Dagens I-lands Problem Deep Thoughts Tech Junk

On the fence

htc-magic-vodafoneHere I am, at the dawning of an imminent release of a new smart phone by my cell phone carrier. I’ve been contemplating getting one for some time now and the new one that’s being released looks pretty interesting. No, it’s not an iPhone. Those are exclusive to the AT&T network, to which I’m not connected. I could change, I guess, but I don’t want to. Because I don’t really want an iPhone. Why? Well, let’s say it’s for ideological reasons. I’m just not very wild about the fact of having Apple controlling what I can or can’t do (not that they don’t already, since I own an iPod). Yes, I know. I can jailbreak it. Although, that just seems like a giant hassle, and again, it would just piss me off having to bypass something that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

So, the phone I’m talking about is the HTC Magic which uses the Android operating system. On the T-mobile network it will be called “MyTouch“,  a horrible name, leading any clean mind with pure and innocent thoughts straight down into the sewer. But despite the name, it looks like a very compelling device. It’s already been out for a while in Europe as I understand, but is just now coming to the US. It’s got all the good stuff that you would expect from a smart phone. Camera, touchscreen and access to thousands of apps on the Andriod Market. There are of course minor issues that would annoy the bejezus out of me too. And they are really minor, yet just as annoying as that STD you got on your happy fun trip to Thailand last year. There’s no official Facebook app!! Apparently there’s a pissing contest between Facebook and Google about some advertising deal that went sour. Not sure what, but who cares, right? Give me my Facebook app!! That’s of course just one of the things, but there are more, I’m sure. And things like that just have a tendency to turn me off and scrap the whole idea of getting a smart phone altogether.

The biggest drawback however seems to be that whatever phone I eventually end up getting, is not an iPhone. I guess what I’m saying is that I want the best of both worlds. The multitude of apps on the iPhone married with the openness of Android. I would also like to see unicorns rule the world, but that’s a whole other issue.

The final hurdle is the creation of the need. Basically, injecting an artificial need to have a new gadget (in other words being an American consumer),  justifying it by claiming one’s life depends on it, while being perfectly happy (most of the time) with a simple phone that “only” makes phone calls. Moving from a regular flip to a smart phone is a big deal. It’s a one way street really, and I’m fully aware of that. Once I go there, there’s no turning around and going back. I can’t go back, from a Ferrari to a Trabant. I will be stuck. Updating my Facebook and Twitter statuses constantly like all you other junkies out there. I’m just not sure I want to go down that path. Just yet.

The internal struggle rages on.

So, unless I suddenly change my mind, or flush my stupid flip phone down the toilet, I’ll keep being uncool. I won’t be updating my Facebook status constantly. I won’t be finding the closest and highest rated Chinese food restaurant in 10 seconds. And I won’t let you track me wherever I go on Loopt.

I’ll just continue being disconnected. With a dumb phone.

5 replies on “On the fence”

Petey – the iPhone will only be as powerful as you let it become. (Wooo Secret!) Granted I have only had “iRene” for a week now but I actually have not been on Facebook more than usual. I don’t Twitter because it seems redundant since everyone forwards all their info to Facebook anyway.

(Get ready for some serious justifications that I will gladly let you borrow if you want) For me, it is a matter of simplifying and streamlining the communication and organization needs in my life. Now that I have iRene, I can completely eliminate a paper calendar and a notebook. I no longer have to carry a phone, an iPod, a camera and a planner with me, all I need is iRene. Basically this alone means that in theory I will spend less money on huge purses to carry all my crap around and in chiropractic bills because one side of my body will no longer be weighted down with all the crap I would carry in my big ass purse. Not to mention a little more environmentally friendly since I am very close to paperless.

On a less girly note, I told Ally about an app called “Chef” that she said single-handedly could cause you to break down and buy an iPhone. Chef allows you to browse recipes on its database and upload your own recipes as well. The brilliance in this app is that you can select a recipe and have it add the ingredients to your shopping list. It also organizes your shopping list in different ways based on how you shop. It can categorize your list (meats together, dairy together, produce together, etc.) or you can even select the grocery store you will be in and it *calibrates* your list to the layout of that store. As you move through the store, it tells you what items are in the isle you are walking so that you literally make one pass through each isle and your list is all checked off. Done!

Need more justifications, ask me about Bump and Save Benjis…

I think the single biggest problem with the Android platform right now is the lack of good mainstream apps. As I said earlier in my post, there are about 5000 or so apps on there, but most of those are likely just some armature hacks by some pimply teenagers thrown together in their parent’s basements.

My point with bringing up the lack of an official Facebook app just underscores this issue. I searched for the 2 or 3 apps you mentioned Lisa on the Android Market, and they don’t exist as far as I could tell. This is a big problem right now for Android. It’s not really about the hardware or OS as much. It’s all about the apps.

I’ve run Linux on my desktop in the past and had a similar experience. I don’t want to use some half broken 3rd party replacement for my word processor or image viewer. I want the fully working solid apps that everyone else has access to and uses.

No one wants the the Bolex watch or the Guccio purse. They want the real thing.

I feel like I am crrraaackkking under the immense pressure and desire to have an iPhone. Why? The apps. Oh. my. god. I give a crap about the communication aspect (being a friendless hermit helps), but the apps. Sweet merciful jesus. I would be entertained indefinitely. I deeply covet one. My husband, being a purist, feels if it can’t do everything a computer can do it is completely worthless and a waste of money. He is also a an old fart with an aversion to all things new fangled and having anything to do with being constantly in “touch”. (Don’t touch me, I don’t want to be in touch!) Then there is data traffic charges. (He acts like I will actually have friends to communicate with.) I can agree with the charges. But really I just want to play.

My other obsession is… a kindle type reader, perhaps I can with the iPhone discussion with the fact you can turn it into a reader thus saving him $300. You think he’ll buy it?

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