This was completely unexpected. I did not think that I would have an iPhone this season, nor was it even in the cards. Earlier this year when Reiko started talking about getting new phones to replace our ageing hardware I was expecting to get another flip phone or some other low-cost mobile device. We are, after all, saving for a house, kids, and a host of other unknowns. The plan was that she would get a smart phone, and I would keep using my iPod Touch. This would allow her to have a phone with a working display, a selection of electronic dictionaries to choose from, and a device that would give her a place to record and practice her Korean language studies. What actually happened was quite the deviation from this original plan.
Yesterday night, minutes to unconsciousness, I made the mistake of triple-tapping the home button on the iDevice while quickly checking a website. A male voice immediately started speaking to me, but I couldn't quite make out the words. The volume level of the iDevice is typically kept very low or off at all times so that the sounds produced with notifications do not become a nuisance during work, dinner, or while sleeping1. Turning up the volume a bit, I listened to what the machine was saying. I knew for certian the website didn't have an audio advertisement, so who could be talking to me? After a few seconds of listening, the realisation dawned on me; I accidentally activated VoiceOver, and the website was now being read to me.
So tired of these messages. Every 8 days, it seems, my relatively new MacBook Air slows down and has dead links to files that no longer exist. I can see the remnants of these files in Finder, and any attempt to wipe them from the system results in error after error. It's like Windows95 all over again! If only we had something better than HFS+ … something along the lines of ZFS or BTRFS1 would offer some amazing improvements over what we currently have.
Over the last few days I've had the opportunity to communicate with a number of people who, like me, are moving away from Google. While this sort of geek march is not very interesting to anybody1, what is interesting is the number of people I've seen considering dropping their Android-powered phones for something that is not under Mountain View's control2. The problem they'll have, though, is a remarkable lack of choice when it comes time to pick up a new smartphone. There are only two viable options for people who want to walk around with a little computer in their pocket while avoiding Google.
People have been talking for years about Apple's apparent need to build a cheaper iPhone that will appeal to the masses. Apple hasn't done many of the things analysts have insisted they do in order to remain competitive and have managed to rake in money faster than 32-bit computers can count for the last half-decade, but this is one rumoured product that fails to follow other rumours to the fringes of people's memory. Recently somebody posted some "rendered" images of what a cheap iPhone might look like and, if this image is as close to the real thing as the last one I posted to this site almost exactly two years ago1, the line-up this summer could be quite interesting.