No 5


As dust bales roll through the digital streets of the once dense, sarcasm- and expletive-strewn jungle that is TheBoyEllis Blog, I can confirm that I am still alive. Postaweek2011 appears to have claimed its next victim (I’d imagine there’s been a fair few) after a heady month that was dominated by marriage, associated celebrations and the much-needed holidaying that follows.

Concerned I had little to write about, I thought I may have struck gold last week after our dealings with the housing market; firstly attempting to buy a new house from a builder via a part exchange scheme and, after that predictably failed miserably, deciding to put our house on the market and buy an older place. This sounded like perfect source material, until I realised I could only really muster one sentence describing the whole affair, which is:

No one in the housing market knows what they’re talking about.

And that’s not much of a blog, is it?

Yesterday, however, Apple rolled into town in all its grandiose, questionable statistic chomping glory and delivered the perfect excuse for me to pick up the digital pen once again.

I bought an iPhone 4 pretty much as soon as it came out. Because I’m stupid. But, in my defence, it was brilliant. The ‘retina’ screen looked like those fake photos of screens mobile phone shops place on the handsets in store, such was its vibrancy and crystal, seemingly pixel-free clarity. Only, it wasn’t a photo – it was actually the screen, which you could touch and watch respond. Just as when I first played with an iPhone, it felt like I was in Star Trek (being a child of the 80s, it doesn’t take a huge amount to get me excited).

Then, I, along with the millions who had also flocked to buy the precision engineered slice of metal and glass, attempted to make a phone call. This proved difficult because, as we were to find out, in order to make a successful call without the signal dropping, we had to hold the phone as though we were holding a piece of dog poo against our ear; a kind of ginger, two-fingered affair which ensured we didn’t accidentally create a bridge between two pieces of the ‘ground-breaking’ external antenna which must never be joined. If they become one, the result is a bit like when you cross lightsabre beams, only three million times more boring.

Apple then embarked on an uncharacteristic and creepily frantic attempt to prove that other phones do the exact same thing. Several videos appeared on their website of someone (Mr Jobs?) squeezing various models of Blackberrys and Android phones to prove that they too lose their signal when ‘held incorrectly’. Clearly realising that what they were doing was akin to a drunken ex-boyfriend bashing his genitalia against his former girlfriend’s front door in an attempt to prove it is as adequate as that by which it has been replaced, the videos were soon removed.

Steve Jobs even had to make an unscheduled stage appearance to make sure everyone was aware it was their own fault and not Apple’s. He did so in typically nonchalant style, although he did concede that they’d all had to stay past chucking out time on several occasions to work on a reasonable excuse.

This was all very irritating at first, but we all soon realised that this was an iPhone and, as such, its inadequacies as a phone (there are a number) do not matter. It is shiny and cool and Steve had quite clearly explained why we are all to blame. So, we stopped complaining and carried on playing with iFart.

Now, Apple have a new phone. With so many expecting the number 5 to make an appearance, it is no surprise that a collective sigh was exhaled after Apple simply added the letter ‘S’ to the end of the current product’s name.

Yes, now we have an iPhone 4S. It has the same A5 CPU that powers the iPad 2 and which will provide all of the unplayable first person shooter games on iOS with graphics that modern gaming consoles can only dream of. Web pages will open half a second quicker and the camera will no longer wait until Gaddafi has been captured, tried and beheaded before opening.

Ah, the camera. This is much better.  Once again managing to make fresh titfer out of old hat, 8MP stills and 1080P HD recording were the headlines, but Apple also went into minute detail about how they have achieved near-DSLR quality imagery with the addition of all manner of professional grade components and lenses.

After everyone had woken up, they went on to demonstrate Siri. This was their ‘just one other thing…’ moment. The bit we all wait for at Apple conferences.

Siri basically means you can talk to your phone and it will respond appropriately. Set tasks, reply to messages, find out how lunar space travel works. You name it – literally – and it’ll do it. The demo was, admittedly, very impressive.

Odd, then, that the only reason I can think I want an iPhone 4S is because it will finally allow me to replace my black iPhone 4 with a white one…

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