EL CENTRO – Steve Jobs introduced a new Apple Inc. product on June 29, 2007 that combined an iPod with touch screen controls, a mobile phone, and an internet web browser —all in one hand held smart device— he named the iPhone. That was ten years ago.
Since then, the iPhone has changed every day lives. It is one single device that seldom leaves the hand of its owner. It is now used to call, send/receive text, voice messages, and emails; listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks; browse the internet to shop, check the weather, participate in social media, watch movies, get news, banking, and use as a map to get directions; calculate numbers, write notes, schedule happenings on the calendar, record memos, store medical records, and monitor health fitness; job applications, record mileage, and interact with professional trade groups; play games and tune guitars; take photos and record videos of loved ones, plus much more.
This multifaceted iPhone, to many, became a necessity and not merely a luxury item.
Jenelle Eggleston, a manager and barista at Connection Café at First Christian Church in El Centro, owned her first Apple cell phone, an iPhone 4, six years ago when she was a sophomore at Imperial High School in Imperial, she said.
“I was able to use the Internet on my phone —which is pretty cool— instead of the slide phones that were really popular in middle school. It was just a new way for me to access the Internet without having to carry a lot. It’s really easy to use.”
At work, Eggleston uses her iPhone 6S for scheduling baristas at the café. According to her, it makes it easier for her to see their schedule on the screen. “When I manage Connection Café, I schedule volunteers for the week. I’ll text them, confirm schedules, and check up on everybody and see how they are doing. And when I do that, I have everything documented in my phone,” she said.
According to Eggleston, she uses Safari web browser, Gmail for emails, Instagram, Audible to listen to audiobooks, and Fighter Verses Bible for memorizing verses. She has 30-40 apps in her iPhone.
Armando Marin said he has about the same number of apps loaded in his iPhone 7, 37 apps. Marin had his first Apple mobile phone, an iPhone 4s, five years ago. He currently works for his father at Pacific Industrial Parts, Calexico, delivering parts.
He uses his iPhone to get in touch with the office to inquire about the location. Then, Marin opens the Apple Maps app to get the specific address to deliver industrial parts. He said the Apple Maps app is better than Google maps.
Marin was with his two friends taking an afternoon break at State Street Coffee House in El Centro. They each had iPhones in their hands, yet were busy talking with each other at the same time.
“The most important thing to me on my iPhone is definitely the iMessage,” Marin said. “The iMessage makes text messaging so much easier since all my friends have iPhones, too.”
Marin also uses Spotify to listen to music, and connects with his friends using Instagram and Snapchat. But he doesn’t use Facebook at all.
Stephanie Gamez, an English teacher at Southwest High School, was taking a break at State Street Coffee House at noontime — with an iPhone in her hand. She said she remembers her first Apple product, an iPhone 4s model. She now has a newer iPhone. “I use it to text and make phone calls and for social media and I use the calendar,” she said.
Gamez admitted she is not a techie and has only a few apps such as Instagram and Facebook. However, she said she uses the cell phone camera quite often. She tapped on the screen to count the photos which were predominantly of her family, vacations, and landscapes. “I have 3,752 photos.”
“I’m a little too dependent on my iPhone,” Gamez said.