipping in the App Store. Video was a big deal too, as it was almost a requirement for Facebook-ing at the time.

It had voice control before Siri and a compass that was kind of useful. Video was killer though!

My 3GS served me extremely well throughout its two years. It took loads of photos and videos of our friends, pets, and the events we attended. Even though the quality was nothing compared to my SLR or our point-and-shoot, I found myself using it more often because it was so convenient to view and share photos and videos. It ran iOS 3 fantastically and didn’t suffer the sluggish performance in iOS 4 like the 3G did. I recall the angst of all of my 3G-owning friends during that period and was glad I waited.

Having a phone that I could acutally type on gave me a reason to use SMS and having access to the internet out on the road was extremely useful. At that time the iPhone was still kind of exclusive and I won’t lie that it felt good to have the most capable and powerful smartphone on the market. I started devleoping apps for it which landed me a new job at Liberty building native applications. Later I worked on one of our first mobile websites; the number one target: the iPhone.

It felt so different from using a Mac, which had been a second-class citizen all of my life. This was the device. We were making sure stuff looked good on the iPhone first and then making whatever adjustments neccessary to make it “good enough” everywhere else. The writing was on the wall for the Blackberry – it was barely powerful enough to run our website and the company had started issuing iPhones to employees as a pilot.

At the end of its life it became one of the first entries into my Mac Museum and found purpose as an alarm clock for the boys several years later.


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