Do mobile apps spell the end of the “gadget geek?”

Since the first home computer was shipped in the 1970s, medstore it seems everyone has eagerly awaited the “convergence:” The day that so-called visionaries claim our televisions, infection computers and entertainment systems will merge into one box and no longer exist as separate devices. This used to sound so futuristic, but today it strikes me as remarkably short-sighted.

I’m definitely not the first to notice this, but occasionally it hits me just how different my daily routine is now compared to just two short years ago. It’s safe to say that a real convergence has happened in the last two years — and it was so much more than anyone might have predicted.

It happened so quickly, but it definitely happened: Unlike the computer, which slowly and clumsily tried to work its way into my daily non-tech routines over the years, my iPhone (and even more so, the iPad) swept in with ease: My morning newspaper in the kitchen now doubles as my TV remote in the living room, but right now it’s making itself useful as a word processor so I can write this blog post. Even more incredibly, my wife will use the same device to film our son’s playdates later, and I have a relative in California who uses the same model to produce major-label music recordings and videos (Not amateur music, mind you, but pieces you hear daily on television, radio and elsewhere). Even my parents pick it up to talk to their grandchildren (or to use as a quick fix for my mom’s slot-machine addiction), and I have friends who use it daily to check their heart rates while exercising.

I still have a separate TV, stereo and computer, of course, but that’s not where the revolution happened after all. Whether it’s an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone (or to a lesser extent, an Android device), there is now one single device that singlehandedly makes hundreds of other gadgets — including $1 flashlights and $5,000 assistive technology devices — utterly obsolete. I don’t even seek out new gadgets anymore; I seek out new apps.

If I really wanted to, I suppose I could get rid of the computer, television and receiver and replace them with my iPad (and a good set of speakers), but strangely enough, this still seems to be the least practical application of the device at the moment. I’m sure it will happen eventually, though… Perhaps when the iPad adds a built-in projector?

I’d write more, but I need to use this synthesizer/telephone/DVR/flashlight/checkbook/radio/medical device to scan a few documents and watch the season finale of Downton Abbey now.

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