But Can It Do Housework?

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Your new phone is here, said Domestic Tech Support (aka Husband), last week.

But my old phone isn’t broken, sez I (aka Techno-Philistine).

Apopletic silence.  Then, let’s try that again. Your new phone is here.

Me, realizing my mistake: My new phone! My new iphone 4 that everyone else has been waiting in line for months just to look at? you are a god among men and to show my gratitude we should probably have sex right now here on our tiny kitchen floor except the kids are right there still eating their dinner of hot dogs and tater tots. 

(My philistinism has extended to their diet, which is pretty exclusively haute-trailer: kosher hot dogs, whole wheat buns, organic tater tots).

Husband, mollified, eager: Let me just get it all set up for you. (He disappears for about three hours, emerges from his tangle of computer screens and cables, smiling).  It’s really cool. Let me just show you…

***

And there you have it, people. I’m an inadvertent Early Adopter of an iPhone4.  Literally the first kid on my block to have one, thanks to DTS pre-ordering this nifty gadget.  We both know, however, that he pre-ordered it “for me” because his isn’t arriving until later this month (orderered through work, had to wade through bureaucratic channels), and he just really, really, really wanted to play with one. 

I am often the recipient of his techno-largesse (and impatience): he orders something for me, then satisfies his techy urges by setting it up (the automotive equivalent of this would be, I guess, buying “me” a new car and then driving it around for a while to see what it can do).  Equally often, he is disappointed by my reaction to technology–as with my initial response to the arrival of the iphone4. I only want the gadget to work; mostly I could care less about how it works or about its bells and whistles. It’s another manifestation of the cyber-space gender gap that runs like a crevasse through our apartment.

When I use my new phone, people say “ooh, is that the new one?”  And because I read one review of the phone, from engadget, I know to say “yes, and aren’t the optics great?”

Is it great? I dunno. Fewer dropped calls? Sort of, until I tried to use it from my sister’s living room in Philly, when the damn thing didn’t work. But I mostly blame Philly for that, not Steve Jobs. Better optics? Um, yeah, except for the fact that my eyes have hit middle age, which means I have to text with the phone stretched at arm’s length, making accuracy literally a hit-or-miss operation.

You know what’s great, though? It’s a much better camera. And it runs hipstamatic, which I adore and which, yes, now lets me take pictures with my zillion-dollar gadget that effectively replicate pictures taken with a four-dollar plastic camera from the 1970s (and thanks, Melissa, for pointing out this irony):

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As far as I’m concerned, then, I now have a small camera that I can use to make phone calls. And that’s not all bad – although you’d think that if the AppleHeads can figure out how to make a phone/camera/texter/emailer/stopwatch/be-all-and-end-all, they could’ve damn well put a zoom lens in the thing.

Or at least figured out an app for doing the dishes.

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4 Responses to But Can It Do Housework?

  1. a guy July 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    I’ve been trying to get my DSC to order an iPad through work, so I won’t let her read this column. Or do you think she might see through me already?

  2. Deborah Quinn July 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    safe bet that you have no secrets from DSC. And an iPad…eh. I’m underwhelmed. But that’s just me. Others in the household think it’s PDC (pretty damn cool).

  3. Dick Horwich July 3, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    You mean you don’t have Soapsuds, the dishwashing app? You fill the sink with hot water, dirty dishes and detergent, toss the iPhone in, and half an hour later everything is clean, rinsed and dry. In a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to order Stack, which puts all the china and glasses away for you. Try it! What can you lose?

  4. Husband July 4, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    It zooms. Ask me to show you.

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