I Need Another iPhone

A shade under nine months ago, I got my iPhone. At the time, that one iPhone was far more than enough iPhones for me. But since that day, I have, as I predicted I might in that post, grown to love the thing.

I must stop here to point out that I do not in any way love the iPhone as a phone. In fact, at the phone half of the smartphone job description, its performance is average at best and pretty miserable at worst. Other than handling elevators better, my old Nokia was orders of magnitude more competent at being a phone than my current iPhone is. The sound quality leaves something to be desired, and the thing has a call failure rate higher than that of most major league umpires.

But boy oh boy, does it ever nail smart. When they say “there’s an app for that,” it’s more than just marketing. What I like about the iPhone is the same thing I like about WordPress, which for those who are confused is the system that makes reading the VC possible. If something can’t be done straight out of the box, somebody somewhere has built something that makes that thing happen. I’ve got apps like Text Detective that can help me read print in a pinch, Voxer for staying in touch with friends without giving myself headaches from using an actual phone, TapTapSee for identifying colours and other characteristics of objects and BlindSquare, which has been super helpful to us as we figure out where things are in our new city.

Those, of course, are just a few of the major ones. I haven’t even touched all the different radio apps that are serving up all of the sports and music I can handle and then some. But now that I’ve mentioned those, I can get around to what my original point was going to be.

The iPhone has some pretty great radio apps available for it, but what it doesn’t have is the kind of sound you need to fully enjoy them. The single, tinny speaker may be fine if you’re going to tape the phone to your head, but for anything else it simply doesn’t cut it. So with that in mind, I took a trip out during the Victoria Day long weekend and plunked down some money on one of those portable docks. Long story short, it’s already paid for itself several times over. I’m listening to baseball on it right now, in fact.

But using your iPhone as a radio presents a problem, in that it makes it an awful lot harder to use it as an iPhone. It’s much more difficult to text, tweet, email, vox or take blind guy pictures of things when it’s attached to a set of speakers, and who wants all that other stuff interfering with your enjoyment of the game anyway?

Basically in less than a year I’ve gone from wanting less than zero iPhones, to depending on the one I have more than I ever could have expected and now to feeling like I need at least two of the things in order to enjoy the full experience. All of this and I really don’t even like Apple that much. So if you’ve got an old iPhone sitting around collecting dust, why not send it to your favourite blogger? Or if he doesn’t want it, send it to me. I promise I’ll make good use of it.

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  1. If you’re still shopping for a second phone in about 6 months or so, I may be able to help you out. I’m contemplating an upgrade to the 4S (I’m avoiding the 5 like the plague, for reasons), and since I’m gathering you’ll only want that phone to use as a radio and whatever, I figure the 4’s got just about all you’ll want to deal with.

    Like you, I’m not supreme attached to the phone for phone’s sake–I check email/twitter/etc on the thing more than I actually make or receive calls, and I’ve noticed a definite difference in quality between that one and the E71. Also Apple’s earbuds (I will not, ever, call that thing a headset) don’t do much to improve the quality, which makes me think maybe software limitation. But yeah. I’d hand the phone over to you tomorrow, but Telus wants to charge me to upgrade unless I wait, so wait it is.

    Also: thank you, oh so freaking much, for linking me to yet more apps for the thing. As if I already don’t have 4 pages of the crap.

    1. Do not get me started on those earbuds. I’m no fan of buds in general, but I question whether those particular ones were designed to actually fit properly into a human ear.

      And definitely all I’d need is a 4. My current phone is a 4, so I just need something recent enough to run the apps. I’m also going to keep my eyes open for a relatively recent iPod Touch like somebody suggested on Twitter. I’ve seen those and they’re basically a phone without actually being a phone, so should be able to do what I’d need. Would probably cost a bit less too unless I’m getting hooked up with a free thingy.

      1. I love my Of the Bay that you got me also. And I think I listen to CBC on my phone more than my actual radio. Yes. This dock does pay for himself every single day.

        1. They totally do. I remember the day I got it, sitting out there with Carin and a friend thinking ok, I love this thing. Some of the best money I’ve spent in years. That was less than an hour after opening it. It’s been a few weeks now and I haven’t changed my mind.

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