The Geek’s Chihuahua

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Think back to 2007, when you got the first iPhone. (You did get one, didn’t you? Of course you did.) You don’t need me to remind you that it was a shiny object of impressive design, slick in hand and light in pocket. Its screen was bright and its many animations produced endless, silent “oohs” even as they became quickly familiar. Accelerometer-triggered rotations, cell tower triangulations (the first model didn’t have GPS yet), and seamless cellular/WiFi data transitions invoked strong levels of welcome magic. These were all novelties once, and not that long ago… More at Longreads.

The book this excerpt comes from could be worth a look at as well.

One thought on “The Geek’s Chihuahua

  1. I do like Bogost in general (actually one of his books is in the Platform Studies, a VERY deep study in programming the Atari 2600)

    But I don’t always agree with him: “that first iPhone was also terrible. Practically unusable, really, for the ordinary barrage of phone calls, text messages, mobile email, and web browsing that earlier smartphones had made portable.” That’s way too broad. It was fine for phone calls and texts (not to mention introducing visual voice mail… remember how painful the audio only versions were?) and the web browsing was totally fine– at least on wifi. I guess for cellular data he has a point (though I think that’s AT+T’s fault), and I had a completely humiliating experience trying to help someone via the Google Map app on it. And the copy and paste was notable absent, besides the app store like he mentions.

    At every turn he strongly exaggerates the foibles of iPhone ownership and use. And he leaves out the way it presented the web in pocketable form that required worlds less acclimation than browsers on other devices of the time… (also it’s odd that he attributes all o the present day stuff to iPhones and not androids.)

    anyway. the rest was kind of ok.

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