So today I went out to the mall to check out some phones. Remember that Christmas present my brother offered to get me? Well, I wanted to play with a couple of phones. There was the iPhone, and I’ve been debating getting a Nokia N86 because that phone can handle KNFB Reader, which I have affectionately named eyeballs in a box, because that’s what it is. You can make it scan some print, and it will convert it to text. I got to play with one, and it scanned bags of chips, wrinkled up receipts, cans of soup, regular old print, even a notice on a wall! So I know I very much love the KNFB Reader.
The iPhone was uber cool because it has Voiceover already in it…and…it’s an iPhone. I thought maybe one day the iPhone could develop iBalls, a program similar to the KNFB Reader. But I’ve heard its camera is poor, and you need a good camera if you’re going to do OCR on the resulting image. But the N86 I know I will be able to use and I just have to pay for the transfer fee of Talks…and it supports eyeballs in a box! So, the battle was on.
I phoned Rogers, and they said if I wanted an iPhone, it would cost me 100 bucks more than the N86. The data plans would be about the same, and it wouldn’t mess with the family plan.
So, the first thing I wanted to do was check out an iPhone to see if I could even get the hang of it. I phoned Rogers’s Apple reps and asked them before I showed up where the Voiceover was, and they told me. When I got to the store, I asked the rep to turn Voiceover on, and he thought I was on crack until I directed the poor soul keystroke by keystroke to it. Then it came to life. “Voiceover on.” He nearly jumped. So, since it was a display phone, it was tied to something…and there I was, bent over this flat panel, molesting it…
Well, I got the clock to read to me, and the status indicators of all sorts…and I made it try to read to me. I never really figured out how to get anything else to work, partly because the damn thing was tethered to the wall at the door of the store, and I felt like I was under pressure to get in and get out of there. The rep did tell me it was a steep learning curve for sighties too.
I left the iPhone, feeling utterly deflated. I had failed. I had miserably failed. I looked over the N86, and it did have discernable buttons and I know I could get the hang of it.
I almost wanted this stage of the battle to be not so one-sided. Maybe if I could play with an iPhone with a manual there and someone who could give me some pointers, I would have better luck. But as it stands, if I walked out of there with an iPhone, I would spend a lot of time cursing it.
Now I have to talk to my dear brother and tell him what I’m thinking. Hopefully he won’t be too mad at me for having second thoughts about an iPhone when I was super jonesing for one at Christmas. But hey, I’m saving him 100 bucks this way, so I guess he won’t be too mad.