You see them everywhere. Ask a question in any group of people—”Where’s the nearest Indian restaurant?” “What does a spring-loaded thingumabobit cost these days?” or “Who played David Lopan in “Big Trouble in Little China?” (It was James Hong.) Inevitably, someone in the group—usually two or three someones—will pull out an iPhone and proceed to find an answer to your question in five seconds flat.
And that, my friends, is why my iPhone rarely leaves my side and why I feel naked without it.
Let me be clear: I HATE PHONES. Hate them. I think they are nasty, intrusive, embarrassing devices of torture. The thought of having to place a phone call fills me with unreasoning dread and nervous tics. When I had a cell phone, I forgot it. I lost it. I let its battery die. Not so with my iPhone for the simple reason that it is not a phone.
It is a library of fact and fiction—literally. I’ve got the Kindle app and Stanza with which I can have books, papers, my own notes, everything for those moments when you need a book to read and may have forgotten to bring one. (And no, the next is not hard to read.)
It is a newspaper, radio and TV all rolled into one. Any news there is, I have an app to find it.
It is an Internet search tool. I work online throughout the day, posting to the Café or LJ or wandering Bible Atlases and Star Wars sites doing research for writing projects, or searching holy books for quotes. When I am away from my computer, I am no longer cut off from these resources.
It is a consumer protection tool. I can do cost comparisons, check restaurant reviews, see testimonials of service providers.
It is a map and GPS. I need never get lost again or need to use the (ugh!) telephone to get directions from someone. I can look up a type of business and then drive there; I can plot a route to anyone in my address book.
It’s a box of toys. Really, really cool toys. Card games, mahjong, role-playing and adventure games, crossword and word puzzles.
It’s an alarm clock, a watch, an egg timer, a recipe book (with pictures!). Mine frequently is decorated with flour because it goes into the kitchen with me,
It is the DHD to my own personal Stargate, the sonic screwdriver of the 21st Century. It does calculus, tells me the weather anywhere in the world (did I mention that I can use it to buy books and games on the fly?). It is a dictionary and encyclopedia, a language tutor (I have Spanish, French and Russian on mine.) I can read and send email, I can iChat people. I can check my stocks and transfer money from one account to another.
But wait there’s more: I can listen to music and watch movies in stunning resolution. I can tune my guitar with it, look up obscure chords AND even record snippets of songs I want to remember.
And when I’m at a rock concert, I can turn it into a virtual cigarette lighter.
What? Oh, yeah. It’s also a telephone…
Did I mention that you can read books on this thing?