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Another bite from the Apple | N M Browne

Another bite from the Apple

OK I tried to swap my old phone today. You can do it through Apple online but not in the store.
So I’m not bothering. You can only sell phones for Apple vouchers in any case and in store I would probably have picked up some Christmas presents for the kids. It would have been convenient and I could actually see what I was buying. Online this is less appealing. It is more hassle and if I am going to have to faff around posting things I will sell it to a company that pays money.

The store is actually so busy and chaotic I doubt they could handle any additional roles. The first Apple store I visited was a rather glamorous one in Sydney and I was impressed. The one in the Bentall centre, though recently refurbished, feels grubby and badly organised. I had a problem with previous phone and in order to book an appointment with a resident ‘genius’ had to wait for the right man with an iPad. It amused me that for all the technological gizmos – there was only one person who could book appointments and as he was on a coffee break nothing could happen. So the technology was actually not that different from one man with a pad and a pencil. In spite of the apparent chaos and the fact that some of the display computers didn’t work, the people themselves were helpful and pleasant.

And now to the iPhone itself. It hasn’t transformed my life. I can’t get my voicemails through the usual method and it doesn’t seem to send emails but I think these are probably teething problems.
I like the larger screen as I use my phone as a reader. I love SIRI – the voice activated interactive software. It works less well for me than for my kids; it doesn’t like my accent but we had fun with it today – just ask what is its favourite colour. I think when the software improves it could be invaluable.

It will be interesting to see how this affects the way younger people live their lives. M has just got back from Mongolia, trekking. He learned the hard way, the old fashioned techniques of making arrangements without a mobile phone. There was no signal, no villages, no people for hundreds of miles and if you lost your companions in the wilderness you were stuffed.
I wonder if the technology makes it harder of kids to engage with literature of a pre mobile age? For in many ways they have access to a kind of technical telepathy – the ability to communicate with other people almost instantly across great distances.

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