Wednesday, July 14, 2010
So far I haven’t been seduced by the smartphone revolution because I’m a luddite who barely understood teletext when that was on. And yet, here I stand on the cusp of a contract upgrade, willfully holding back on whatever must-have gadget that is currently doing the rounds. I am naturally reticent to get an iTelephone because I’ve made my feelings on any and all of Apple’s smug Talking Tupperware products clear within these garishly pink pages; although I will now add to my distrust the bizarre phenomenon of, as soon as you mention an iTelephone, any and all users in the vicinity removing them from their pockets and bags and stroking the screens. Do please try it, if you can bear the strange sight of man petting machine so lasciviously. Just the name of the device, and this will cause the owner to subconsciously reach for it, as if to affirm that such wonderful technology does truly exist and they didn’t just dream up this life-changing cultural zeitgeist in the night. Most bizarre.
What I cannot get my head around is it clearly is terribly bad at a good percentage of the functions it proclaims, yet all of these owners still dote on them with the forgiveness of a backward child. As I’ve been edging towards getting one, I’ll ask these bewitched owners about the terrible camera and the fact that it drops calls and they’ll just stare at me with glassy eyes and say “But it’s changed my life...” before going back to pecking away at their Apps like hens with A.D.D. So it doesn’t function as a phone? “Oh, but its so much more than that...” they’ll say. One can only assume that the spinning little wheel that appears whenever its processing is a tiny little hypno-disc that calms and soothes the user as it fails to work on every other level.
The only reason I’m still thinking about getting one is the Apps - most of which sound like a delight to use. I tell you, if I were single I’ll be all over the Grindr application - the mobile version of gaydar. The idea is that you activate it, and it shows you how many Gentlemen Who Moisturise are in your vicinity who are up for a bit of bum fun. Although clearly as it was designed by gays, it can’t do measurements for toffee: one of my friends activated it in his lounge and was most startled to discover there was a gay apparently one meter away. Cue a horror film slow-motion turn to have a look behind him, only to discover no-one’s there. Apparently some bars now hold Grindr Parties, the thought of which fills me with a unearthly horror as I picture crowds of zombie screen-jabbers talking through the medium of their tedious device, lined up the walls like Borg in their alcoves.
Of course, the other option is Google’s Android phones, which seems far more efficient... and deathly dull as a result. Yes, its got lots of worthy apps to help you shop and recognise buildings via pictures you take, but can you throw Angry Birds across the screen? Can you bogroll. To cement this, one of my other friends decided to get the Android version of Grindr - and all that popped up was a man called Barry who worked in IT who was 42km away. I do not want to be these people. I want to be fun, and interesting... and yet you’d think that would point towards the iTelephone, but from everything I’ve seen of it, it is anything but. It removes part of your brain and only enables you to communicate via displaying YouTube clips and pictures of other friends sitting in other bars. Can’t I just stick to my old phone? Please?