Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#7. Tech of the Week. iPhone.

I recently started a joint phone plan with my fiance. We both got our phones in the mail on Wednesday. I wasn't very pleased with the phone I'd gotten, so I did what anyone would do, I pouted. I hadn't bought a new phone in years, I don't even know how many, four or five probably. This new phone, it was supposed to be better. It was supposed to dazzle. It didn't. It wasn't any better than my previous phone and what it didn't have in dazzle it lost further ground with its confusing interface. Before this new beast of a phone, all I ever used my phone for was to make calls or send texts. That was fine with me, simple. Meanwhile, friends of mine had been getting newer and better devices. My friend Kyle's posts on Facebook would show a little note that it was created on his Blackberry.

At a bachelor party this summer two of my friends and I were driving toward Wisconsin Dells and we started singing along with a song on the radio. That got us talking about other songs, particularly fun or ridiculous songs, which prompted Bill to search his phone and pull up videos of songs we were talking about so that we could then sing along with those ("Hero" by Inrique Inglesias was stopped about half-way through, begrudgingly on my part).


A few weeks ago Kamie and I met a few friends for dinner, and while having a good time we spontaneously started talking about going to see a movie. We didn't know the movie times. Well, Amy brought out her phone, and we knew them in a few moments.

This is a long way to saying that the frustration with my phone built up to where Kamie told me: "Just get an iPhone." I tried to pout through it, but eventually the idea got the better of me. I gritted my teeth as the AT&T worker explained the pricing plans. That was Sunday. Still, when I got home, I started to really love it. There was no comparison to my previous phone. It made me think of the revelation I had when I first got an iPod: "This is...the best...thing ever." I still take my iPod with me everywhere I go. I'm one of those people. But it's a passion of mine, so I'm not ashamed.

In this post created today, Jonathan Margolis poses the casual question: "Is the iPhone the best gadget ever?"

I got the phone on Sunday. On Monday I was scheduled to get an oil change and have my tires rotated. Ended up getting my brakes replaced. Four or five hours later, I drove home. I was way on the west side of town, didn't have my school work with me. I did, however, have my iPhone. I used it to read the news, play games, send emails, listen to music. The only place that proved difficult: Learn@UW. I was able to login to my wiscmail and into Learn@UW, but reading posts/creating them seemed untenable. I also couldn't access the documents at the Reserves that I had a right to as a UW student. That would have been nice. Libraries, I thought, we need to understand the mobile format better. While sitting at Mazda for hours, things began to dawn on me, things I hadn't thought about before.

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