Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm gonna be iPhone app $ broke pretty soon

Well, I did it. I stood in line at the AT&T store on Friday morning and jumped to The Apple Side (TM).

It all started when my best friend, other friends, and coworkers showed me the apps on their iPhone 3G's and bragged about what the apps could do. They would let me hold and fondle and play with it to seduce me, then they'd take it away, leaving me salivating for more. Once, and only once, I got to play with one for awhile, a couple of hours actually -- I was supposed to be helping with the writing of a Master's thesis paper and I would occasionally grunt in the writer's direction when he asked questions and wanted feedback. But I digress. Anyway, time seemed to stop as I tapped, slid, pinched, and lovingly rubbed that screen; in reality, I found that over 2 hours had passed in a flash. The iPhone was like a Succubus in disguise.

That time with the iPhone showed me just how stale the Windows Mobile experience had become. My beloved HTC Advantage, my previous XV6700, my new HTC Fuze, all were stuck in the 1990's. Oh, understand that the Fuze's TouchFlo helped tremendously, but the touch experience was still quite lacking when the interface had to drop back into the native Windows environment. On the WinMo phones, I found myself pressing multiple times to select something, pressing hard(er) to have the screen register, having to use a fingernail or a stylus to select too-small icons and menus. On the iPhone, I touched and it responded. Simple and uncomplicated.

That time alone with the iPhone baited me and I bit the hook. I told my boss that I'd be out of the office on Friday (but I didn't tell him WHY) since I didn't know how long the lines would be or how long the whole process of upgrading my account would take. When I arrived at the local AT&T store around 6:45a or so, much to my surprise, there were only about 40 people in line (it's a little bitty AT&T store in one of those trendy boutique strip malls). I had read that the AT&T stores would open at 10am like normal, at 9am because of the iPhone launch, and also at 7am for the pre-registrations. I hadn't pre-registered, but figured if I went at 7am, at the most I'd get a new phone, at the least they'd say "Sorry, you didn't pre-register, go away." We waited in line, neighbors talking with each other, excitement in the air, people lining up behind me.

The doors opened at a few minutes after 7am. They let us in one at a time at first, and I figured they were getting used to the system for registering the iPhones. After 8 or 10 people were finished (a little over an hour or so), they started letting in 2 or 3 people at a time. My turn came up, and in I went. The sales rep, Ali, seemed very knowledgeable about the iPhone and the activation process. My case was special (hence no pre-registration for me) since I was using a second phone on my account to get the lowest pricing, then moving my main number to the iPhone. He asked me which one I wanted (the black one with 32G, of course!). The process took about 15 minutes, and while the phone was activating, Ali showed me the accessories. I picked up one of the slim leather DLO cases for my belt and a couple of extra power supplies. When I was done shopping, the phone had registered and was ready to go. Just as I was finishing paying, I heard one of the clerks say that the lady behind me had gotten the last phone, then heard them telling people still in line that there were no more 32G iPhones to be had. Whew -- that was close!

It's been a little over two days of playing and tweaking and syncing and downloading apps (geez, I've already filled up over two screens). I've gotten quite good at the on-screen keyboard and it feels like I'm typing faster than I was using the physical keyboard on my Fuze. The trick (from someone in the AT&T store line who had the iPhone 3G) was to use my forefinger, not my thumbs, and to use portrait, not landscape. I do find it much easier and more accurate to just let my finger dance across the narrow, portrait-oriented keyboard. The autocorrect helps for the occasional mistype, and has been amazingly accurate.

Knowing how Windows-centric I am, my friends have welcomed me to The Apple Side, probably wondering when I'm gonna get my first Mac (Tablet, of course!). Since I didn't tell anyone in the office what I was doing with my day off on Friday, my officemates will be HIGHLY shocked on Monday when I walk in with a new iPhone on my hip.....

No comments: