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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

iHype

posted by on June 27 at 9:37 AM

Apple’s iPhone matches the hype—for the most part, says the New York Times.

As it turns out, much of the hype and some of the criticisms are justified. The iPhone is revolutionary; itís flawed. Itís substance; itís style. It does things no phone has ever done before; it lacks features found even on the most basic phones….

The phone is so sleek and thin, it makes Treos and BlackBerrys look obese. The glass gets smudgy ó a sleeve wipes it clean ó but it doesnít scratch easily. Iíve walked around with an iPhone in my pocket for two weeks, naked and unprotected (the iPhone, that is, not me), and thereís not a mark on it….

To answer a call, you can tap Answer on the screen, or pinch the microscopic microphone bulge on the white earbud cord. Either way, music or video playback pauses until you hang up. (When youíre listening to music, that pinch pauses the song. A double-pinch advances to the next song.)

Making a call, though, can take as many as six steps: wake the phone, unlock its buttons, summon the Home screen, open the Phone program, view the Recent Calls or speed-dial list, and select a name. Call quality is only average, and depends on the strength of your AT&T signal.

E-mail is fantastic. Incoming messages are fully formatted, complete with graphics; you can even open (but not edit) Word, Excel and PDF documents.

The Web browser, though, is the real dazzler. This isnít some stripped-down, claustrophobic My First Cellphone Browser; you get full Web layouts, fonts and all, shrunk to fit the screen. You scroll with a fingertip ó much faster than scroll bars. You can double-tap to enlarge a block of text for reading, or rotate the screen 90 degrees, which rotates and magnifies the image to fill the wider view.

Finally, you can enlarge a Web page—or an e-mail message, or a photo—by spreading your thumb and forefinger on the glass. The image grows as though itís on a sheet of latex.

As for my phone dilemma, I’m enjoying not having a cell phone so much that I may not replace my dead, dead, dead Razr at all. Did you know that when you don’t have a cell phone people can’t call you any time, day or night? And that when you’re away from your desk no one can find you? It’s kinda like… being free or something. I’m kinda digging this cell-phone-free feeling.

RSS icon Comments

1

You can't do that, Dan. If you were straight, maybe, but you remember the hell of trying to coordinate a social outing for a gaggle of fags in pre-cell phone days. No one knew where anyone was, you had to look in three different bars to finally gather up your friends, and then go back to the last one to find that one friend who wandered off when the cute boy gave him a wink and walked to the bathroom, the whole mess.

And text messages! How could you go without text messages? You get to talk shit about someone in the room with your friends right in front of them and still come across as polite.

Posted by Gitai | June 27, 2007 9:52 AM
2

Also in the DYK category: when your cell rings, you are under no obligation to answer it.

I know people that get so annoyed when they get a call, and I think, "why waste energy getting annoyed?"

Posted by Mike in MO | June 27, 2007 9:53 AM
3

Go with it. No phone. Very freeing. I tell people "if I wanted to talk to you, asshole, I'd be sitting on your chest punching you in the face." They usually look alarmed and find another seat on the bus.

Posted by Fnarf | June 27, 2007 9:57 AM
4

Dear Dan,
This is work. Give us a call sometime. We can't get a hold of you on your phone, and we keep getting reimbursement receipts from hotel bars in hawaii for vanilla mai thai's. Sounds like something you would order. Is this you?

Posted by the stranger | June 27, 2007 10:07 AM
5

I have no desire to talk to anyone who would be calling me...

Posted by SeMe | June 27, 2007 10:07 AM
6

The iPhone sounds perfect to me. Lots of timewaster features for when I'm waiting for the bus and crappy phone reception so I have an excuse never to pick up. Heaven.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 27, 2007 10:29 AM
7

@5 Exactly.

Posted by Gloria | June 27, 2007 10:30 AM
8

Again with the luddite anti-cellphone stuff from Fnarf. Have you ever had a cellphone, Fnarf? You can't really say it's "freeing" to not have one unless you've actually, ya know, had one.

I'm not trying to be a dick -- I've met you and you're quite charming -- but cellphones are a yardstick of personal technology, and way useful at 2:AM walking home when that creepy dude is a half block back and follows you around 3 corners. True.

@ Savage: Dude, phones have an off button. You can use it. That excuse is bullshit, sorry.

Posted by Matt Fuckin' Hickey | June 27, 2007 10:31 AM
9

I think it's freeing to have a cell phone, rather than the other way around. I know I can go out, run errands, take the dog for a long walk, or whatever, and if my friends are getting together for a last minute dinner or drink or something, then I won't miss it. I make use of the 'ignore' button all the time, so I have never felt the urge to get rid of my phone so no one can "find me".

I do have a very fond pre-cell phones memory, though, of a two-car road trip in college. We used walkie-talkies to communicate between cars when we were on the highway (hailing the other car out the window when we wanted to talk). How awesome is that?

Posted by Julie | June 27, 2007 10:55 AM
10

Eat shit, Hickey. At least I can afford a cellphone if I wanted one. Keep your dumbfuck comments to yourself, you homeless retard.

Posted by Dickface McAsshat | June 27, 2007 11:04 AM
11

As an experiment, I spent a couple of months leaving my cell phone at home. I'd check my calls when I got home (I don't have a landline), and I'd bring my phone with me if I knew I'd need it for a specific call, but if I did, I'd turn it off after the call was made.

Summary of the result? I loved it. My friends hated it.

It was inconvenient/problematic a few times--having trouble finding people in public, or showing up somewhere only to find myself locked out, et cetera--but all in all, I found that my life became much more relaxing. On the other hand, my friends wanted to murder me fairly consistently, because I was only available on my terms and times, not theirs.

On the other-other hand, though: I'd never have a child and not have a cell phone, on and with me, at all times. I'm a few years away from kids, but when I have them, I want to be reachable--or able to call help--any time necessary.

Just thought I'd share, as somebody who's been doing it.

Posted by Christin | June 27, 2007 11:04 AM
12

Stop calling them cell phones and start calling them what they are: digital leashes.

Some people like being on a leash. I personally don't. Though I treat dogs very well, I don't want to be on a leash.

Another reader pointed out that when you make a point of turning off the phone, leaving it home, etc. then its on _your_ terms, and thats not what the leash is about.

Posted by Some Guy | June 27, 2007 11:19 AM
13

Whoa, that wasn't the *real* Fnarf was it? Who keeps their comments to themselves on Slog? That's just goofy.

Posted by Matt Fuckin' Hickey | June 27, 2007 11:24 AM
14

Dan, you just don't get the iPhone experience.

You need to buy a hot pink slip cover for it, for one thing.

And wear it out and proud!

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 27, 2007 11:31 AM
15

and I agree with Fnarf @3 - Free Your Mind! Ditch Your Leash!

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 27, 2007 11:34 AM
16


I just saw the guided video tour of this phone. I am a nortorious late-adopter and now I want this phone.

I hate my current phone. hate it. This thing might actually make me enjoy calling people.

Posted by me | June 27, 2007 11:34 AM
17

The days I accidentally leave my phone at home are the best days of my life.

Posted by Carollani | June 27, 2007 11:53 AM
18

I had my first cell phone, a RAZR, for 2 months earlier this year. I found that people called me for no reason, and got frustrated with me for not doing the same. I ditched the phone and haven't looked back. Good riddance.

Posted by Gurldoggie | June 27, 2007 12:10 PM
19

Will the real Fnarf please stand up?

Posted by Boomer in NYC | June 27, 2007 12:54 PM
20

@11, @17 - exactly. I agree, when you have a small kid, a cell phone is (sadly) necessary, but the rest of the time just ditch the thing.

I'm going up to BC for a week (Kootenays) and looking forward to having no way to contact me.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 27, 2007 1:02 PM
21

The Fnarf in 10 who is apparently really "Dickface McAsshat", is not me.

I don't remember meeting you, Matt (but then, I don't remember what I had for lunch not an hour ago), but I would never call you a "homeless retard", although I might now, just for the fun of it.

In answer to your question, yes, I have a cell phone. I used it today, briefly; that makes twice in the past six months. It's probably been charged up less than a fourth of that time, and I usually don't even know where it is. When I carry it around I feel like a giant prong. When it rings, I don't recognize the sound or where it's coming from. If I wanted to hear from you, I'd be near a phone. I hate phones. Why would I want to have one with me all the time?

Posted by Fnarf | June 27, 2007 1:43 PM
22

iYawn.

Posted by Brad | June 27, 2007 1:58 PM
23

I grew up without cell phones, come to think of it, we didnt even have a regular phone growing up, and I grew up in a big city. I dont own a cell phone. My kids have never been in any situation that I could not solve because I lack a cell phone. When one comes up maybe I will get one. There are parents who give their 9 year olds cell phones. Zombied out kids texting away is the result.

Posted by SeMe | June 27, 2007 2:08 PM
24

did you know that when you don't have a cell phone, you can't panic and text message me about the pride guide whenever you want? i think i like you not having a cell phone, as well.

Posted by Ari Spool | June 27, 2007 3:45 PM
25

@21

>> In answer to your question, yes, I have a cell phone. I used it today, briefly; that makes twice in the past six months. It's probably been charged up less than a fourth of that time, and I usually don't even know where it is. When I carry it around I feel like a giant prong. When it rings, I don't recognize the sound or where it's coming from. If I wanted to hear from you, I'd be near a phone. I hate phones. Why would I want to have one with me all the time?

Are we related?? My cell lives in the car, so, if the car breaks down, I can call for help. (Yeah, I called from a friend's driveway once to let him know I was there.) Twice in six months sounds about perfect.

I'm sure I could be classified as a cell-phone-phobe. I absolutely despise seeing folks walk down the street or through stores chatting away. Do people really hate being alone with themselves so fucking much??

I might carry the damn thing when walking the dogs, but I never use it. Walk-time is doggie-time. They deserve my undivided attention from time to time. Burns me up to see my neighbor with his phone to his ear every time he walks his dog. Poor dog never gets a word from him. (And he wonders why the dog pulls constantly!) Other than the phone, the guy is really hot, though...

Posted by Ayden | June 27, 2007 4:23 PM
26

I've never had a cellphone, but I know for a fact that I hate hanging around people who do. Cells tend to ring exactly when a conversation is about ti take an interesting turn. But the worse remains girlfriends: needless to say when it rings.
But the good thing with the iPhone is the internet. Keep your phone number to yourself, but give away your email.

Posted by Mokawi | June 27, 2007 9:24 PM

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