List on the 3s. It’s a list. On dates that have a 3 in them.
Don’t roll your eyes at me; it keeps a sense of order in my life…
Well, the inevitable happened: After a rather long stint with Nextel (and eventually Sprint/Nextel) as my mobile phone carrier, I became a bit dissatisfied with the dwindling coverage, the limited data services and the not-so-helpful technical support. (For the record, their administrative customer support by phone remained wonderful to me.) And due to quite a few circumstances, I decided that it was time to take the plunge: I was already way done with my Sprint contract, so I was a “free agent.” I could port my phone numbers in the coveted 703 area code. And the Apple iPhone 3G had just come out. Naturally, I consulted with socKs, and we decided to switch our plan to AT&T and get ourselves iPhones.
It has now been about 28 hours since I came home with the iPhones in hand. And let me tell you something: these have been some of the 28 worst hours of my entire life. Even worse than the two hours I wasted on “Loverboy” starring Patrick Dempsey and Kirstie Alley. *shudder*
You see, most folks take a look at this technological phenom and praise it. The sleek look to it. The ease of use. The many capabilities. But I see only one thing: a curved rectangular panel of doom.
I’m just surprised that I can pare this list down to just ten things!
Top 10 Reasons I Hate My New iPhone
10. I now have no excuse not to get back right away to people who email me. It was something I lived for — “Did you see that email I sent?” Oooh, sorry! I’ll make sure to check it when I get home. Well, guess what folks? Those days are over! Now that I have an iPhone, I have a pre-conceived outrageous sense of urgency which must be fulfilled. And frankly? I really prefer my keyboard at home over the touch screen thing on the iPhone.
I wonder if there’s an application for iPhone which automatically sends email responses into the past…
9. The Apple Store is a Joke. socKs was able to obtain “golden tickets” for two iPhones earlier in the day. All I had to do was come back by 6pm.
I showed up at about 5:20 yesterday to the store at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, one of the more upscale malls in the DC area and the only such mall which is a brisk walk away from the Pentagon. The store was crowded — people milling about looking for iPods, MacBooks, and… well, that was pretty much it. That’s all they sell there. Except for the iPhones, of course, and those were already sold out or reserved.
There was music blaring — I think they wanted it to convey more of a club atmosphere. I approached one of the employees wearing a blue t-shirt and an ID card with my golden tickets. He said that an “AppleCare specialist” or something like that needed to help me out, but there wasn’t one available quite yet. In order for him to get to me, I had to stand in line.
I was the only one in line.
Mr. Turquoise shirt paraded me outside the store, asking people sitting on nearbly benches if they were in line to buy the iPhone. None of them were. (Which is because the line formed in the morning, and this was the time that people who had reserved their phones were coming back.) But he wanted to make sure that people knew that THERE WAS A LINE FOR THE IPHONE. So he had me stand there.
Finally, someone else was told to stand in line. We had a nice chat for a few minutes before my Apple specialist waved me over. he was wearing a bright orange shirt instead of the turquoise ones the other people were. It felt very Star Trek with the different colors.
And, with a handheld device, he goes through the whole order process while we’re standing in front of an “Apple TV.” (I’m still not sure what the difference is between that and regular TV.) Registration and payment takes about 30 minutes for both phones, both of which had to be rung up separately (thus causing a friendly call from my credit card company this afternoon wondering if the duplicate, identical charge from yesterday was legit). And all the while, customers were flocking to him asking about the Apple TV or other stuff.
It just seemed very disorganized. very difficult to tell if an employee was working with someone on a transaction or just flirting heavily (in order to get to the point where the transaction occurs). It just seemed very sloppy. Maybe my “line of one” was a way to counterbalance this.
8. There’s a native viewer for YouTube content. Now you might think this is pretty neat. And I suppose it could be. But, as we all know, there’s a lot of content on YouTube whose intent is to be shocking and push the envelope. There’s one video in particular which affects me far, far more than your run of the mill “Two Girls, One Cup” ever will. And it’s this:
It may look tame on a computer screen, but I was personally taken aback watching this on my iPhone. Especially 1:22 into it where he does that… that… thing with his fists. Please don’t watch if you have a weak heart…
7. Waiting is the hardest part. So picture this: Last weekend I went to my local AT&T store to inquire about the iPhone. Per their policy, I had my credit card swiped — but not charged — for the two iPhones I would purchase from them. I was told that I could cancel out the order before it shipped (which could take up to ten days), and if I hadn’t opened the boxes I could return them with a full refund.
But we decided we wanted our phones before our upcoming weekend trip. So yesterday I had the adventure at the Apple store per above. This morning I checked the website for status on my AT&T orders. The phones still showed as “back-ordered.” I called the store to have them cancel the order — I was told that I could not do that over the phone as they required a photo ID from me confirming that the chubby guy at my address no longer wanted the phones. (The horrors!)
As of 7:53pm today the phones still showed as “back-ordered.” I arrived at the store at 8:25pm — only to find a line full of people paying and disputing their bills. After a heated conversation between someone from the AT&T store and no less than four members of a loud, Iranian family where the father only spoke Farsi, it was finally my turn. I mentioned that I was there in person to cancel out my upcoming iPhone orders since we had already gotten them.
She couldn’t do anything in the computer, however, because sometime between 7:53 and then my order had been sent to shipping. Which means my credit card will be charged. Until I get the charges removed, of course. But it’s nice to have less to worry about on your credit card when you’re about to travel a few thousand miles…
Perhaps it’s my fault for being so impatient. But I blame the AT&T chick anyway.
6. It renders my cool, new Bluetooth headset obsolete. I happened to find a good deal for my Motorola retractable boom-mic headset which I would pair to my Nextel phone for two occasions: (a) for when I was driving and I wanted to truly be “hands-free” and (b) for when I wanted to look like a total asshat. When I read that the iPhone was compatible with my Bluetooth headset, I was jumping for joy as I could continue to use it.
However, the iPhone has a perfectly good speakerphone built in. which is fine, I suppose, for the car. But I then learned today that the white, stereo headphones which have been the trademark of the iPod come with the iPhone as well! And that they have a microphone built in so you can actually have a phone conversation with them! Which means that anyone with an iPhone now can look like a total asshat. Not just those of us who spent good money on a BlueTooth headset — one of the pillars of asshattery,
5. It has a built in, easy to use, camera. Which means a higher probability of pictures like this:
The scary thing? This was the best of seven takes!
4. The iPhone exploits underage workers in underprivileged countries. I’m still trying to get final proof on this one — but although the evidence is not totally there, the circumstantial evidence is a plenty.
You see, it all started when my friend Hilly told me about an iPhone “App” called “Shazam.” A free app, Shazam does one thing: suppose you’re listening to a song at home, in the car, at a restaurant, in prison, etc. And you’re wondering “Gee — who performs that song?” You can fire up “Shazam” and have it “listen” to the music for about fifteen seconds. And then it references a database somewhere on the internet and identifies the song and artist! Its precision is uncanny. True story: the first two songs I tried this with were “Freedom” by “Wham!” and “Slam” by Onyx. It got both of them right away. Could this be the workings of a musical supercomputer? Could it?
The answer is no. It can’t possibly be. Music is a subjective thing. Thus — it must be underprivileged, outsourced kids in faraway lands, being hooked up to studio headphones 20 hours a day as they quickly type the appropriate song titles into a terminal to which their tethered. How incredibly Nike…
3. Fingerprints, fingerprints, fingerprints! Have you looked at an iPhone after a hot and humid day? The thing is — you’re supposed to touch it with your fingers, hence fingerprints. And with a shiny black surface they can show up pretty easily. Unless, of course, you keep the thing on all the time. And then the battery wears down even more quickly.
2. No “Push-to-Talk” feature. I’ve been a Nextel subscriber for several years. And I’ve actually used my Nextel “walkie-talkie” feature in a setting where it has been useful and appropriate. But it doesn’t nearly compare to the fun that is having a conversation extremely loudly with someone at the other end in a crowded Subway sandwich shop.
Do you want lettuce and tomatoes?
Um… Let me check, *chirp* Hey, Jamie — you there?
*chirp* You calling me?
*chirp* Yeah, Jamie. It’s Shiny. I’m at Subway. Listen — do you want lettuce and tomatoes on your sandwich?
*chirp* You’re at Subway? What happened to Quiznos?
*chirp* Since when was it ever Quiznos? Look – I have a line behind me. What do you want on your pastrami sub?
*chirp* Oh, I can’t have pastrami. I’ve been having intestinal problems all morning. Let’s just say my ass is all chapped and sore.
And so on…
But the iPhone doesn’t have this. Which means the only way to garner the same effect of grossing everyone out in public is to record an inappropriate “push to talk” conversation, convert it into a ringtone, and let that play at full volume on your iPhone. Shouldn’t be too difficult…
1. The iPhone is blantantly anti-pornography. Bear with me; I can substantiate this:
* The iPhone has this annoying feature which will watch what you type and automatically “correct” words that it thinks you possibly typed wrong and could be something else. For example, “tge” becomes “the” automatically. You’d think that would be a great thing — until you start writing about your own juicy adventures and discover that the iPhone has corrected your discription of a wonderfully hard sock and something about a posse. Not cool, guys. Simply not cool.
* The iPhone is still “cool” enough that everyone will want to play with it. Which means that iPhone gets passed from person to person to try out the web, instant messaging and every other feature. Of course, there isn’t a very easy way to let the built in web browser “forget” about the most recent web page you visited. Which, of course, means that a split second after you let your boss have a go at the iPhone, you’ll probably remember about that “favorite” website which is ready to pop up as soon as she clicks on Safari.
* And speaking of which — my favorite erotic website is not yet optimized for a mobile device:
At least I only have 728 days left on my two-year contract…