Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Pansy gets an iPhone..

Well, my contract with Verizon wireless ended as of yesterday and heedless of the fact that I can't justify the purchase at all I now have a white iPhone. I consider (iConsider?) it my bid to help the economy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Adding on..

This device is rather marvelous in many ways.  Being an Apple product it's pretty seamless in the way it works, especially if you use a Mac for day-to-day stuff.  My music is on iTunes, my (few) photos are on iPhoto and I keep my contacts and mail on .mac, which is now MobilMe.  Well, I mostly have used Yahoo for my mail since it's attached to AT&T and I've had it since the mid nineties, but .Mac I've also had since it's inception so that's what's hooked up to the phone.  This meant that the entire process of getting all of my mail and contacts was to log on to the activated phone as I left the Apple Store, and we're done.  Upon getting home I synched up the thing to iTunes and synched the music I wanted, the movies I felt like and the photos I wanted.  I was able to choose photos for my contacts, and since I thought ahead and used iTunes to copy my old ringtones over, Bitsy and Sue are ringing the same as they have for the last 5 years.  The apps are interesting and it will take me a while to get through them all to test the effectiveness of them, but there is something that I can confidently state about this phone: it was made for people who live in a walking city.  Visiting Bitsy in Manhattan I was struck by how useful it was, on the street we could look up an address, find ourself with GPS in relation to it, and be in time to get back home to recharge the little bugger.  Los Angeles is more far-flung and car based than NYC or the SF that Jobs demonstrates all the time.  We'll come back to that complaint come later..

First negative: the iPhone does not use FireWire for recharging.  I can get over the fact that I cannot synch up the bleeding thing using FireWire.  Whatever.  But after years of selling us FireWire chargers and cables (A system that Apple freaking invented) now I can't even use them to charge?  GRRRRR.  Off to buy more overpriced USB cables, since I don't think this little darling is going to want to be far from a recharge.

Second negative: this was a huge one for me and one that I simply did not understand nearly two years ago upon intriduction and really don't understand now.  In 2008.  In states with hands-free laws.

There is no voice dial.

Let me type that again:


Which leads me back to the idea that the people at Apple live in some city where automated maglev transpods are at every other corner, where they tap in their destination via iTunes and settle back for a nice conference call with Steve and Jon about whether the new shade of green for the Nanoes should be key lime or puce.  While looking for the best Margarita and texting via the App store.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are on the 405 or PCH or Beverly Drive or 95 or the GW Parkway or the 7 Mile Bridge or 7th Avenue and would like to tap our bluetooth earpiece and clearly state "call"  "Bitsy"  "Mobile"  "Yes" rather than dig the phone out and keeping one eye on traffic and try to call up the menu with Bits' phone number.

Steve, Bubeh, would you want you mother doing that?  Would she want you to?  Especially when you live in California with all those new laws where you drive that SL55 way too fast?  No.  It's a major disappointment about a critical safety feature that other companies mastered 5 years ago.  Shame on you.

The last thing is that god love them, Verizon did have the network.  AT&T does not.  I barely get a bar in my house, a block away from a building owned by them.  I don't get the vaunted 3G at home, and only at work when I am in sightline of a window.  Mostly this is the equivalent of Dad handing you the valet key to his shiny new red Corvette: you know it's a Corvette, but the chip in the key makes it perform like your Aunt Yetta's Citation.  I am willing to bet the MBA I don't have that someone from Apple contacted someone from Verizon about the iPhone.  I'm sure the meeting went something like this:

Apple: We have this phone that will do everything (demonstrates everything).  With this phone we will control the world! (cue lightning)

Verizon: (checking the amount of pennies they will lose by not charging for every text message and photo download).  Ahhh, thanks, no.  We have a "'Get-Lightning-Now' app for $1.00 a strike"

It's only to be hoped that the person who said no is sitting in a room somewhere hooked up to electrodes forced to watch "The Famous Teddy Z" and iPhone sales numbers until Verizon can get in on the action....

Would I buy?  I did.  Would I recommend?  Yes, with reservations: check to see that you have coverage.  But dayam- this thing really is the blackberry for the rest of us..
Photo: Gizmodo

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