November, 2016 Edition

by Ms. Duh
Contributing Columnist

We are on iPhone 7 now…

Just another reminder of my oldness and my luddite tendencies.

I’m just wondering WHY? WHY?

Progress marches on and so must the world. Back in 2007, when I still had a landline, I had hardly any phone calls, so I think when I finally surrendered to the changing times and bought the first iPhone, I really didn’t think I had any use for it, since, well, that no phone call thing. I was wrong. So wrong. My phone isn’t a communication device in any real sense. I don’t make or receive phone calls often, I don’t text almost at all, and I don’t really email from the phone. I don’t answer the phone when I’m driving, or when I’m at work, or when it’s someone I don’t know, or when it rings, so calling it the iPhone, to me, is a misnomer. I like to call it my pocket pooter. I mostly listen to music and podcasts, surf the net, play games, use the flashlight, and get directions. So I am not the person the iPhone 7 was built for. If you think about it, I wasn’t the person iPhone 3-6 was built for either. Especially the 6 series. There is no reason on god’s green earth I’m going to carry around something as big as a headstone around as my phone. I’m more of a laptop gal - before I would ever lug the iPhone 6 around, I’d get a bag and a Macbook and do that instead.

There’s two things that haven’t ever changed since I switched over to the cell phone.

1) I lose handsets regularly - more than I lose bank cards, and I lose a bank card at least three times a year.

2) I get no phone calls.

But I like the new. I like the shiny. As a survivor of a lifestyle on the bleeding edge, I used to lust for the new, the shiny and the best. Until the realization of living on the bleeding edge will do exactly that - bleed you dry of all your money. I didn’t think being a homeless person, living out of a dumpster behind Home Depot, armed with only my shopping cart, a homeless doggie pal and a brand new iPhone and Macbook Pro was the kind of cool I wanted to be. But for the sake of having something to bitch about, let’s pretend that I was the type of person who had about $700 to set on fire for no reason, and that I am considering buying this thing. While we are at it, let’s pretend I’m 32 years old and 125 lbs. I like this pretending.

I am of the opinion that Apple is trying to kill us with every iTunes update, what with the ever changing interface from hell. They’ve taken painful interface and with every new iteration, changed it so its just unusable. And, being the industrious little elves, they try to surpass themselves each update by screwing it more into the ground. They’ve changed things that have no business being changed - they’ve changed things just to freaking change things - they’ve changed things just to give me a stroke because I dared trying to find the dumb button to return everything to list view. You can map the update release schedule by looking at my twitter feed and the torrent of obscenities and promises to burn down the building because I can’t find a way to get rid of all the cloud music from my lists. I don’t mind change. I don’t mind improvement. I don’t mind progress. I mind it when it’s crap. And crap that is done more and more often, to where I can’t get use to the crap we had before the new crap shows up.

Oh my. Did I get on a tangent there, kids? Whoopsie. Sorry. To summarize, iTunes is evil crap.

So they are trying to kill us with iTunes, but since we are all still standing and hanging on to our sanity, they’ve started to try to push us over the edge with the iPhone. I’m going to address the thing that we all are most concerned about in the iPhone 7 - the FREAKING headphone jack in due time. First, it’s pretend time.

Okay, let’s take the imaginary $700 bucks out of my pocket and I’m considering giving it over to an overly solicitous Apple Store monkey. They hand me over this thing, if I buy it, soon will be lost or broken, to examine. I can get the 4.7 inch one for $649 or the 5.5 inch one for $769. It’s more than a hundred dollars for that extra inch. At least give us that .3 for the c-note. Man. Yeah. I know that’s a little thing to complain about, but, I’ve got inches to fill. But, it just bugs the HELL-FIRE out of me that 4.7 to 5.5 is NOT an EVEN an inch. As I roll my belly button lint into little balls and write letters to Burger King complaining that the difference between the KING size meal and the REGULAR size meal is about 10 fries and two ounces of pop, I gnash my teeth just imagining that little inch and dividing $120 dollars into that .8 of an inch… that comes out to be $15 per tenth of an inch. Bastards.

Depending upon which article you read when you google “iPhone 7 problems” you have either 7 or 12. The two biggest that seem to be on everybody’s list is a hissing sound coming from the back of the phone which has no fix for. And apparently if the iPhone has had a particularly stressful day, it will emit more hissing and some other strange noises. Good news is that not everybody’s phone is screwed up. Bad news is some significant number of phones are screwed up. And by significant, I mean significant by internet standards - Like three maybe. A hissing sound is not really a deal breaker, unless it sounds like the noise that comes from the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 just before it explodes and catches fire. That’s a plus in Apple’s favor in my book, that none of my phone ever exploded and caught the house on fire.

Another reported problem is poor speaker quality. Yahoo sez, “A number of new iPhone 7 owners have reported this particular problem. People have said that incoming audio sounds distant, or it’s too low to hear. Enough people have even made complaints about this that Apple has since updated a support page in an attempt to help people with sound issues.” If there was ONE thing that should work in a PHONE would be the parts involved with it being a proper PHONE. Not that I get any phone calls or anything but that was one thing that was common in all my iPhones - dropped calls and calls that sounded crappy. The dropped calls, I COULD blame a little on Apple and a little on AT&T but the crappy call quality? That’s on you, Apple. Still, since nobody loves me and wants to call me, I could give crappy speaker quality a pass. I can always use my headphooooo….

HEADPHONES. This is the thing that drove me ever close to that Apple-branded stroke that I am working up to. Apple innovates. I understand. First, no floppies. Then, no CD drive. Now, no headphone jack. There’s a reason that this is shitty, just in my little world, and that’s what should concern most everyone - the condition of my little world. First of all, not all of us have a space age, new fangled, funkyass bluetooth capable radio. I had the pleasure of driving a 2016 mustang that had all that advanced, electronic, digital douchebaggery installed and it was nice. The dash of the car looked like the cockpit of a alien spacecraft, but it only took me never to stop hitting buttons accidentally. Buttons that had to do with things shifting and wailing in the engine were continually being accidentally hit and panic then ensued. But the quality of the music and connection was awesome. It was awesome enough for me to search for, price and then dismiss having a bluetooth radio put in my car. This leaves me with two options - Radio Transmitters and Aux cords. Radio transmitters are crap. I’ve never heard or had one that was ANY good. It was like listening to static filled treble speaker underwater. So. No, I don’t think so.
It’s the Aux port that served me well, and that is actually pretty ubiquitous in this day and age. Since my car is old, this is the way I need to go, except…. if I got a new phone, then that option is a bust.

Plus, charging and listening to the iPhone without shelling out cash for a new dongle, or $150 dollars for Apple’s new wireless lostBuds, is impossible. And for a phone that is suffering from another reported problem (short battery life), charging is a significant issue to be addressed.

If you buy a pair of those wireless buds from Apple, you might be a moron. Just saying. You will lose these. That is just a given. Take $150 right now and flush it down the toilet. See? You just bought a pair of Airpods. Buying a stupid leash to keep them together for another $10? Moron. Having no wire to keep your $150 dollar wireless headphones together is the epitome of White People Stupid. But that’s RICH White People Stupid. An example of POOR White People Stupid is voting for Trump.

There are other problems, and a totally unscientific, cursory glance at the internet yammering shows that freezing, touch response, camera problems and bluetooth pairing issues. I can’t say with authority that these kinds of problems happen with all smart phones because, every cell phone I’ve ever had (except for a short time with an ancient flip phone) has been an iPhone. So, the one good thing is that I’m 99% sure this handset won’t explode and burn your eyebrows off. Another benefit of being a mac-mac.

I have to say though, the one good thing about sticking with the iPhone is that it cures you of the bleeding edge lifestyle. I have no desire for an iPhone 7. Honest. You can test me if you’d like. Just send me one. An iPhone 7. See how I will have no desire for it. I don’t need you to send a new or slightly used iPhone 7 to me, in care of the Macmothership, second day air.

Or a pair of Airbuds, with that weird leash that strings them together.




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