Hey Apple–I Have Questions

I’m a pretty loyal consumer of Apple products. I get Apple. I understand the equipment. Perhaps it is because the first computers I remember are those old Macintoshes we had in high school. I can work a Windows machine fairly well, but I prefer Macintosh and Apple iPhones. The one exception is iTunes. I have invested a lot of money in iTunes music, and now I find that I can barely run the program and usually opt for Spotify or Amazon Music–which is what I’m listening to right now–some Allman Brothers on this Tuesday evening. apple_iphone_2017_20170912_11670.0

But I digress.

Today was the big reveal in Cupertino of the new iPhone X on the ten year anniversary of the first iPhone. I didn’t watch the event live. I had work to do. But I have been following the news release, and I have some questions.


1. What did nine do wrong? In fact, I’ll throw this out to Windows too. I was running a Dell last year and remember when the OS went from 8 to 10, and skipped nine altogether. Now iPhone has done the same thing. If I understand it right, they are releasing an iPhone 8 which is really just an updated 7, but there is no nine. Just like there was no Windows 9. The conspiracy theorists wants to know why? Is it a symbol? Does it have a secret only the Illuminati cipher? Is nine just too Trinitarian? Is nine not cool enough of a digit? Is it that nine is gone, because seven ate (eight?) nine?

2. Are you really doing something as lame as renaming the Apple Store “Town Squares” ? The word on the street is they are renaming the Apple Store to “Town Squares” Because they want them to be ‘meeting places’ for people. Man, that sounds terribly presumptuous and confusing. I think this will bomb. No one will call it Town Square. It will always be the Apple Store, just like no one calls it the Genius Bar, no matter how hard you try.

3. Can you give me a good reason to buy an Apple Watch? I wanted one, I really did. I wanted one when I thought it would replace my iPhone. I don’t want one if it has to be in close proximity to my iPhone to have full functionality. In other words, I want an Apple Watch that actually works independent, that is not just a bluetooth display of the iPhone.

4. Is face recognition a good idea? I mean, I watched the movie “The Circle” and it kinda of scared me because in my lifetime I’ve already observed the erosion of individual liberty and freedom for the sake of comfort as companies gather more and more analytics about us. Now you want my face? I mean, this sounds like a very bad idea. Can you give me some reassurances here?

5. If you get rid of the “Home” button on the iPhone, how will E.T. know where to go? How will he phone home? Okay, that was a bad joke, but I couldn’t resist. On a positive note, I like the look of the new iPhone X because it looks like the iPhone 3, which to me was the most beautiful of all the iPhones. It was smaller, true, but it fit in the pocket, and the hand, and looked amazing. I’m not a big fan of the square, and this new model looks like a throw back to that earlier design, and that is something I applaud.

6. Will “Augmented Reality” help me find better words for the letter V in Words With Friends? I’m asking for a friend.

7. Why does your promo shot of the iPhone X look so much like the poster for Star Trek the Motion Picture?

8. Can I trade in the drawer filled with the iPod, iPod shuffle, iPod mini, iPhone, iPhone 3, 4, 5, 5S, 6, iPad, iPad 2, and iPad Nano for a bit of a discount on the $999 price tag of one of your sleek new phones? Maybe a kidney? A toe, I mean I’ve got ten toes and I probably only need like seven?

These are some of the questions I have about the new iPhone. I’m sure more will arise in the coming days.

SOLITAIRE

I took today off.

That is unusual because normally my day off is Friday, and today is Thursday.  I have an important denominational meeting tomorrow over in Renton; so my normal day off is all jangled up.

Kim and I planned to go do a little Christmas shopping and I was ready to go before she was so I sat at the breakfast nook, drank coffee and played solitaire.  Here is the odd thing, I played solitaire with a real deck of cards.  This was actual cards, lying on a table.  No iPhone, no PC, no iPad, no Kindle–just man, table, and cards.  As a boy growing up I played solitaire all the time and used to play many different variations.  But today I played straight, regular solitaire.

I still play solitaire regularly, when I am killing time but I almost always play on my iPhone where I can plan a game anywhere in about 2 or 3 minutes.  It takes a lot of time and you need space to play a real game of solitaire with real cards.

Now, here is the oddity about this morning.  I was doing pretty well and I thought I might win.  I play the hard way, where you draw through 3 cards at a time, and not just one; so winning is a rarity.  On the iPhone my statistics say I win 11% of the time.  I am certain some of you are much better than that, but I’m fairly happy with my consistent 11%.

I only had about four or five more cards left to turn over, all of which were either in the fifth column or the seventh column.  Sadly, just when I thought I might win; alas, my luck ran out and I could see no possible move.  All I really needed was a black six.  No black six was forthcoming.

But, in my mind, a funny thing happened.  I was playing with real cards, on a real table, drinking a real cup of coffee but as I was dwindling down on my options my mind began looking, on the table in front of me for the “HINT” button.  The “HINT” button is the one on my iPhone game that gives me clues.   These clues are usually things that are so obvious I am mad at myself for not spotting them on my own; but I like the “HINT” button.

There is a word for using the “HINT” button.  It is cheating.  The computer game has built-in cheats that have become such a part of my playing experience that I have lazily come to depend upon then; and even expect them when I play.  I was a little frustrated at an endorphin level that I could not locate the “HINT” button to help me out of this jam, to help me win.

I worry, now, how many other areas of my life have I grown accustomed to “HINT” buttons where an artificial brain does the work I should be able, and once was able to do just fine, all by myself.  Cheating leads to laziness, and laziness leads to apathy, and apathy leads to incompetence.  One of my favorite Bible verses of all times came to mind:

A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,

and poverty will come upon you like a robber,

and want like an armed man. Proverbs 6:10-11