Thursday, March 16, 2017


I haven't upgraded my phone in more than three years. Since I recently bid adieu to my landline and gone totes mobile, I figured I needed an upgrade. Being an applephiliac, I naturally went for an iPhone.

A few years back, I was ribbing Phil Bardsley on the immensity of his iPhone 6 Plus. Compared to the iPhone 5 he upgraded from, it was like a small tablet more than a phone. Indeed, it is a phablet. Nevertheless, I got an iPhone 7 Plus; later model, same size, more phab.

After dinner yesterday at D-Thai (a tasty, but sorta greasy spoon Thai restaurant in Bothell, WA) with a friend from the parish, I went straight to the mall. The Verizon store wasn't packed, but there was a wait, so I browsed, played with the toys, and confirmed to myself that I wanted the BIG 7 Plus.

Buying the Phone took no time, but transferring data from the old phone had some complications. I never went beyond the standard 5GB storage for iCloud. I kinda don't do backups, even though it was annoying to have the pop-up asking me if I wanted to upgrade my iCloud storage every time I started my iPhone or iPad. My best option for getting all my data from old to new phone was a) backup the old phone to iCloud, then b) restore to new phone from backup et voilĂ ! But I needed to buy more storage and had to fiddle with resetting my iTunes password to do it (I can never remember).

Verizon activated the new phone, and off I went to the Apple Store at the mall to get the nifty leather case for it (Verizon had none in stock) and that weird Belkin splitter that lets you recharge and plug in earphones at the same time. This is necessary because Apple controversially decided to forego a dedicated jack for the earphones. There's just one port and it's used to power and to listen. Apparently this was a design issue because there just wasn't enough internal room to have a dedicated jack and, also, everyone is supposed to be going to wireless earphones. (I actually have a pair, but I don't really like 'em.)

At home by about 8:30, I got the password reset, and started backing up my old phone around 9:30 or so. I figured 20 minutes. An hour later, I'm finally all backed up and need to restore the backup to the new phone. That's another half hour or so. It's after 11:00 and I'm just ready to start playing with the new toy. It's no shocker that it's basically the same as the old toy (only more so), but I still had to play. This usually means listening to iTunes music and fiddling with all the apps. I went from near exhaustion while waiting for the backup/restore to a second wind that didn't get me into bed until after 2:00 AM—and then I sat in bed reading Paul Johnson's Intellectuals 'til nearly 3:00.

Then I had a 6:30 AM conference call.

Two cups of coffee (third cup awaits) and some Cheerios later, I'm running on all cylinders, I think, but expecting to crash later today.

One nice advantage of the iPhone 7 Plus is the 12 megapixel camera, which is apparently THE BEST PHONE CAMERA EVAR! (Until the next one, of course.) I've been using my iPhone more lately to take photos of my games. It's just a lot easier than lugging about the digital SLR and tripod. The only kicker has been that while the 8 megapixel camera on the iPhone 5S is pretty good, it couldn't match the quality of a digital SLR shot taken in RAW format using a long exposure time. I don't assume that the 7 Plus' camera will either, but it's an improvement that will likely lead me to be satisfied that phone camera photos are good enough for blog work. (Whither, then, the digital SLR?)

My tendency towards gigantism didn't stop with the iPhone 7 Plus, however. With all the waiting I did before a salesman could help me, I played with the HUGE 12.9 inch iPad Pro. I first saw one of these at Costco. There was something dizzyingly overwhelming about it. Its screen is bigger than the monitor on my first computer (Mac Plus ca. 1988). Its resolution is as wide as the 9.7 inch iPad Pro (a.k.a. the Baby Pro) is tall (2732 x 2048 vs. 2048 x 1536). It was shiny.

So I bought one. Black (like all my devices) with 256GB storage. The kicker is that they're out of stock and it may be April before I get it. I'm in no hurry. I'll have time to get used to my HUGE phone before I have to start getting used to my HUGE iPad.

It's odd that as I watched my current iPad advance into senility (I love it, but it's four years old, which is like Methuselah in device years), I was thinking I wouldn't get another iPad. Then here I go.


  1. Have fun with your new toy! I bought a Samsung Galaxy s7 last year when Costco had them on sale. Amazing machine, I just wish I could use more than 1/10th of one percent of its capabilities. Yes it is almost a mini-tablet and the camera is much better than this user.

  2. I think the other 9/10s of any device's capabilities is all about quicker, easier ways to spend your money. If you're just using it for phone calls and text messages, you're probably better off.