I’ve been a huge fan of the iPhone user interface for a long time – and a big believer in how effective and impressive it is in providing a user experience that is so compelling that users end up getting tons more out of their device and out of the many applications for it than they do on any other mobile platform.
Recent months have hammered this point home to me more than ever – as I’ve watched my daughter get to know the iPhone, and rapidly become a very adept user of it. At the age of 6. In fact, she became so adept so quickly that when I upgraded to the iPhone 3GS in June, my wife took over my 3G, and my daughter (Zoe) took my original V1 iPhone, with the phone service turned off.
Here are just a few of the things she does with it and is very comfortable doing:
- Takes screencaps
- Takes pictures and sends pictures via email to her parents and grandparents
- Use a Gmail account to send and receive email from family - and manage switching to her own account when the mail app opens to her mom's
- Browses the web, and uses Google's native app and via the browser to search for things and research things
- Sends text messages to her cousin
- Browses the App Store, researches apps, and presents her dad with ones that need to be acquired
- Creates, chooses, and selects different wallpapers for the lock screen
- Creates paintings with the amazing Brushes app, and other similar ones
- Plays and enjoys many games - from Disney fairies to catapulting penguins and many others
- Reads and enjoys ebooks, from classics to animated stories and new creations specially for the iPhone
- Uses Nabbit and Shazam to identify songs on the radio
- Moves apps around between home screens
- Searches for things via Spotlight
Zoe rarely has many questions or needs much help in any of her iPhone activities. Her iPhone has 5-6 screens worth of apps that she happily navigates through and gets great usage out of.
I’ve used PDAs, converged mobile devices, and smartphones for many years – but I cannot think of a single other device that could’ve offered anywhere near this level of experience to a six year old. I’m continually amazed and pleased with how much fun Zoe gets out of the iPhone, and how effective a learning tool it is for her as well. I really can’t imagine another mobile device that could offer so much to her.
How about all of you? Do your kids use your iPhone? Have their own, or an iPod Touch? Are there other mobile devices that your kids are getting great mileage out of?