Synopses & Reviews
Even Steve Jobs didn't know what he had on his hands when he announced the original iPhone as a combination of a mere "three revolutionary products"--an iPod, a cell phone, and a keyboard-less handheld computer. Once Apple introduced the App Store and opened it up to outside developers, however, the iPhone became capable of serving a rapidly growing number of functions--now more than 200,000 and counting.
But the iPhone has implications far beyond the phone or gadget market. In fact, it's opening the way to what Brian Chen calls the "always-on" future, where we are all constantly connected to a global Internet via flexible, incredibly capable gadgets that allow us to do anything, anytime, from anywhere. This has far-reaching implications--both positive and negative--throughout all areas of our lives, opening the door for incredible personal and societal advances while potentially sacrificing both privacy and creative freedom in the process.
Always On is the first book to look at the surprising and expansive significance of Apple's incredibly powerful vertical business model, and the future it portends.
"Tech guru Chen's columns on Apple for Wired.com have gained him a wide readership, primarily for the same qualities he displays here: an in-depth knowledge of the history of Apple and a wide-angle view of the impact that Apple has made across the globe. Chen is especially good at showing how Apple's App Store was the real reason the company initially zoomed past its competitors. Chen lays out how the iPhone's capability to handle a still-growing number of functions has created a world in which people can be in an 'anything-anytime-anywhere' reality. More importantly, Chen expertly explains the implications of Apple's focus on vertical integration where the company controls the software and hardware, even if not manufactured by the company itself on current issues related to user privacy, especially in the areas of education and law enforcement.(July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews, 5/1/11
“A swift, engaging analysis of how the iPhone is changing the way technology is integrating contemporary society…A relevant, refreshingly charismatic nod to personal technology, its innovators and, of course, everything Apple.”
Kirkus Reviews, 5/1/11
“A swift, engaging analysis of how the iPhone is changing the way technology is integrating contemporary society…A relevant, refreshingly charismatic nod to personal technology, its innovators and, of course, everything Apple.”Publishers Weekly, 5/9/11
“Tech guru Chen's columns on Apple for Wired.com have gained him a wide readership, primarily for the same qualities he displays here: an in-depth knowledge of the history of Apple and a wide-angle view of the impact that Apple has made across the globe.” New York Journal of Books Review, 6/29/11
“[Always On] is a page-turner for technophiles, but weaves enough humanity into the topic to keep most readers engaged.”
Shelf Awareness, 7/8/11
“A compelling analysis of how the iPhone has revolutionized every aspect of our lives.”Connecticut News, 7/3/11“Always On gives us a sharp and funny journalist/guide who shows us how the Apple phone (and the iPad that followed) and its easily used apps are reaching into nearly aspect of modern life.” Colorado Springs Independent, 7/27/11 “If you’re like more than 70 million others, you’re probably reading these words via smartphone…[Always On] tells you how it got to be that way.”
January Magazine, 8/5/11“[A] very smart and eloquent book…Chen is succinct, lucid and often fun…If you love your iPhone and think it’s the greatest invention since sliced cheese, Always On is for you. If you loathe the very idea of the iPhone and think it’s going to ruin the world, Always On is for you, too. Chen’s book is simply that marvelous: even-handed, engaging and informative, it looks at all sides of a tricky but interesting questions and makes a few assumptions that will surprise you.” Seattle Times, 8/14/11 “A smart, engaging overview of studies, articles and arguments about our increasingly online world—and a look at how corporations got us here and how much further we could go.”
Midwest Book Review, September 2011
“Business and social issues collections alike will find this an important survey.”
Choice, December 2011 “Chen has a lively and engaging writing style…Recommended.”
An intriguing, definitive analysis of technology's current "all-in-one" revolution, and a serious reflection on the social implications of an "always on" society.
About the Author
Former associate editor for Macworld magazine, Brian X. Chen currently writes for Wired.com, where his regular column on Apple is followed by millions of readers. He lives in San Francisco.