iPhone 4S

I’m still relatively new to the smartphone. I have a love-hate relationship with them. For the longest time I was firmly planted on the side of the fence where all that really mattered was that my cell phone make phone calls. Crazy, I know. I didn’t need to take crappy pictures with it. I thought texting was a waste of time. And if I needed to check my email or surf the intarwebs that badly, I had this shiny computer to do that.

Quite honestly, I don’t even remember when I moved away from that camp. I know I eased myself into the idea with a Blackberry Pearl. It was cute and small and I remember that I was able to check my email and send a text before I figured out how to actually make, you know, a phone call on it.1 Eventually the lack of a full keyboard frustrated me enough that when my next upgrade rolled around I got a Curve.2 Anyway, eventually I got tired of the limitations of the Blackberry software and the fact that I had somehow gone through five phones in two years.3 So last year I got myself a shiny Motorola DROID2.

I chose it because it has one of the largest screens and still has a full keyboard, which ended up being pointless because even though it was about 50% larger than the Curve’s keyboard I typed with even less accuracy. The cloud features are awesome and certainly saved me tons of time that would otherwise have been spent manually backing up the phone. But it lacks a lot of things that I didn’t really think about before purchasing it. It can store music, but only specific file types and half the time the conversion process doesn’t work. Same with video files. If I downloaded a video I took ON the phone and tried to put it back on later, it generally wasn’t able to play it. However, the biggest letdown was the lack of built-in accessibility options. Honestly, I don’t know how a fully sighted person can read the default text size on an Android phone; it’s tiny!

Really, I didn’t want any of those phones; I wanted an iPhone. But that wasn’t an option before unless I wanted to change carriers. So, I was ever so excited that the 4S was coming out right around my upgrade date. I was wary of the lack of keyboard. I don’t really like that you can’t utilize a memory card in it. And given my track record isn’t so great with not, you know, breaking my phones I was more than a little concerned about having a very expensive, glass phone.

Anyway, I pre-ordered it and it got lost by Fedex and then the new shipment got delayed and I’ve had it since Wednesday. I got it all set up and working and was having tons of fun with it all Wednesday afternoon and evening. At some point during my playtime the speech suddenly stopped working. I figured I did something and eventually I’d figure out the proper settings. The next morning I still couldn’t get it to work and so I went to the Internet for some help, which proved unsuccessful. But during all of that I noticed that my contacts’ information was loading that everyone was from the Netherlands, including myself even though the phone’s settings were for the USA. More Internet research frustrated me to the point I called tech support. I knew there was trouble straight away when the specialist replied: “Well, I’ve never heard of that problem before.” Three hours and a full factory reset later everyone was back in the Home of the Brave, but the speech still didn’t work. No, actually it only sort of didn’t work because sometimes it would say stuff but not consistently. After this long phone call I noticed the phone now wasn’t making other sounds, like actually ringing or making most alert noises. Oh, and the zoom feature wouldn’t work either. The tech was baffled. I was annoyed. I was told to get the phone replaced.

So, Friday, I went to the Apple Store. The first available appointment was something like five hours later, but apparently my sob story of crazy phone antics was such that the person setting up the appointment pitied me to a point that she went off and fetched her manager. He was equally baffled by all the weird things going on with the phone and seemed even less confident in solving everything than the guy on the phone the day before. He took the phone, told me to come back in an hour and we’d go from there. I have absolutely no idea what they did to the phone but when I came back after our portrait appointment it was talking and ringing and zooming and all my settings and music and other stuff were there. Also they cleaned the screen, which I’d managed to get nice and grungy already even though the phone wasn’t really working.

I might have more practical things to say at another point, but I’ve basically been playing with it nonstop since then and, um, I LOVE IT!

  1. That was after I took it out of the box, immediately dropped it on the floor and then kicked it across the room while (blindly) trying to find it.
  2. That would be the phone that took a trip through the washing machine.
  3. Two Pearls and three Curves, counting the one that got laundered.

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