The Wife got her first hands-on look at the iPod touch yesterday, and was blown away by how small it is. She’s now excited to be owning one soon, mostly because it will take significantly less space in her purse than the calendar and address book she carries around now. She walked out of the store sporting phantom wood, looking forward to the day she can proudly show off pictures to people who ask (as opposed to bitching that her lazy husband never prints any of them out).
It’s easy for a geek like myself to get excited about new technology, but for non-techies it’s a bit trickier. Despite there being PC’s and laptops in the house throughout our marriage, the Wife has only been using email actively for the last two years. She’s embraced online shopping and Google Maps, and thought my being able to download missed television episodes was “pretty cool.” She only recently started using text messages and fiddling with ringtones on her cell phone, but hardly ever uses the camera. She’s fully embraced DVR technology, but could care less about high-def televisions beyond the fact a flat-screen hanging on the living room wall will free up all kinds of floor space.
In short, the Wife looks at technology as a tool, not a toy. She sees practical uses for the iPod touch, and a new layer of convenience seals the deal. The maps, multi-touch screen, and even the music and video playback are all just a slick bonus. The bulky Palms and other PDA’s have never tripped her trigger, especially with a stylus to lose, easy-to-scratch screens, and clunky interfaces.
I think Apple understands this. Yes, Apple gear is shiny, sleek, and cool. But they definitely have the user in mind, whether we’re talking about hardcore users, newbies, or somebody in between. We all have work to get done, and there are many times we’d like to make that work as simple as possible.
It doesn’t get much easier than iPhoto.
The Wife shares one big gripe with me: price. You get the Cadillac or nothing, something I talked about earlier. This slows adoption to general audiences, but those who can afford said Cadillac couldn’t be happier. We’re discussing putting an iMac in my office so she’ll be able to more easily manage her iPod touch, as well as share photos with family by burning them to DVD with iMovie. She doesn’t have the patience to do the same things in Linux.
In other words, she now sees the value in spending the extra cash, especially now that we’re in a position to afford it.
I may pull the trigger on a new iMac this week, before her phantom wood subsides. It will be interesting to see if an iMac changes her view of computing or not, and whether or not she’ll take advantage of things like the iLife suite.