Thursday, January 21, 2010

Of iPhones and Wrist Radios...

I may be the last guy on my block to visit the Apple shrine in Waterside Shops and buy my own 16 billion bytes of technology that will boost me, if just barely, into the 21st century.

For a year or so, friends who already were initiated into the iPhone fraternity would dazzle me by casually waving a hand over their iPhone screens and instantly producing a fact sheet on the Federal Reserve System or a pocket dictionary of the Ojibwe language. Or on the dark side, Hollywood’s top 10 meth labs.

Even as you read this, nerds, geeks, hackers and other about-to-be billionaires are writing more “Apps” for the iPhone. Apps are gossamer portals to info and gaming paradise, available at the gentle press of an on-screen icon. Many are free, thousands more are about a buck, but some in App-land can cost a ton. says the most expensive App this minute is called iRa Pro, a way to control live feeds of video surveillance cameras. It costs $900.

The same Silicon Valley Web site reports that, “About a year ago, a German developer had an App briefly approved by Apple called ‘I Am Rich.’ For $999.99, it did absolutely nothing and was thus controversial. After a day or so, Apple pulled it from the App Store — but not before the developer reportedly sold eight copies.”

Apps rule, but they’re not the only awe-inspiring amenities that the iPhones show off like toy poodles vying for best in show.

What not long ago were mostly the late night, mood enhanced imaginings of sci-fi fans now come in slim cases bursting with temptations on how to use your time or even waste it.

I wish old Dick Tracy, who flashily showed off his wrist watch radio in the comic books of my youth, could see me now, plucking my window on the world from jeans or jacket pockets, getting the ball scores or a bouillabaisse recipe in a flash.

The iPhone is more expensive than the Dick Tracy two-way wrist radios the perps sold to us kids via comic book ads. The newest 3GS iPhones cost as little as $199.99, whereas tricky Dick’s wrist wonder went for $3.99. Yet it promised a lot more bang for my four bucks, if I’d had four bucks, than iPhone guarantees.

“It’s not just a dream but a scientific reality,” the wrist radio ad trumpeted. “With a Dick Tracy Two-Way Wrist Radio, you’ll quickly become the most popular kid in town.”

The iPhone people, however rhapsodic their rhetoric about this device, seem reluctant to promise instant popularity for the user. They modestly just say the phone is a revolutionary phone, a widescreen iPod and a breakthrough Internet device.

One other point. The iPhone would look silly being worn on the wrist. Still, for girls going to proms, I’ll bet that among the 100,000 Apps there’s one with a digital photo of a wrist corsage.

-Written by Don Farmer on the Gulf Shore News for Collier County-

No comments: