I’ve had my MacBook for less
than a month now but I do seem to be hooked. It’s not just how intuitive
the interface is, not just how wonderful the multi-gesture trackpad is
(I can’t believe how easy it is to do without a mouse), it’s not just
the beauty of the thing, though it is astonishingly beautiful. It’s also
how everything works together, how each application (we mustn’t call
them programs, no no) hands on to another. I want to get the new iPhone
and I thought I might try to get it today, on the day of launch, more on
that story later; but in preparation, I thought I’d copy my phone’s
photos to the laptop. I plugged it in and it starts populating iPhoto
with them. Immediately, there they are in a beautiful, simple interface,
much more easy to handle than they ever were on my desktop or
succession of laptops. iTunes just darned works better; the spotlight
feature seamlessly and instantaneously finds anything I need anywhere on
Things I’m still not sure if I like:
Photos go into iPhoto. Can they be got out again? If I want to insert a photo onto a WordPress website, for example? Where do I find them?
If I’m in Excel and I want to open an Excel document, how can I just see Excel documents when I open the file? At the moment it’s an indigestible list of all documents.
Related to that, can I bring up the folders at the top of the list? (I suspect the answer to both of these is that I should be using Spotlight much more than I am)
Still finding navigation around a page tricky. I guess converting from shift, alt, ctrl to the shift, fn, strl, alt, cmd system will take time.
There’s also a quirky but good thing
Apple do which I noticed on the iPhone. They don’t tell you what it
does. It seems weird to say it, but whereas Windows came with loads of
documentation, this machine didn’t. I keep discovering things it does.
I’m on a train to Manchester and every time we go through a tunnel, or
even, as now, pass through a stretch where steep embankments cast
shadows over the compartments, the screen dims very slightly and the
keyboard backlights start to glow, because - I guess - the machine is
sensing that I need less light to see the screen, but I need more to see
the keyboard. I guess it preserves that battery and means you don’t
have to adjust things yourself.
Why isn’t that a feature they shout
about? Similarly, the function keys, pressed in combination with other
characters produce some important characters. # for example - vital for
twitterers like me - is Alt + 3. é is Alt+e,e.
I’m guessing there are two things at
work here. One is that Apple genuinely believe in the intuitiveness of
their systems and that you don’t need to tell people how things work,
they’ll work it out for themselves, or just stumble across it. I also
think it creates a buzz around a product; iPhone 4 is out today and no
doubt there will be little features being discovered over the next few
weeks which will keep the phone at the head of the technorati’s blogs.
Oh yes, the iPhone. Almost as if it
knows its time is up, my iPhone has been going slow, crashing, not
responding. A couple of times this year, it’s even had trouble
rebooting, which was always my failsafe. I haven’t upgraded to 3G or 3GS
because I guess I just didn’t like the design; too plasticky and the
curved back didn’t do it for me. I love the techno-hard feel of the
original and was waiting to see if the new iPhone was any better. I
loved the look of it when Jobs presented it and the video and camera and
all the rest of it look great. I thought I may as well queue up this
morning and try to get one.
Holy crap, there are some nerds out
there. (This is a desperate attempt to distinguish myself from their
number.) I cycled up to the O2 shop on the Strand for 7.20, imagining
this would be a safe time for an 8.02 (oh ha ha ha) opening time. There
they all were, about 50 of them, mostly playing with their iPhones
(what? a fond farewell?) and loudly discussing features of the new
phone. I waited in line and actually, if I’d had a free day, could have
got the phone, but I had to get a train to Manchester so I skipped out
at 8.30. Heck, I can get it next week. I don’t need to get it on the
first day. I am lying, of course. I imagined sitting here now, on this
train, playing with the beautiful, Gorilla-glassed, black, flat, shiny,
megapixelled, retina screened, FaceTiming, folders bespattered, slim and
gorgeous little beast.
It is a cult. It really is. Except I’m the one doing the love bombing. Weird.