Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Not buying an iPhone: you’re doing it wrong

Yeah, finally caved and bought the damn 3G thing. There have been some nice surprises, not least of all the fact that the battery lasts longer than I had previously witnessed on other people’s models. There are little things that niggle, like the extremely basic SMS function that doesn’t appear to have separate viewable folders or a set of templates. A set of fixed folders for sorting messages might no longer be the done thing, so perhaps my adherence to an out of date structure shows that even though I’m a Mac user, I’m having trouble making the leap to a new kind of phone platform.

Have I grown so inflexible that I find this new streamlined SMS style lacking? For someone that, up until last night, regarded herself as pretty open-minded, I’m being incredibly parochial. Throwing my toys out of my pram cos I can’t see things as they used to be is just, well, juvenile, I suppose. And as I let myself ditch the old ways and get used to how organised, forward-thinking people do it, I find the new filing system for SMS is much more convenient anyway.

Talking of throwing toys from prams, the entire pram nearly went arse over tit when I noticed that you’re not supposed to be able to add your own ringtones or message tones to the factory-fitted stock. Getting a grip on reality is essential; this kind of pouty, whiny behaviour is just indicative of a lack of perspective. Especially when I find this piece of software does exactly what it says on the tin. Within ten minutes of trialing it I had the mighty Zeppelin back where they should be. Sorted. Now all I need is a way to import my own message tones... I miss Dean Winchester’s “poke it in the eye!”, but I could go for the always-amusing double-whamminess of both brothers’ “Jesus Christ - holy crap!” However, this is a little more difficult than simply getting round non-US iTunes ringtones playlists. This seems to involve a little jail-breaking and SSH’ing to get what you want. All this techno-effort, to be honest, has never stopped me before. I have taken the liberty of downloading Cyberduck. Just have to work out how to use it properly. Give me some time. I’ll have The Boys back on my message tone eventually.

And then there’s the tiny shiny moment where you’re moaning that the new Apple earphones aren’t exactly like your trusty Panasonic in-ear ones. And then, on a whim, you plug them into your iMac and find you can use the earphones and built-in mic to have a spiffingly private conversation on Skype. Bonus.

But buying an iPhone is only half the story; what with the huge surge in black market phones and iPods, it’s imperative we owners find a way to stop the thieving gehts from, one, getting their greasy mits on them in the first place, and two, being able to do owt with them after the fact.

There are many ideas about how to render an iPhone unusable, should it fall into the wrong hands. However, I’d love to try this one. The idea of SSH'ing your own phone to send shut-down commands or freak out the new recipient so that s/he dumps it at a police station is an exercise in revenge I would not be able to resist. Again with the having to get to grips with Cyberduck, I think...

Peach and lube then.

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