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All That Glitters is not iPhone

TMCnet Feature

August 15, 2013

All That Glitters is not iPhone

By Rory J. Thompson
Web Editor

When I’m at work, I work hard. I get in early, hit the keyboard and the wires simultaneously, and keep cranking fast all day long, switching gears as needed but always moving forward. No, I’m not a truck driver, but a technology journalist. As such, I have to keep moving just to keep up. It’s a complicated world, and I take advantage of the tools and toys my employer provides to make my job easier.

But with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement well underway, I couldn’t really expect them to buy me a smartphone. That one would be on me, and, as I had a few months before my current carrier would let me upgrade at no charge (or at a discounted price), I looked around a bit before settling on an iPhone (News - Alert). As a longtime Mac loyalist, it was pretty much a no-brainer.

When the day finally arrived, I announced to the household that I was going to pick up my new iPhone. The wife, usually the brains of this outfit, repeated the refrain she’d been parroting for several weeks prior: “You don’t NEED an iPhone!” Eh, what did she know?

The salesman saw me coming a mile away. Not only did he get me to go for the iPhone5 (at $199, thank you very much; so much for that “free” upgrade to the iPhone4), but I also got the “Otter” case (Because I’m a volunteer firefighter in my civilian life, and need to protect my phone while dragging a hose line); screen protectors; and the belt clip, because I’m basically still a geek.

With everything, the bill came to around 300 bucks.

The phone was a lot heftier on my hip than the previous LG phone I’d had (That one worked fine until the screen went gray, never to return), but I was certain that this new iPhone5 would enhance my life in numerous ways. In the immortal words of Mike Myers’ Wayne Campbell character from Wayne’s World: “Not!”

To say I hated the iPhone5 would be an understatement. I loathed it. The worst part for me was the touchscreen keyboard. I’m a writer, and as such, I take pride in all my written communications. If I’m sending a text, the capitalization, punctuation and grammar all need to be perfect. I’ll throw in the occasional “LOL” if warranted, but for the most part my written communications need to be like my spoken communications; clear, and to the point.

But with the touchscreen, I felt like I had greasy sausages for fingers. Tried as I might, I couldn’t type out a clear message without something screwing up. Let’s face it; in some respects, I’m a Luddite. I need a QWERTY keyboard. As my colleague Peter Bernstein said dryly in a staff meeting when I told him about my new toy, “An iPhone5 is great if you’re an 18-year-old girl.” Ouch.

My fellow office Mac fanatics all reassured me that “You’ll get it eventually,” but I needed it NOW. I have enough technologies I need to keep up with, without taking two steps backwards to re-learn texting.

So the 14th day, the last day exchanges were allowed, I returned to the store with the iPhone, accessories and packaging, and turned it all in for a Droid. With a Keyboard!

I still don’t know how to work all the Droid’s functions yet, but I can text with the best of them. The rest of it will come in due course, I’m sure.

That evening, sitting on the couch with the bride and watching bad TV, she could barely contain herself. “So,” she said during a commercial break, “Can I say ‘I told you so’ now?”

We’ve been married long enough that no words were necessary. I simply gave her the sidelong glare, and she turned back to the TV with a simple, “You never listen to me.”

That’s not true; I listen all the time. I just don’t pay attention. There’s a difference.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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