I panicked when a dialogue box popped up on my iPhone telling me that a new iOS update was available. I'd missed this bit of information in the big announcement about the coming of iPad 3. I had the option to download and install the update or to cancel. Of course, I hit cancel and immediately sought out the advice of a more experienced iPhone user.
"What does this mean?" I said. "Am I going to lose my information? How will I get my calendar dates back? Will I have to re-upload my address book?" I'd like to say he looked at me quizzically, but the expression on his face really said I'd lost my god damn mind.
I felt the need to explain myself. "I'm a former BlackBerry user," I said. "Whenever there was a software update it took me a week or two (minimum) to recover." Sometimes there was no coming back. Near the end, my BlackBerry dumped all my calendar dates. Anything that happened in my life before 2009 was just gone, baby gone. Best case scenario: it was my smart phone's way of telling me to live in the moment, but I doubt it.
Now with a more complete understanding of my angst, my iGuide spoke to me in a tone that one might use with an abused child. He said, "Apple loves you. Apple wouldn't do that to you." And for some reason I believed him. I didn't need or want to believe. I just did.
I realized then and there that I was having a Jim Jones moment. I had not only drunk the Kool Aid, but I was eagerly awaiting a second glass. For you Star Trek fans, I had accepted The Will Landru. For you Dune fans, my eyes had turned blue within blue and I was donning my still suit.
My iGuide's only caveat was that I should do the update while I was connected to wifi. In the interim, I did a little research to find out what I could expect from iOS 5.1. For starters, I wouldn't have to unlock my phone to use my camera. That’s a useful update, but one that doesn't take into account the devious mind of a prankster-friend grabbing your phone, snapping a few ass-on-the-copy-machine-type pictures and then returning your phone as if nothing ever happened.
Post update, Siri will now be able to understand Japanese. Bonsai! This will provide hours of fun as I sip wine and shout out random sushi orders. "Siri, Boston Roll!" As promised the update took about 15 minutes and when I turned on my phone all my information was still there. Sorcery and magic I said!
Allegedly there are bug fixes that address battery life but I'm not seeing any improvement. If there's anything bad about the iPhone it's the nonexistent battery life. A masochistic meditation exercise is to unplug your iPhone and watch the battery life drop like the value of U.S. currency.
In a way though, this problem is comforting. It's emblematic of my windows-dominated relationship with technology and therefore is an essential part of my step-down recovery. The bad battery gives me something to complain about, a problem to fix. If the iPhone was too perfect it might compel me to force others get one too whether they want it or not. I would like to think that even Steve Jobs would have condemned and eschewed Apple Sharia law.
The Kool Aid tastes sweetest only when it is willingly sipped. Drink responsibly.