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It’s hard to believe that any technological innovation has had more of an impact over the last 25 years as the iPhone and iPad. On the 9th January 2007, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone and it certainly lived up to the hype.

It completely revolutionised the way we communicate with people, and was one of the building blocks for modern smartphone technology. It was followed three years later on 27th January 2010 by the unveiling of the first iPad, which at the time became Apple’s fastest ever selling product.

I remember sitting in the hall on a wired phone call to chat to my friends or going to a phone box so I didn’t tie up the line for too long. In terms of my life this doesn’t feel that long ago, however in terms of technology it seems like forever.

Now we carry our iPhones and iPads everywhere with us, making us free to communicate at any time of day and from wherever we want to. We have the internet in our pockets or bags, giving us access to the web, our emails, and social media at all times.

But much more than that, a large screen and the introduction of cloud computing allows us all to work on the go, with an app for almost any software we want.

Devices like the iPhone kept us all in touch when a worldwide pandemic saw the world grind to a halt, grounding airplanes and shutting schools.  Many of us became teachers using iPads to create a virtual classroom and allow our children to access school work from home.

The giant leaps in the camera technology has also seen many hobby photographers no longer taking an DSLR everywhere, instead relying on their iPhones to take pictures. The iPhone still falls short of the DSLR in some areas (light adaptability and optical zoom to name a couple), but the camera quality has become so good that many are happy with the results. It has also seen more people taking photos as part of our every day life, with access to social media allowing us to instantly share them with the world.

Our shopping habits have also been revolutionised – whereby once we eagerly browsed shops on the high street, taking armfuls of clothes to the changing rooms to try on; now we browse web pages or apps on our iPhones or iPads and have packages delivered to our doors. Strolling in supermarkets and selecting the freshest foods has been replaced by online orders, trusting others to pick out our food and deliver it to our door.

Whilst so much of this has a hugely positive impact on our lives, are we losing something else? I think we would all agree that having time to switch off from our devices is also important. It’s hard to believe so much has changed but also exciting to see what the next 25 years may bring.

Tracy Bentley

Tracy is Head of Finance at Liberty Communications

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