Like everyone, I got seriously geeked the moment I saw Steve Jobs introduce the Apple iPhone ($599, Cingular/AT&T only; HH) at Macworld. It seemed to be what every gadget-obsessed dolphin is looking for in a next-generation handheld: sleek, stylish, and multi- functional. And what’s more, it had a delightful wallpaper with a placid marine setting.
In the four months since its unveiling, I’ve been swimming back and forth, just waiting for my chance to try it out. Then, out of the blue, I was contacted last week and asked if I wanted to give it a test run. Does a tuna taste delicious? When the Apple rep arrived, I was so excited that I did a double backflip and splashed Bob.
The touch screen handled surprisingly well. I could easily toss the phone into the air and bounce it off my nose to dial, so calling can be fun. Let’s be honest, though: It may be called the iPhone, but no one I know is interested in it just as a phone. It’s the widescreen video iPod functionality that has the tech nerds excited.
Frankly, I was disappointed by the pedes- trian offerings by iTunes. I was looking for episodes of Flipper, or The New Adventures Of Flipper, or the movie version of Flipper, but I settled for the Mel Gibson action film Ransom. I had to wonder if it was really worth my time and $10 to watch it on such a small screen, where a lot of the nuance of Gibson’s performance was lost. I suppose it’s better when you hook it up to your large-screen TV, but that’s another connector and another $20.
When I was satisfied that it seemed to work well on dry land, I took it straight to the bottom of the pool. After five seconds, the screen went black and the device became unresponsive. I was so furious I leapt out of the water and hurled the iPhone at the poor Apple rep, who made a rather sheepish exit.
Once again, the aquatic mammal sector has been completely ignored by the major cell phone manufacturers. Given their track record, I shouldn’t be surprised.