As some would have read, my Apple Touch died in late December 2008. Over the period of a few weeks a series of grey lines appeared across the base of the screen, obscuring the icons, and making the device aesthetically ugly.
At first I ignored them. Yet as the days went by, the lines grew longer and more pixels went grey in defiance of my denial, progressively getting worse each week. They appeared to ‘burn‘ the surrounding pixels, each going brown through to black.
In early January 2009, the experience came to a close: The icons were undecipherable, particularly on newer applications were I could not determine the ‘save‘, ‘send‘ nor ‘delete‘ icons accurately – a problem that caused anger a few times before resorting to repairs.
So into the Adelaide CBD I had to descend. With only one reputable dealer for Apple Products, NextByte, getting an opinion on both the problem and fix would be interesting.
But let’s not jump the gun. Because the device still worked, I had to find a way to download all the applications I had added to the device, plus all the contacts I had collected from my Plurk, Facebook, Flickr and Business friends and family. Yes, my life was within my Apple Touch, everyone I had the good fortune to make friends over the last twelve years were now easily contactable thanks to my Apple Touch!
This proved to be an interesting exercise in futility. Rip Programs proved useless. The option to move across to MS-Outlook was non-eventful, mostly because I don’t use Outlook.
So in the end, I handed over my device after being reassured that ALL my photographs, music, and contacts would be completely erased.
Between January 2nd and 9th, I lived in an Apple-free home. Not altogether bad, but I did miss some applications, particularly those utilities I had installed to further improve my schedule, time-efficiency, online communication and social-networking. Plus a few funny ones that I knew I wouldn’t miss so much if they disappeared!
These applications are those I missed the most:
Having the 16gig Apple Touch meant I could put my ENTIRE music collection on ‘shuffle‘, then never have to worry about music for a few days. If only the batteries would last that long. As it was, I put seven U2 albums on shuffle to play whilst I worked at my day-job. It’s a beautiful day!
Yessiree, without the good ol-fashioned email, I’d be very isolated from a lot of people, including my family. Whenever they want to have conversations, I say “Email me!”. Thanks to my Apple Touch, family is only an icon away! With the Apple, loading time is less than 20seconds, site login is instanteous, and the emails appear before my eyes. And then I can send myself web links, articles, ideas and tidbits all day long. But without the Apple Touch, I have to login to my computer, wait for it to load and then login to an application or an online service.
Yes, I lost them all. Even my family. Everyone I knew, got to know and a few I barely knew. Gone. I gonna miss ’em.
With the ability to set photographic-avatars for particular people, plus include all sorts of different information, even custom fields, this is the biggest draw-card of this device: Having everyone at your fingertips.
Facilitating people with a weather-fetish, this application enables anyone to access the weather anywhere around the world. For me it means being able to realise that friends in Perth and Melbourne have varying temperatures to here in Adelaide. It enables me to know that my mother-in-law is enduring colder nights on Kangaroo Island. And I learned that 37 degrees centigrade means something different for the Fahrenheit-users of the USA..
Though I don’t own any shares, at least I can watch how many popular companies are faring in the current economic climate.
Plurk / Twitter / Hahlo
Being able to chat with people around the world is certainly the most amazing fad of the current internet-age. With the Apple Touch, all I need is a Wifi zone and I am connected to anyone around the world.
My Apple Touch is a dynamic business card. It enables me to store over 2,000 photographs that I can access, flick through and display quickly and easily. At the press and flick of a fingertip, I can show you the latest upload to my Redbubble gallery. Because of this one application, I have sold famed photographs of my work!
Missing that option for a week was not fun as there were at least 2 occasions where I was unable to display my work to potential clients.
Either at home via open ADSL or within a Wifi Zone, I love being able to visit the internet any time of the day or night. I can wake up and get instant access because I can keep the Apple right beside me on the mantle. I can fall asleep at night knowing that the Apple will hibernate enough to conserve power (though I am sure it will drain completely if left too long!).
No more will I be late for a meeting/event/party/photo-shoot. Although I did lose all the previous data on events. Dammit. I missed my apple. So glad to have it back.
Now this is the number one feature for me! Being able to write stories, articles, thoughts and business ideas at anytime is the COOLEST feature of this device. My train-rides often involve two-finger typing a 300-word article, ready for publication of an evening. NICE!
This single icon is very useful, though not entirely important to many users. The acquisition of FREE utilities for the purpose of improving the quality of both input and output each day is the only redeeming feature. I find no need to purchase additional songs. If I hear a song I like on the radio, I go check out the entire album at a retail-store. If I like more than 3 songs, I buy the entire album. Expanding one’s mind to enjoy more than the heavily-marketed single presented by radio-stations is a pleasure for me.
I’ve now got a few extra apps: A “Shopping List” so my wife can enjoy using the device, plus a “To Do” List for all those little chores the wife insists I remember to do. Thankfully there is a delete key!
When compared with many other PDA’s on the market, this toy definitely beats them all.
Ironically, back in the mid 1980’s I saw the first Apple PDA: The Newton. With an aluminum case, large recessed-buttons and 4x as thick as its current version, it was the ultimate gadget for every aspiring PC-geek. Like the Star Wars toys from the same era, it was built to last the test of time, even if it dated technologically.
So now I am the proud owner and user of a refurbished Apple Touch. Whilst they might repair them, it appears they also replace them if all efforts are futile. But not with new ones – they give you one they’ve managed to repair. Is this a bad or good thing? Not sure, only time will tell.
As extra protection, I purchased a silicone-cover that enables me to see the screen easier than before. I have left the original plastic coating on the screen for easy cleaning. As an extra precaution, I keep it within a neoprene coverall (a stubby-holder) inside my shoulder-bag when going to work.
The Apple iPhone/Touch products are perfect for Plurk/Twitter users. Both of these sites allow users to type 140character sentences per statement. Limiting the text line means the user needs to be concise, clear and careful in their choice of words. Since many people are not savvy to the QWERTY keyboard, 140characters avoids a person getting too angry with the device.