iPhone 4S

My biggest peeve about the iPhone 4S is the small screen. It’s hard to type on, and it’s hard to read on.But has Apple effectively nullified these two objections?

The new Siri and speech-to-text functions have reduced the amount of typing I do by 90%. All I type now are passwords and the occasional japanese name. And Siri is SO HELPFUL for setting up reminders (“get milk tomorrow 7pm” / “okay.”)

Meanwhile, Safari Reader Instapaperizes/Reability-izes websites, making text large, contrasty, and serif’d. So text is, you know, READABLE on the too-tiny screen Apple still insists on using. 

I’m fond of the shape of the 4/4S too, compared to my 3rd gen Touch. 

Find My Friends works great. Haven’t tried Newstand (because the screen is too small!)

iBooks is faster but still too limited as far as the settings it allows. (No night mode is unforgiveable. I use BlueFire instead — at least until my Amazon Fire arrives. Got Colson Whitehead’s Zone One [zombies!] and Lionel Shrivener’s Game Control [mass depopulation!] queued up for when I finish Snowdrops. The Steve Jobs bio will probably cut that line.)


On the down side, in iOS5, podcasts and audiobooks are no longer transmitted to a monobluetooth earbud — you need stereo bluetooth equipment for those files to be transmitted (even with the “mono” setting under the Music tab activated, and even when said files are already in mono). Might as well just use wires and get tangled up in them twice a day every day. (Fun!)

Also, iPhone photos and videos are displayed UPSIDE DOWN in every Microsoft photo app I have (Picture Viewer, Media Center, etc.), but are okay in Quicktime and Photoshop. And the once-easy “rotate” function in Picture Viewer can’t rotate iPhone photos anymore!?! Seems like a Windows problem, except my Xacti and Fuji Finepix photos and videos still come out normal, everywhere. So that kind of majorly reduces the awesomeness of not needing to lug around a camera any more…

And regarding the aforementioned Safari Reader feature, the full webpage (ads and scripts and everything!) must load before the Reader option button appears. So it’s not saving you any time. And I still ain’t grokked haw to sync my Windows PC’s Safari Reading list to my iPhone (while Instapaper does it automagically).

Lastly, not having dedicated phone buttons is taking some getting used to. The screen goes dark while a recording is asking you to enter your 9-digit ID, the volume feels too low outdoors, it’s just a little awkward all around so far… but I make four calls a week, so I’ll live. 

EDIT: I forgot: I can’t download podcasts over Verizon, but I can stream them. Go figure.

[ Posted Mon, 24 Oct 2011 03:00:00 ]

telltale games the walking dead (2012)

Downloaded the free first chapter of The Walking Dead Game on my iPhone two days ago.

Sat in a car making boring conversation with an old cop for five minutes, then we crashed, he died, I climbed out to get the handcuff keys, but quit halfway to his corpse and uninstalled the “game” because WALKING TEN METERS should not be a cumbersome input clusterfuck, and sitting through five minutes of “story” and “dialog” was mind-numbing enough that I’d rather have been doing NOTHING.

I would’ve forgotten all about the crap experience except I plugged in my iPhone to my PC just now, and Apple decided to force me to re-download the game I had deleted from my phone onto my computer. No way to stop it.

So it finished downloading and then I hit DELETE YESIMSURE and that’s nice, wasting 300mbs of bandwidth for no reason like that. Much like 300secs of time I squandered giving the game “the benefit of the doubt”. 

I can’t believe people find this type of game ACCEPTABLE, much less rave-worthy.