Monday, February 25, 2008

Short-sightedness and the iPhone

My wife and I have this deal that when I get a bonus (thanks, Sun!), we split half of it between us and the other half goes into the Money Pit.

So I had this $$ burning a hole in my pocket, and I have just finished a Big Push to get some MySQL tooling into NetBeans (a topic for another blog). I deserved a treat. I also felt my patriotic duty to inject Consumer Confidence and Cash into the economy.

I've been wanting to switch wireless services, I really find that I want to use the Internet, and Verizon charges an arm and a leg for its data service. AT&T is downright reasonable. But of course you can't take your phone with you (that's just horrific, IMHO), and so my Treo is tethered to Verizon. I thought I had bought that Treo, but I realize now I was only renting it, it actually belongs to Verizon.

Meanwhile, iPhones are popping up all around me, and I interviewed many users, a number of them quite picky and techie, like me. And they all love them. Then I hesitated because it didn't have GPS. Well, that's been solved, sort of, with its cell tower triangulation.

A friend convinced me to take a look at the Blackberry. It has all the bells and whistles, and even has video recording and real GPS. So I went into the AT&T store and started looking at it. And this was where things started to break down. I just couldn't figure it out, and the print was so tiny. I'm getting older: gray hair, bad back and bad eyes. I could not for the life of me even read what the applications were; I had to wear my reading glasses just to use the phone.

Then I tried the browser and it was O So Sad. All the images crammed into a tiny screen. It was like living on the 7 and 1/2th floor.

Then I ambled over to the sleek iPhone, like a rabbit into a fox's den. Come Closer it cooed. Feel my sleek lines. Press my buttons. Try the Two-Fingered Zoom Gesture. Look at my Browser. Come to me...

Well, when I could see real web pages, and zoom in so I could actually read them, and the numbers and letters are actually readable for me without putting on my glasses, I was finally sold. A phone for Old People.

I feel a little dirty, like I have just made a Faustian deal with Mr. Jobs, but I do have to admit I love this new iPhone.

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