It all started in 2007 with the first iPhone model. It could make phone calls, send basic texts (no photos), and access the world-wide web, albeit painfully slow at 2G speed with AT&T. There was no app store, and only black wallpaper in the background. It did have a camera, but no video capabilities. Still, people loved it.
(photo credit: AP)
Every new model of iPhone after that added more features. Better cameras, video-recording capabilities, more internal storage space, faster internet, an app store, the ability to play music, Siri, video streaming, and a map navigation system.
Twelve years after the first iPhone with its simple operating system launched, we are now up to the iOS13 system. What can it do?
Unlock your phone with a retinal scan (as opposed to a PIN or fingerprint scan).
Identify all the members of your household by listening to their voices.
Read your messages aloud to you if you’re too busy.
Give you a simplified view of the road ahead through CarPlay Dashboard.
Add virtual objects around images of people for an augmented reality experience (ARKit3).
Let you play over 100 arcade video games on your phone.
Help you record your menstrual cycles, and predict when the next one will hit.
Sync with your home’s “smart” devices to control household appliances.
Store your medical ID and health records.
Track your tooth-brushing time.
Track audiograms from hearing tests.
Oversee your activity levels.
Monitor the time you spend on your phone.
Let you know how the stock market is doing. (And probably make an educated guess on what stocks you own by what you are viewing.)
Here’s the link to Apple’s description of their new system:
I’ve always thought of “Big Brother” as being the government (and it is). But our phones have surpassed even the federal institution on collecting data about every part of our lives. Sadly, much of the information on phones is information given willingly by the owner of the device.
We should be asking ourselves several questions:
1 – Do we really need a device to do all these things for us?
2 – Should we really be storing that much personal information on a phone that could be easily lost, stolen, or hacked? You wouldn’t hand over your fingerprints, eye scan, medical test results, blood type, names of your doctors, and control of your home wifi and appliances to a stranger, would you? When you store all these items on something small enough to be tucked in a pocket, you set yourself up for identity theft.
I’m not trying to pick on Apple. They clearly make a great product. In all fairness, Android phones are also a privacy risk with the personal info they carry. Just be aware of how much of your life you are storing on your device, and consider limiting how much you share with that phone.