As an avid mobile device user who loves paper books of all kinds, there are a few books I own that I've always wished were in electronic form to peruse on my ereader or tablet. I could break out my $49 office supply store flatbed scanner and get busy scanning into a PDF utility like Adobe Acrobat Pro, but that would entail many, many hours of tedious pressing of book spreads onto glass. And then there would be the task of figuring out how to create a file format that is compatible with my device. Fortunately, there are some services that will do most of this work for a reasonable fee.
How about a phone so simple the button controls are printed on a sticker that is applied to its face? Or a cellphone made just for you with photos of your family as speed dial buttons? Or an anti-smartphone that only makes and receives calls? A phone with all these innovations and more arrived on my desk last week from Age UK with the help of my colleagues at AARP International.
Like millions, I caught the news about the death of Steve Jobs glancing at Twitter on my iPhone after dinner. I was seeing the fire hose of social media reaction 45 minutes after major news outlets broke the story. Rather than gorge on tweets and obits, I decided I needed to gather some things to make a little shrine (pictured above) to burn off some nervous energy and collect my thoughts. The trip to the grocery store to pick up candles and roses, and subsequent camera fiddling, brought back memories of my first encounter with an Apple product.
Fellow AARP blogger Alejandra asked me if it would be interesting to collect a list of consumer technologies that were also born during the boomer generation years of 1946-1964. I found plenty of useful long lists, but to my delight, I rediscovered Karl Hartig's incredible chart from the late 1990s showing key milestones and events in the adoption of consumer electronics. Loading the high resolution version in my web browser, I savored the fascinating details of the chart in a long sitting.
On my way to a conference to speak about our mobile apps, a magazine cover caught my eye at the newsstand in the Philadelphia train station. Well, it was more like a whack in the face seeing a photo of an iPad on the front of the March 2011 issue of Philadelphia Magazine with this message overprinted on the screen:
Some co-workers and I gathered in a conference room at AARP Headquarters to watch Steve Jobs unveil the new version of Apple's iPad 2. While the conversation naturally circled around all the new features, and how some of us were going to buy on the first day, our chatter came to the topic of competition pushing back. As if on cue, Nielsen announced the next day that the market share of Google's popular Android operating system for smart phones had edged past Apple and RIM Blackberry. This shift was long anticipated by analysts, and we have been readying the Android version of our flagship iPhone App. It will be released for free into the Google Android Market later this month.
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