The iPhone has had a dramatic impact on everyday life, ever since Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs first unveiled the iconic device 10 years ago today.
From kickstarting the app revolution to bringing voice-recognition technology to the masses, the iPhone has given rise to a broad range of new behaviours.
Here’s a list of 10 ways the iPhone has changed the world in the last decade.
Until the iPhone, physical keyboards had been present on all of the biggest sellers in the mobile phone market.
The iPhone was the first to successfully make the switch to multi-touch screens and virtual keyboards, eliminating the stylus at the same time, which had been popular on other touchscreen and PDA devices up to this point.
The screen keyboard meant people had to learn to swipe their telephones instead of hitting a physical keyboard. Predictive-text, spell check, and cut and paste were also introduced.
The iPhone helped trigger a new trend for touchscreen products.
The original iPhone offered just 15 pre-installed apps, including the calculator, stocks, maps and weather apps.
However, the App Store, which launched in 2008, offered a simple way to buy and download an array of applications, meaning people could tailor the iPhone to their own needs.
It created a new focus for software developers who looked to create for mobile devices rather than programmes for Windows desktop and laptop computers.
Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, first launched with the iPhone 4s in 2011, giving users a new way to interact with their devices.
Rather than tapping them in on the screen, Siri allows users to send messages, place calls and check their calendars using voice commands.
Siri lay the groundwork for a new wave of artificially intelligent assistants – from Amazon Alexa to Google Assistant – and helped bring voice technology to the masses.
4/ The 64-bit processor
Apple’s iPhone 5s was the first smartphone to get a powerful 64-bit processor, in the form of the A7 chip. Rivals branded it a gimmick while Apple claimed the processor was of “desktop-grade”.
Apple had put its developers at the forefront of the long-term challenge to boost performance – even though having smartphones with 4GB of RAM was still a distant reality when this processor was introduced.
5/ Touch ID
Touch ID is a fingerprint scanner that can be used to unlock Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The iPhone 5s was the first device to feature Touch ID in 2013.
A year later, Apple Pay was launched, allowing iPhone users to make payments in shops and restaurants using Touch ID.
Fingerprint information is stored locally on the device rather then in the cloud, making it very difficult to hack.
The original iPhone only had one camera on the rear of the device, and that only had a two-megapixel sensor – massively inferior to the 12-megapixel rear camera on the iPhone 7 today.
The iPhone 4, released in 2010, was the first iPhone to include a front-facing camera, helping to kickstart the selfie craze, as well as apps such as Snapchat that rely heavily on selfies.
Today, the iPhone is the world’s most popular camera, according to Flickr, with smartphone photography pushing out traditional camera brands such as Nikon and Canon.
7/ Post–PC era
In 2010, Apple founder Steve Jobs proclaimed the dawn of the “post-PC era”, suggesting mobile devices were overtaking PCs as the primary method of computing.
Although PCs still play an important role in most people’s lives, 2016 saw mobile web browsing overtake desktop for the first time, indicating that the phone has become most people’s primary device.
“10 years ago when people brought out consumer computing devices or home appliances, if they connected to any device at all it had to be connected to a PC … but now everyone is connected to an iPhone,” said technology analyst Ian Fogg.
“The telephone is essential to everything now.”
8/ Location-based services
The iPhone’s ability to pinpoint the user’s location on a map using GPS has transformed the way people navigate – in many cases replacing the need for paper maps.
It’s now easy to let people know where you are at any given time by “checking in” on social media and geo-tagging photos and videos, or find others using Apple’s Find My Friends app.
It has also prompted the development of a whole range of location-based services, from Foursquare and Citymapper to Airbnb and Tinder.
9/ Supply-chain scrutiny
With the iPhone helping to drive Apple’s power in the world of technology came greater scrutiny and high-profile activism over how electronics are made.
Campaigners criticised the Foxconn plants in China that produce Apple’s iPhones, iPads and other products for poor working conditions, long hours and low wages.
Apple has banned the use of bonded labour in its factories. This saw new workers charged a fee – sometimes equivalent to a month’s salary or more – for being introduced to a factory, meaning many employees began work in debt, according to a BBC report.
10/ Smartphone etiquette
Not all developments since the age of the smartphone and 24-hour internet have been welcomed, according to a new survey by technology company Pitney Bowes.
The worst types of technology-related rudeness is being disturbed by someone talking on a phone in public, or seeing someone check texts during a business lunch. This frustrated 71% and 63% respectively of those questioned.