Saturday last, I headed out to my daughter's volleyball tournament. It was about 1pm and I was feeling great. So I plugged my iPhone into the blue stereo mini aux cable and was blasting some Stevie Ray Vaughn all the way up with the windows rolled down. I decided, since I can, to ask Siri the best directions to the high school where the event was taking place. As I got the results, lickety split, I propped the phone up on my dashboard to watch the instructions.
Siri said 'Turn right', and so I did. Too fast.
As the tires squealed a bit on my FJ, I watched in slow motion horror as my phone broke free of its cable, and flew right past my face and out the left window. I pulled over half a block later to walk up the street and recover my phone from the middle of the street. I saw it in the left lane just 20 yards past the intersection where I made my turn. Ooops a car ran over it. Oh, now a second car. Damn, a third car. Why do drivers never make left turns into the proper lane unless it's to run over my phone?
The situation was so absurd that I started laughing out loud. But before the second car ran over it, I checked myself from displaying the universal sign of grief - palms against my temples, elbows out, jaw dropped. The guy in the SUV in the left turn lane waiting for the light knew what was up. "That's your phone?" he said. walked into the street picked ip up laughing. He honked his horn to let other drivers know where I was. I was OK.
I have enough money to get an iPhone 5, but I have been also thinking that I want to get off AT&T's big plan and actually pay full price for a phone and go prepaid month to month. Went to the store and was told the replacement price for my 4S was 350 bucks because I have 14 months remaining on my contract. By this time, I was pissed. I paid 40 bucks for the cheapest flip phone in existence, recognizing how similar it was to Sprint's best flip phone I used to own 12 years ago before the first Treo.
I used to phone all day with a vengeance. Who needs a smart phone? I don't. I can do this, plus I'm saving $45 bucks a month because I don't need a data plan any longer. Besides, I have an iPad. I'll just take it with me and everything will be cool. The little black flip phone, the AT&T Z221 was cool for about 2 hours. I was going spartan, but of course it had the worst UX anybody who uses the term 'UX' could possibly stand. It was not only bad, it was punishingly bad.
Firstly, I didn't recognize my own ringtone. People would be calling me and I don't realize it's my phone ringing. Then, on the Sunday when I played volleyball I wore my contact lenses. It became impossible to text without reading glasses, which I didn't have. The menus were absurd, worst than Microsoft. Worse than APL menuing systems. Hideous mutant freak in psychologically disturbing colors bad.
So my dependency swapped back to the days before I had an iPad except now my iPad was my phone (via Talkatone and Google Voice). It got weird. I had to carry the iPad around all the time to get mail. So now I started noticing how big and clunky my iPad2 is. What a pain. How often do I really use it for mail? Not much, I now see. How much for reading? Not a whole lot. Web surfing.. yes when I'm sitting down in a cafe and I have spare time. I still have my Kindle (the best one - with free 3g and the keyboard). No Siri on the iPad. No I don't use the apps that much.
When you take the iPad with you every day, you don't realize how much you hate it if you find that you need to use it more than a certain amount. It's a big fat luxury. Right now I'm thinking that I want to get a new small one and give this one to my mother.
Well it turns out that other than making my earside speaker a little fuzzy, my iPhone was perfectly repairable. Thanks uBreakIFix. You guys rock. I am back to normal and thinking, why did I spend 800 bucks on that stupid iPad? And I'm also thinking that the iPhone 4S is an even greater device than I imagined, and I'm loving my good old Kindle just a little bit more.