or, the Jesus phone, and why I won't be worshipping
Unless you have been in a coma for the past few days, you have surely heard of the new product introduced by Apple, the iPhone: a supremely elegant little device that will allow you to make phone calls, listen to your music, surf the net, watch movies, get directions, take, send and save pictures, keep your calendar, save cute kittens and stop the heartbreak of Psoriasis. Okay, the last two not so much.
First, a confession: I am an apple geek. I prefer my Mac to any Windows machine. I have three iPods that I have picked up over the years and have been really looking forward to this gadget. There are a few niggling complaints though (counting down the top 5):
5) It's AT&T
This may of course be locations specific: where I am the carrier formerly known as god(#^(*$)@& mo(*@^(#*)ing why can't I get a call through Cingular has coverage that is (ahem) less than ideal.
4) Apple's crappy headphones
You need to use the crap headphones that come with the phone to take advantage of the devices dual nature as cellphone/iPod. I loathe apples headphones; I don't know if everyone in Cupertino has ear cavities the size of dimes, but I don't and cannot get Apple's headphones to seat in my ears without them screaming in pain within 20 minutes or the damned things falling out, or both. So far, there is no adapter (such as a microphone base or something) that will allow me to use my headphones and still have phone functionality.
3) Cost and Capacity
It's $500 for 5 gigs of storage, $600 for 10. I have a 5 gig iPod mini. I have a Motorola KRZR that I got from Verizon for $49 with New-Every-Two. I also have 13 months left on my contract and no pressing reason to pay through the nose to have a new device that says "please mug me now". Movies and photos and music and contacts and whatever jammed onto 5 gigs. Call me when you're at 40.
2) No MP3 Ringtones
This is niggling but I like the fact that I can assign my very own ringtones to my friends and don't have to hear the same ones everyone else has: when I hear the muted sound of the theme to the TV show "The Avengers" I am relatively sure that it's my friend Bitsy- as it has been since my old V710. When I am driving I can decide to take the call because I know it's Bits and not some random fool. Of course I am sure that I can choose a custom tone from Apples no doubt large menu of stylish ringers, but if I can do this with my present phone, why not this one? Which leads me past niggling to the absolute deal breaker:
1) No voice-dialing
You might be thinking "but Pansy, that's not such an issue!". Well, you would be wrong. My KRZR, like my Moto V710 before it had this feature and it is not just a convenience, it's a critical safety feature. Which person do you prefer to be speeding down the highway? The one desperately trying to tap out a phone number on a virtual keyboard (god knows how it will wash out in direct sunlight) with no tactile feedback so you have to take and keep your eyes off the road? Even wearing your Bluetooth headphone? Or the person who taps the earpiece, says "Call. Bitsy. Mobile. Yes." and is connected? I simply cannot believe that with the new hands-free laws coming to California that Jobs let this one out of the gate without voice-dialing built in and built better.
I know that's it's exclusive to AT&T and likely to stay that way= some of the cool features are network-dependant. I know the battery cannot be removed and that you will have to send the thing into Apple for its inevitable replacement, meaning that you will be phoneless for how long? I even know that Apple has a long history of releasing devices that are ground-breaking but overpriced and usually anout 85% perfect. Maybe by the time my contract is up with Verizon the iPhone will be at 95 or even 100%. In the man time I'll save my pennies...
Sunday, July 01, 2007