My husband has an iPhone. He’s on his third or fourth. He got his first one the day they went on sale in the summer of 2007. Or rather, I got his first one the day they went on sale. It involved getting up early in the morning and waiting in line all day, but that’s a story for another time. When he upgraded to a newer iPhone he tried hard to convince me to use the one he was retiring. I resisted. I had a phone. I still have it; a little flip phone that sports a Cingular logo. It does what I need it to do, make and receive phone calls.
This past summer, in yet another attempt to encourage me to embrace the iPhone lifestyle, Andrew set up one of his decommissioned iPhones to receive my email. I began to see the light. As long as I am in the vicinity of WiFi I can use my iPhone to do everything iPhone users can do – except make phone calls.
After I learned to obsessively check my decommissioned iPhone for email, I started to explore the games that Andrew had left behind. Some of them were variations of ones I had been playing elsewhere. Regular readers of this blog will remember my not-so-dirty little secret: I was a closet Webkinz fan, in it for the games. I have now graduated to a much smaller screen, with more than four primary colors.
I’ve even learned to download my own games. One addition to my gaming repertoire is Words with Friends. It’s just like Scrabble, without the threat of trademark infringement. You play a word, choose send, and now it’s your opponent’s turn. This game differs from the traditional face-to-face board game in a couple of disconcerting ways. If you play a set of letters that turn out not to be a word, you are invited to recall them and try again. No penalty. Perhaps even more egregious is that if you can’t make a word from your letters, you can play any old combination, without having a clue what you’re spelling. If it turns out to be a legitimate word, your score goes up, and it’s your opponent’s turn. There is no need to bluff, and there is no one to challenge you if you are bluffing. This is Scrabble for morons. And I love it.
Here is one of my new words: Qi. I have no idea what it means, but it comes in very handy in Words with Friends, especially if you can play it on a triple letter, or triple word spot.
Recently, I’ve begun using a free texting app. The first time I texted my daughter she replied, “Who’s this?” Once we’d ironed that out, I began to appreciate how convenient texting her could be in certain situations, like when she didn’t want to be overheard talking to her mother on the phone. Technically I can text on my little flip phone, but it takes much longer since, for instance, to type the letter ‘c’ you have to tap the number 2 key three times. I may be reaching my own personal tipping point regarding my iPhone turned iTouch. That costly data plan is still a deterrent, though. I’ll think about it for a little while longer and when I decide I’ll call you. Or maybe I’ll text instead.