I have a new friend up my butt: a new iPhone 5 is now a permanent feature of my pockets, expected to grace my pants for the next two to three years.
This may come as a shock to regular readers of this blog. After all, it was only recently that I explained how the lack of fireworks from the iPhone 5’s direction convinced me to stick to my loyal yet archaeological iPhone 3GS. Even more recently I invested $50 in replacing the 3GS’ battery in an effort to help it last till the next iPhone iteration (or until Android finally crosses the threshold that keeps me inside Apple’s closed garden).
If that is the case, why was it then that I forked out almost a grand on a new smartphone? First, it was because the 3GS appeared to be faltering, occasionally resetting itself while performing tough or not so tough tasks. Second, the answer is with iOS 6: the more apps adapt themselves to the latest incarnation of Apple’s operating system, the more demanding they become; the more demanding they become, the more annoying they are to use on antique hardware. It came down to the 3GS calling attention to itself each and every time I used it to do something. That is not the way it should be; the phone itself should be transparent.
You may raise arguments along the lines of “you could have managed, after all I use a smartphone and I manage”. Yes you do; I will argue, though, that most smartphone users do not even begin to tickle the capabilities of their smartphones. A relative of mine bought himself a Samsung Galaxy S3 recently, a truly remarkable device by anyone’s standards; I’d be willing to put my house on him not scratching the surface of the functionality a device like that is able to deliver.
However, that is not the case with me. I look after my gadgets to make sure they last, but I suck them dry for they can deliver. I’m the type who is familiar with every setting on every app I use, optimizing setting to suit the way I like to do things. (To name but one example, I switched the iOS 6 advertising settings off long before the media told us how to find and disable this deliberately hidden “feature”.)
There is a lesson to be learned here about the rapid depreciation of gadgets and the false economy of spending money on older models. I have a problem with having to throw away gadgets every two years or so; this is the type of culture that has us ruining our planet fast. However, I am also unable to deny that by the time our gadgets are two years old they tend to become obsolete. To put it another way: The version of Microsoft Word I used back when I was a student does not seem to be that different to the current Microsoft Office package; both let one write documents. However, can you see yourself using the old Word while managing to keep your sanity? The world has a way of moving on, and while there is a price to be paid for catching up there is also a price to be paid for not. The latter tends to be worse in current terms: you either pay the price or you're thrown out of the race altogether.
Due to all of the above I reckoned the iPhone 5 is money well spent. After all, it is the future – at least until May.
A new phone is a disruption to normal life as we know it. Allegedly, migrating from one iPhone to the other should be easy; alas, that did not prove to be the case. Effectively, I had to rebuild my iPhone 5 from scratch (and I’m still not through).
Perhaps I should refer to it as my iPhone 4. After all, it is the fourth time I found myself having to rebuild my iPhone. Thanks, Apple!