Your Grampy’s iPhone 3G Launch Story

When I was your age, we didn’t have the cellular telephones. We had our American Telephone & Telegraph branded black rotary phones, and we were happy to have them. Mind you, we didn’t have our own telephone line. We had to share it with the nice elderly folks next door that went by the names of Merv and Edith Shoemaker. Those were some hard working, god-fearing, people those Shoemakers. In any case, they called that setup a “Party Line,” and you didn’t hear one bit of a complaint from the Shoemakers nor me ‘n mine. Folks back then didn’t go around hollerin’ like a rooster at sun-up over every little inconvenience. We kept our traps shut, eyes down, and ears perked in the case of an air raid siren. Oh god, those sirens. I still hear them when I dream. Anyways, why don’t you grab that tube of the Bengay, and give ‘er a squeeze on Grampy’s aching fingers. The arthritis is kickin’ up ‘er heals today. The storms must be makin’ their way eastwards.

Belabored points aside, anybody who complains about the inconvenience of downtime or waiting in line needs a healthy dose of perspective. It is mildly annoying that Apple’s servers experienced some downtime during the Mobile Me and iPhone 3G launch. It is also slightly irritating that people had to sit through lines only to find that there were some technical issues with activation. Two weeks from now, nobody is going to even remember this. Albeit, in the mean time, we’re going to hear about it non-stop on the thousands of blogs and podcasts related to Apple. (Including this post, to be fair.) They will rattle on and on about what a botched launch it was. Apple’s stock will probably go down a bit. Analysts will flip the hell out. How do I know these things? This is the same tired sequence that plays itself out after every hyped event. We in the Mac community build up an event just so we can knock it down, and then cry about how disappointed we are. This is not new.

With all of that negativity out of the way, I’d like to talk about the 2.0 firmware that I recently loaded on my iPod Touch. Great third party apps like AIM, Twitterific, Exposure, and NetNewsWire are now available via Apple’s app store. The only downside that I have experienced with the third party applications is the increased instability. After using third party apps for an extended period of time, my iPod Touch tends to crash. This is a minor inconvenience, and something of a rarity. One can only hope that Apple will address some of the stability issues in a future patch. Outside of the third party applications, Apple pushed a few nice little features in the new firmware. Nothing ground shattering, but a clear step forward. Screen captures can now be taken by pressing down the Home button, and then tapping the sleep key on the top of your device. One can now send mail from any of the mail accounts regardless of which account is currently being viewed. Also, parental controls are now available. Explicit content, Safari, YouTube, the iTunes store, and the app store can all be disabled from the settings menu.

Grampy is tired now. It’s time for a nap.

Grant is a writer from Delaware. In his spare time, Grant maintains a personal blog, hosts The Weekly Roar, hosts Quadcast, and writes for video games.