By Brian Chen
Da Capo Press, $25.00, 248 pages

When Steve Jobs introduced the first Apple iPhone in 2007, did he know that within 5 years this small handheld device would revolutionize society, business, politics, culture and more?  Wired writer Brian X. Chen considers this question and what it means to be living in an anything-anytime-anywhere world.  Based on interviews with technology thinkers, developers, researchers and consumers, the author sees the smartphone as a game-changer in the way it provides easy and convenient wireless access to a massive hub of every imaginable type of data.  The now 1 million plus applications (apps) market further expands and extends the reach of the iPhone and its clones into every facet of modern life.  Although Chen recognizes instant and ubiquitous access to information comes at more than a monetary price – including some loss of personal privacy and freedom of choice in the marketplace – in the final analysis, that is the cost of being ‘always on’.  Written in an easy to read style that even non-techies will understand, this book is recommended for anyone with an interest in technology topics.


Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen,