hen we see ourselves in the mirror, we look more or less the same as the day before; yet over time, we change dra-
matically. Change is constant, even though we don’t notice it on a day-to-day basis. The same principle holds true with
technology. As an editor covering Apple’s mobile technology, I report on changes and improvements in the tech indus-
try, yet sometimes I feel I’m up too close to fully appreciate the larger changes at play.
I was reminded of this when reading an account written by my great-grandfather in 1931 of the dramatic changes technology
introduced in his lifetime. Born in 1869, John Judge went from riding a horse and buggy to driving a car, from writing letters to
talking on the phone, and from thinking of air flight as a sci-fi fantasy to living to tell the tale of the Wright Brothers’ first successful flight. He described how, around the turn of the century, people met each technology with skepticism at first. Automobiles
were “play toys for some people just to frighten farmers’ horses,” until a few years later when nearly every household would
own a car.
My great-grandfather’s account captured both the wonder and sense of loss that rapidly advancing technology brings. In some
instances, he resisted change, saying proudly that the Judge brothers “never wasted a minute talking to their best girls over the
telephone; if they had anything to say, they just saddled a pony and rode over and said it.” He worried that the easy entertainment the radio offered with the “press of a button” would replace the traditions of playing the piano and singing. While he may
sound quaint, he clearly described the loss of traditions and culture that is a part of the story of technology as well.
All the changes he described were technology driven, though he never used the word. To me, he sounded like someone out of
an old-time novel, not a family member who lived less than 100 years ago. Yet we aren't so different—if I were to add my own
chapter to this family book, I, like him, would write about technology as the defining factor of our time. It informs every aspect of
American life today, from the ubiquity of smartphones, to high-speed internet, to the on-demand economy that has turned Uber
and Netflix into household names.
As our magazine’s founder Hal Goldstein discusses in his iView column (pg. 80), we’re just getting started. Technologies that are
in their infancy, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, and machine learning, will be advancing at an exponential rate,
just like the computer, whose processing power has continued to double roughly every year over the past 50 years.
For those of you who follow Apple and the rest of the tech industry closely, here’s to taking a step back and appreciating the
incredible moment in history we’re experiencing. We’ll still have plenty of time to explore all the ways iOS 10 expands what your
phone can do (pg. 39) and ponder the pros and cons of the iPhone 7 Plus (pg. 24) inside this issue. However, let’s not get lost in
the everyday and forget to stay in awe of the innovations this century has already brought forth and the amazing tech legacy it
has yet to unveil.
Editor in Chief
iPhone Life magazine, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @schillcleveland