For longer than I care to admit, I’ve held a deep seated regret that my Hogwarts letter got lost in the mail and I’ve been stuck in the muggle world. I took solace in technology and, more specifically, iOS devices. You can imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that the iPhone in my pocket is just as magical as any wand from Ollivander’s! Seriously, the parallells between our iOS gadgets and some of the coolest magical objects and spells in Hogwarts can’t be just a coincidence. (If you haven’t read the Harry Potter series, be aware of spoilers below!)
1. Marauder’s Map: For those that don’t know, the Marauder’s Map is an enchanted map of Hogwarts castle that not only shows every secret passage way and hidden door, but also tells the user exactly who is in Hogwarts and where they are. It’s very convenient if you’re sneaking around after dark, looking for a discrete way out of the castle, or even looking for your friends. That’s right! Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs proudly present the Find My Friends application. With this app, you’re presented with a map on your iOS devices that conveniently shows you where all your friends are, and maybe a few enemies too.
2. Two-way Mirror – Harry’s Godfather, Sirius Black, gives Harry one half of a very special set of two-way mirrors. Look into the mirror and you’ll see whatever is reflected in its pair. That way, the owners of each mirror can have a face to face chat without actually being in the same room. Pretty amazing, right? Hmm… a face to face chat with someone miles away. Where have I heard that before? Oh right, FaceTime! Apple’s iOS to iOS video chat program works exactly like these mirrors do!
3. Lumos! – Whenever Harry, Ron, Hermione or anyone else from the wizarding world needs a bit of extra light, they simply whip out their wands and mutter a simple spell that illuminates the tip. It’s helped the gang out of a jam more than once and is crazy useful. How do I know it’s useful, you ask? Well, my iPhone can do the exact same thing. There are tons of flashlight apps in the App Store that light up the LED flash with a single tap, just like the Lumos spell. The flashlight app is actually one of my most used applications, and I’ve always thought it was just a little too good to be true.
4. Patronus messages – When wizards and witches want to send a letter, they use owl post. But sometimes avian communication simply isn’t fast enough, so the Order of the Phoenix devised a super quick way to send messages using the Patronus charm. When performed correctly, the caster produces a corporeal animal made of pure good that not only protects against dementors, but is also dead useful when it comes to sending messages as quickly as possible. iPhone users, much like the Order of the Phoenix, have their own super speedy way to send messages to one another – iMessage! This almost instant text-based communication is iOS-only and even rocks a cool blue and silver theme reminiscent of a Patronus’ glowing hue.
5. Remembrall – A remembrall is a magical object that lets you know when you’ve forgotten something. Useful, right? Almost as useful as the Reminders app. Not only will the Reminders app tell you when there’s something you’ve forgotten, but it’ll tell you what you’ve forgotten, which is more than I can say about the remembrall. Seems like Steve Jobs may have out-magicked Rowling this time around…
6. The Daily Prophet – The Daily Prophet is the wizarding newspaper where magical folk across the UK get information about the goings on in the magical world. It’s delivered by owl every morning and is ready and waiting to be read with breakfast. Similarly, the Newsstand app keeps us up to date on everything from world news to entertainment rumors, and it’s all delivered to our devices automatically as if by magic!
So there you have it. Clearly there’s a bit of unicorn hair or phoenix feather tucked away between the battery and motherboard in our iPhones. Have you guys found any other magical features during your daily use? If so, let me know in the comments section below or on twitter! Thanks for suffering through my absurd Harry Potter obsession…