Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An App for That

"Next WEEK? That's the worst thing you can SAY to an early adopter."
--Phil, not getting his iPad the first day on Modern Family

After years of resisting the iPhone, I now have what I've always wanted instead, which is the iPod Touch, an iPhone without the irritation and annoyance of an actual phone. And because it was a birthday present, I have zero guilt about all the features it wastefully duplicates that I already have on my phone, or kindle, or laptop, or camera, or any of the other 417 devices currently quietly humming at me from the surge protector.

For a phone, I still have my BlackBerry. I switched to the Torch  the day it was released, which was, coincidentally, the night the lights really did go out in Georgia as AT and T service went out all over the south, and half of the eastern seaboard. It has the touchscreen I want, with the blackberry keyboard I stubbornly insist on retaining. If you wanted to talk on it (and I don't), it would be like trying to talk on a Labrador Retriever puppy. If I had to estimate the weight, I'd say it's about 17 pounds or so. (Don't get smug iPhoners; yours is at least a cocker spaniel.)

Which is why I love the iPod's skinny and it's light, which is what I will settle for, until I can finally wear a phone on my WRIST like God and Gene Rodenberry and George Jetson always intended.

The important thing is, I can play Scoops on it. (Well, that, and Fruit Ninja...Blame the art department.) I am also hearing a lot about these angry birds, but I suspect they might be above my skill level.

It came along with a nice romantic birthday dinner (lamb chops) and a lengthy address about its many features. Apparently, I can add all of my music to it, and all of his music to it, for example. I refuse to type much on its stupid little electronic keyboard, but I can at least read social media and stay caught up. I just can't say anything, which is probably better. It has a lot of stuff the Torch probably already does, but I don't have to bring a Sherpa along to carry it for me. The present followed months of quizzing about what I might like, where he called on the first day of every month and erroneously wished me a happy birthday (because he can only remember that it is on the first, and that he has a one in 12 shot; this is one of those times where it would be helpful if he just joined facebook for chrissake).

On one of those days of repeat texting, my cousin (who happened to be over hanging blinds) suggested, "why don't you just switch your birthday to January 1st like the racehorses and then we can all keep it straight."

But the birthday app means I'm no longer burdened with even checking into facebook to appear appropriately thoughtful. 

My stepdad immediately fell in love with the maps feature and was trying to figure out a way to look into his brother's window via satellite in New Mexico. 

My mom's response was the usual "find the black lining in any silver cloud approach," eyeing us dismissively. "Yeah. Some present. What is THAT thing going to cost you to run every month?"

There was a temptation to explain wi-fi, but I knew what I was dealing with. When I moved earlier this year, I made the mistake of paying an offhand compliment to the summer Romance who was so diligently and solicitously helping out every hour of the day and night -- "so big, so strong," was I think what I'd said. And her comment was the usual sigh of pained resignation, accompanied by the non-sequitur to end all non-sequiturs, even for her:  "Well.... I just hope he doesn't hit you." I promptly envisioned Frankenstein accidentally squashing the little girl. I'd never make light of domestic violence of course, but even with the many admitted problems I have in forming lasting relationships and attachments, I can honestly say no one has hit me since third grade.

All I know is, I was scanning through a dozen or so of the news apps I'd promptly added, when I ran across this article about how Steve Jobs isn't selling computers at all, what he's selling is PRICING.  And the article is filled with details about how "Decoys explain why Apple often sells each gadget in a pricing series, such as the new iPod Touch's $229, $299, and $399 price points for different storage capacities. You may gladly spend $229 to get a hot media player, thinking it's a deal compared with the highest-priced version and not blink that you could instead buy an iPhone 4 at the lower price of $199 with more features."

Huh. I am happy to report that I had no idea what an iPhone costs, and that it does not bother me at all that it's apparently cheaper than the iPod. It's all Rainman to me (hunnerd dollars? bout a hunnerd dollars?) So I also had no idea what the iPod cost either, but am curious now as to whether I was worth the $200 or $300 model. What I had assumed was that it was something poor people buy because they can't afford the iPad, which I also have no interest in because, A. it doesn't have a keyboard, and B. as far as I know, it doesn't come in pink.

Yeah. Ol' Steve Jobs is gonna have to wake up pritty, pritty early in the morning to outsmart me.

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