Always on

Always on Cover

Always on

How the iPhone Unlocked the Anything-Anytime-Anywhere Future--And Locked Us in

By Brian X. Chen

Da Capo Press, Hardcover, 9780306819605, 248pp.

Publication Date: June 7, 2011


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, where his regular column on Apple is followed by millions of readers. He lives in San Francisco.

Praise For Always on

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 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, 7/3/11Always 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.”


Thursday, Jul 14, 2011

Constantly having access to our cellphones is changing the way we interact with the world, says technology writer Brian X. Chen. In a new book, he explains how being "always on" will affect law enforcement, the medical community and higher education. More at

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.