iphone Help

I put it off as long as I could but the day of reckoning has arrived.

I think everyone pretty much knows that I am the dinosaur of the group, a baby boomer who is on the descending side of that bell curve. Although there is a definite advantage to being old-er (no commute to work for me, no worries about providing for my family, don’t have to suck in my gut when a pretty girl walks by) the down side is that old adage about teaching an old dog new tricks is steeped in reality. Learning anything technological is harder. Yeah, I got a Kindle, but all that other space age gadgetry, and the majority of stuff most people do on computers, it’s all Chinese to me.

The other day my wife and I had “the talk”, we are all getting new iphone 4s’s. As my pulse raced and beads of sweat dripped down my face, the reality that I will now have to learn something new caught in my throat. I’m a dumb phone guy, always have been, now I have to enter the 21st. century. Sure, I could ask my kid how to work this damn thing (why is it that teenagers instinctively know everything about electronic gadgets?), but if I’m to retain any semblance of self respect, I need to show some level of competency.

So I need help. I figure most here have iphones (or equivalent), any preference on providers? I assume that they all provide the same speeds for data, does it come down to coverage? Although I have read that other smart phones (like the Samsung galaxy 2S) provide a nice alternative, she has made up her mind to go with Apple, that’s what her friends have, so that is not negotiable. Any opinions on what size I should get? We are going with a family plan, 3 phones, the kid is getting the 64mb, I won’t be downloading movies or songs, will the 16 mb work for me? The cheapest data plans offer 2 gigs of data per month, is that sufficient (naturally we have to sign up for 2 years, so I want to get it right)? My understanding (could be all wrong) is that every thing you do with a smart phone, you do through an app that you have to download, what apps do you guys like the best and use the most often?

Reading technical manuals send me into epileptic fits, it will probably take me a month or more to get through this one, are there any things I should master first, aside from turning it on, making a call, or bringing up the web?

We all most evolve (Damn you, Darwin) but some of us are dragged kicking and screaming. Thanks for any help or advice in advance.

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  1. Seattle Outcast

    Wait a minute – I thought I was the old geezer of this site, though I disavow any connection with the boomers other than being on the very end of age group, and even consider that to be flawed.

    Generation Jones, baby….

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  2. Seattle Outcast

    First off, skip getting the iPhone for iDiots, and go Android. Better technology, better price, not locked into Apples’ “fuck you, you’re using what we say we can use” attitude. Are you really going to be locked into iTunes for fucking iEverthing, having to go to iSmug “Genius Bars” when “it just works” doesn’t actually fucking “just work?” Just about everyone makes better technology than apple, and if it isn’t better, it’s a tie (and cheaper).

    Next, I’ve been a T-Mobile customer since they were VoiceStream, and I don’t have any complaints about the better prices and better service.

    And really, if my MOM in her 70’s could learn how to use a computer, you damned well better not be scared of learning how to use a smart phone at your age.

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  3. wesjohnson

    You are definitely better off getting the iPhone than an Android. Everything is incredibly easy. Rarely if ever do I have a problem with it. My three year old has mastered it. At&T has the best rep of current providers.

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  4. Manwhore


    You can schedule an appointment with the genius bar. I would suggest that you do two, one for advice on which ones to buy and the carrier they prefer, and two for the day you buy it.

    The iphone is literally point and click easy. You download itunes into your computer, plug in your phone and it does all the rest for you..

    The geniuses might disagree with me, but I don’t think your son needs a large hard drive. You can get him the smaller version and purchase iCloud (formerly mobile me)..It lets him access all music and media in his account from a cloud server. I wouldn’t put a lot of data on a phone, it slows it down.

    As for data rates, it depends on how much streaming video and music you plan on doing. I would assume that your son will do most of the streaming, but have the geniuses help you install on all three phones a wifi search app. There’s so much free wiFi in SF, and streaming is where the data sucking begins, having a family well versed in wifi locations could save you a bundle.

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  5. Manwhore

    Oh, and as far as apps are concerned, I would stick with the stock ones first and then gradually branch out. I’ve found that I only really use google maps (not many people know it’s actually got a gps function, and by just searching for a business by name it can find it and map you to it, send you to their web site–effortlessly).

    A lot of apps do, like, one thing that google maps does. I always get some friend to tell me he’s using some goofy new app, and a lot of them are crap. Actually many apps are just charging you to take your information and sell it as marketing data. All those “gaming” apps that’s pretty much how they make money.

    So, beware the app scam.

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  6. Manwhore

    You know, if it’s a done deal and the wifey says “apple it will be” you might want to consider buying a used imac for yourself and family. The tools on the phone work seamlessly.

    For example, let’s say you wanted to video tape your son’s tennis match and post it on to youtube for your family elsewhere, the tools are automatic.

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  7. Manwhore

    “Ouch” will be when you take the family out to eat and all three of you just sit at the table fiddling with your iphones. I had to make a “no iphone at meals.” My step-dad is about your age and uses it for everything. My mom’s biggest complaint is that he never puts it down.

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  8. Hal_10000

    Ha! It must be smartphone week. I just bought one a week ago just in time for a long business trip (hence the light blogging). I’d had a dumb phone forever. The new one is an iphone and I’m delighted with it. I would probably stay away from Samsung as I’ve heard bad things about them. Droid phones I’ve heard very good things about. You can’t go wrong with either.

    For providers, check on who has the best coverage in your area. I went with Verizon since (a) Sprint is currently on my shitlist and their seven year jubilee has not yet come; (b) verizon coverage in my area is very good. Bad coverage can mean a lot of your phone hunting for signal can mean wearing out the battery very fast. Mine generally goes 1-2 days between recharges but at the conference, we were in an area with poor AT&T coverage and people on ATT had to recharge every night.

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    I got a Samsung Galaxy S, a few months back, through US Cellular and i cant complain too much. The provider has never gave me a run around, i get great service at the store. when you can get to a rep, they are usually busy. oh yeah and they got some hot gals there, a really nice looking Indian gal, the dot, not the feather type, and a very sweet lil blonde, but i digress… or , nevermind.
    The phone its self does well my me, other than a shitty battery life, oh yeah this baby sucks the power like a 5$ whore. but other wise no problems.

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  10. Mississippi Yankee

    You guys don’t even fall into the old geezer category, damn whipper- snappers.

    Have no need for a smart phone, my dumb one takes phone calls and takes pictures. I know ’cause I’ve taken two. Second one a picture of a picture of my grandfather.

    Not sure Darwin or evolution fits in with smart phones, I’ve seen them. It looks more like Intelligent Design to me.

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  11. balthazar

    iOS is built for the lowest common denominator type of person. If you just want something that you download shit you pay out the ass for and is relatively simple to use, its for you.

    On the other hand if you want something that you can mess with more, actually can use flash and java, and is available on a shitton of different platforms,(not to mention you can buy a decent android phone for 30 bucks), then android (maybe webos) is for you.

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  12. Xetrov

    WebOS is for all intents dead as a phone OS.

    My wife loves her new 4S, and she’s about as tech illiterate as they come. She loves Siri more than she loves me.

    I’ll probably end up with the new Galaxy Nexus coming that runs Ice Cream Sandwich (Android’s latest and greatest).

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