I miss it already. My two-year-old Samsung Galaxy SIII is all but dead and gone. In my hand sits a shiny new Apple 5S smartphone. On its face there’s just the hint of a smirk and I know why. I’m an outsider. A wannabe.
For all their differences, there’s something eerily – and annoyingly – familiar about getting to grips with a new phone. The first few days of Apple, trying to get over Android, are like my first few days of Samsung after I’d moved from the Nokia E90. In short, I hate the damn thing like I hated the thing before it. Possibly even more so.
For the first few days of Samsung two years ago, I struggled to even answer the phone. That tap/swipe thing was a nightmare. Operations seemed so unintuitive. Yet, within a short time, I couldn’t say enough good things about the Samsung. In fact, I still can’t say enough good things about the Samsung.
Pity about its cracked face.
Yes, with weeks to go before an upgrade, the SIII slipped out of my hands, like it had done many times before. Only this time it fell and hit the kerb at just the right angle to shatter the glass. You can still use it, if you don’t mind risking a cut finger or ear. It looks like just the glass needs replacing; the cellphone outlet in the shopping centre across the way reckons R950 should do it. If I want the digitiser done as well, the price doubles to R1 900.
Suddenly, the upgrade seemed like a good idea. And why not take the opportunity to switch to Apple? It would give me more hands-on time with the smartphone opposition, surely a good thing for my line of work. In any case, I have become quite the Apple evangelist since moving to the Macbook Air.
That’s it, done, sorted.
Except that my local MTN didn’t have my choice of 32 GB in white. Two weeks later, they still didn’t. Naturally, they could give me a 64 GB black, for more money. Or a 16 GB in any colour I liked. I decided to take my chances with the badly wounded SIII. It didn’t seem to mind much.
Finally, under severe duress (aka Mrs Doman) I marched into a convenient service provider outlet in another shopping mall, and about an hour later marched out with a 16 GB 5S in silver. Not quite the smartphone of my dreams, but some things can’t wait. (By the way, are we really the only people who didn’t know that you need two ID documents to conclude this kind of transcaction?)
It’s been a month. Positives: it looks like an iPhone. It feels like an iPhone. Crisp, distinctive, the Porsche of smartphones. Voice control? So good, it’s creepy. The ability to open up the camera from the lock screen… I love it. Ditto the swipe-down notification screen and swipe-up Settings screen.
But there are some things I need to get used to. Thanks for telling me I’ve got 3 events scheduled tomorrow, notification screen, but why can’t I simply tap and be taken direct to those event listings in my calendar? Next: I and my grumpy middle-aged eyes don’t like the iPhone’s itty-bitty icons and their itty-bitty text. I don’t like its inability to talk to my Mac via Bluetooth. I mean, what’s so hard about sharing things? I love its brilliant daylight pictures, but struggle with its not-so-brilliant low light pictures.
Mostly, I miss the simple things in life, the kind you take for granted with an Android smartphone. Take a photo, long tap on image, Share, Bluetooth, zap, done. On iOS, this seems to either take an eternity or is impossible. A physical interconnect appears to be a requirement, as does iTunes, but that’s only for sending pictures to the phone (who does that, anyway?). It takes some digging to discover that iPhoto is what’s needed; on the plus side, done this way the picture transfer is so quick you’ll think you’ve missed it.
Speaking of missing things, oh Android messaging of blessed memory: tap message icon, long tap on message, delete. Message text too small? Click the volume button. And the stuff you do with the screen… multiscreen operation …. close to silence the phone. And widgets. How I miss widgets.
These are called withdrawal symptoms. I’ll get over them, in the interests of research and science and sheer bloodymindedness and because I can.
In the meantime, I’ll read the manual.