Sunday, October 16, 2011

Take a Message, Siri

Excitement running high on Saturday. Funny how a small gadget that fits in the palm of the hand has the juice to send a happy buzz whizzing up the arm and down through the toes. Until very recently there was a most uncommon man who was inarguably the best at generating this kind of excitement all around the world. The death of Steve Jobs saddened millions of people, and no one would wish to make light of his passing, but talk about leaving with a bang…Nine days later Apple releases the incredible iPhone 4S, sending the company stock soaring even higher and fans in seven countries swarming to buy one. You gotta think he’s looking down with a pleased smile.

So what about that iPhone 4S, the one that talks to you, works anywhere in the world, takes 8 megapixel photographs, syncs your mail, photos, music, calendars, contacts and bookmarks wirelessly with desktop, laptop and iPad? For about five years I’ve used an iPhone, an old Japanese iPhone 2, which for the last eighteen months has been unable to make calls, but has continued to send and receive email, run all the apps unrelated to calling and take excellent 3 megapixel photographs. Had my ups and downs with it, mostly when I was using it as a telephone and never quite felt the jolt of excitement experienced with other Apple products. That old phone, the one that took the photograph below is a clunky old Ford Pinto with rust spots compared to the iPhone 4S.

It’s no secret that for the past six months telephone trouble has been an almost daily headache with the unsmart, flip-top Sanyo clunker I’ve been carrying. The hardware, the chip, the magic, whatever was or wasn’t inside its dull case made it a semi-dependable device at best. Basic telephone calls have been an ongoing challenge with this giveaway phone from Sprint. With all that, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that on Thursday I began thinking about an iPhone 4S. Long lines, people camping out in front of Apple Stores, reservations required, delivery promises; I figured that the day before its release was much like going to the party way late. Still, I drove over to Best Buy at noon on Thursday, made a reservation and paid a $50 deposit. The store rep said that I would be notified by email later in the day stating whether I could have the phone on Friday, or at most no later than the end of the month. It all depended on how many Sprint iPhones they would get late Thursday, and how many people were ahead of me. I figured the end of the month would be the earliest.

At 2:00 on Friday I got a call saying my Sprint iPhone 4S was ready for pick up.

Got the phone, along with a free invisibleSHIELD™ and a free set of earphones for hands-free talking, and by 3:00 was walking out of Best Buy telling the iPhone to call B. Oh, yeah, it follows spoken orders! Something called Siri. The worst part about the day was getting home with the new iPhone and short of time, having to put it in my pocket and join some friends for dinner. With every bite the thought uppermost in my mind was getting back home to snuggle up with the new phone and learn its magical secrets.

The photo above was taken with the old iPhone and the one below with the new iPhone 4S. Almost embarrassed to admit it, but the new phone has me doing something I’ve never done before—been sending text messages to friends, typing out stuff like ‘4S-2G2BT’—iPhone 4S, too good to be true.


  1. Heh heh I can understand your excitement. I still don't have a modern smart phone, though my phone is still very capable and classified as "smart" and can do almost everything an iPhone 3GS can do but it doesn't have a touch screen or a data plan.

    I used to be against Apple until recently when I realized that, love it or hate it, they still have the best and most integrated hardware-OS solution out there.

    I'll pass on the 4S but there's a chance I might buy a 5 next year when they'll be released.

    The thing that still bothers me is the high prices for data plans. An extra $30 a month is not something I'm happy to pay right now.

  2. Very nice, I just got the 4S, too! :-)

  3. Oh, yes, back in July went from my relatively small screen Samsung to an iPhone 4 and instantly love the ease of having a computer on my hip that also happened to make phone calls. Using many of the features every day, including text, very quickly searching various apts for the news or an actor's name or keeping up with friends on Facebook or reading a novel on the Nook.

  4. Just read your post as my laptop has been "put away" during my travels.
    Wonderful that you have a new phone. I'll call you later today.

  5. You could be eligible to receive a Apple iPhone 7.


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America