Ode to iPhone, One Year In

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“Our most personal device yet,” some famous person once said. Steve Jobs? Tim Cook? Jony Ive? The point was that “our” referred to Apple and “personal” was reserved for the Apple Watch (it still remains to be seen whether the Watch is personal to anyone besides my dad, Apple’s best — and unpaid — salesman). I argue these words are spot on for a completely different device: the now aging iPhone 6.

Between the handsomely smooth curvature — which has so far survived several falls in ways the 5 never could — and embellished camera, what makes this phone so personal is TouchID. Never mind that it’s been around since the 5s (despite my Apple fandom, I’ve been a relatively slow adopter of their latest and greatest, perhaps testimony to the longevity of their products), and certainly, I’ve used it before — hell, I’ve had my thumbprint programmed in Joe’s 6 since forever.

It’s when you own the device and interact with it every single day, multiple times a day; the way you can unlock your phone with just one gesture is unequivocally, absolutely magical (even passcode-less requires two; see Job’s video about preventing accidental butt dials).

It’s the ultimate exercise in personal. Buying something? Don’t bother pulling out your credit card. Opening your bank app? No more master password (thank god — it was always a gamble whether or not I remembered it in five tries). It knows you. Its beauty lies in its understatement, and that’s really what’s behind all great products: they just work.

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