Saturday, October 8, 2011

Clever I-Phone features

My wife wanted to visit the Riverside photography museum, seventy miles away. On these trips, she drives, and I read aloud to her (on this occasion, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen… terrific!).

During any four hour period, there’s an even chance of a call, but only half require a visit. Our luck didn’t hold, and my phone rang after forty miles; someone was vomiting, not a visit I can stall. When we looked up the address on her I-phone GPS, it claimed no such location existed. Since this was an insurance call, the patient was foreign. She had phoned the insurance office whose dispatcher (also foreign) phoned me, so addresses often become garbled. I called the patient’s number and heard a busy signal, always a bad sign on today’s phones. I was forced to call the insurance number, spending a few minutes on hold before reaching a different dispatcher who spent several minutes researching before turning up the correct address.

Then the I-phone GPS worked its magic, laying out a detailed route to an obscure area near Long Beach thirty miles away. While I took care of the patient, she looked up a nearby restaurant on an I-phone Ap (Urban Spoon). We ate lunch and returned home.

Two days later we repeated the drive, this time successfully. Most photography museums are simply art galleries, but Riverside’s is part of the University of California, so it delivers large dose of interesting history with quantities of old cameras and old photographs. Afterward, she looked up a restaurant near the museum. Driving home with the rush hour approaching, I kept an eye on her I-phone GPS, marveling at its accuracy at predicting freeway jams.

My wife urges me to buy an I-phone. She loves it except when she hates it, and I observe her cursing, poking in vain at the touch-screen. So far my three year-old unsmart phone sends and receives calls without fail; no clever feature can match that.

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