The phone problem

That lovely Iphone 5S I have been using? Today it went back to its owner, reset and ready for uses much more noble. For the past few days, I have been wondering how I should react to this. The Iphone 6 I have access to at work is … well, it is just a phone. It holds no real appeal to me, and when I got the 5S I handed the 6 over to a colleague with a dying 5S of his own, so that he can live a decent life waiting for this year's crop of Iphones to be released. In this way, I feel that it, too, is serving a more noble purpose. Especially since setting up this situation for myself leads me to consider if any other option holds any appeal.

The 5S made me certain the SE would be the Iphone for me if I had to pick an Apple option right now. But playing with the Veer made me realize I could use and love something even smaller if it was available and could run all modern apps. They would not have to be super-adapted to the small format, but they would have to do their business in a pinch.

As I was backing up and preparing to reset the Iphone yesterday, I still had not decided anything. Then, I discovered that I could get all my contacts onto a Webos device, and made a sharp turn around the retro corner. All most documentation talks about is getting your contacts through various kinds of syncing, or by connecting online services. Both these options may still be possible, but without quite a bit of work they are essentially broken.

What turned out not to be broken was adding plain old email accounts. (As in the POP/IMAP mail provided by my site hosting provider. We are not talking a Google backed system here.) As a matter of fact, I have never had the process be so easy before. All the Pre asked was my email address and password, nothing more. After that both receiving and sending email just works.

(Why does everyting else always require me to fiddle with servers, ports, bits and bobs? Granted, Webos may well be doing something super-insecure behind the scenes, but even if so, surely someone else could have created a secure version of the same experience by now?)

With my email suddenly on the Pre 3 without a hitch usefulness went through the roof, relatively speaking. Back to contacts. I opened contacts on my Mac, exported them all to one single multi-megabyte Vcard. I recall having limited success even getting those betweens Macs, but I put on a brave face, mailed it to myself and opened the attachment on the Pre.

Look, it said, a file full of contacts. It kicked open another happy little card (yes, I still love the card-based user interface), this one with the contacts app in it. Would you like to import, it asked me. Sure.

And boom, we were done. Contacts, images and all.

Now I could both handle email and messages, plus find people's numbers and see who was calling.

My heart humming a little tune of geek happiness, I reset the Iphone and set up my alarms on the Pre. Today became …

Bring a Pre to work day

The alarm rang, strangely different on account of being a whole different melody coming out of a whole different speaker. I did my morning browsing and podcast listening on an Ipad before pocketing the phone and heading out into the world.

Biking through town, it occured to me how many things I did not have with me. Most relevant in the moment was todo lists, but also text files and everything else in Dropbox, Slack, online banking, Instagram and so many more things.

It felt strange, a little risky, but also pretty relaxing. I could not stop to catch a Pokemon even if I had wanted to.

I have enjoyed the gently pulsing light for new notifications - both for mail and the amazingly well-working Twitter app phnx. (I have also wondered if I can disable the light at bedtime.)

I have stood around in public typing messages on the minuscle keyboard without Swedish keys, finding it slow but unexpectedly easy to get into.

I have enjoyed the feel of the device. The click of sliding it open and closing it.

Perhaps most important is something Melin and I have touched on several times: I have enjoyed using a device which is different. One with other ideas than the IOS I am used to. One with different aesthetics.

One with more heart and soul than the sleek metal and glass slabs of the present.