Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Great Leap Forward

Well I did it.  I got an iPhone.

What happened was I had landed a gig at the top of the month, a weeklong documentary shoot. I don't like to discuss money but let's just say if I don't work again this month I'll still be financially A-OK.

So with this windfall, I took a look around, and realized I need to join the 21st century already. And let me tell you, it was a long time coming. I had been dealing with an obsolete clamshell piece-of-shit, but i could take and receive calls, and send and receive texts, which I thought was all I'd ever need.

Smartphones have become so prevalent on sets - and indeed, life in general - it's considered a tool people just assume you have.

There's always a pit in my stomach whenever I walk onto a set. That interminable feeling that I am woefully unprepared. And it's legitimate...undoubtedly I will be asked scan Yelp for a good restaurant, look up business hours, get the phone number for a store - things the GPS I have in my car cannot do. While I would be incapable of doing this work at all without the help of my GPS, it certainly has its limitations.

More and more often I've had to tell people, no, I can't look up restaurant menus, no, I can't check my email for the updated callsheet. And that's just bad form. And it stops people dead in their tracks. And their eyes widen as I show them the ancient fossil I keep in my pocket to stay connected to the outside world. And they shake their heads like an embarrassed parent as they gaze pitifully at the pathetic hunk of circuitry that has all the functionality of a grapefruit.

Well no more, I say!

So there it is...I got an iPhone.

Why an iPhone? Why not Android? Well, once in a blue moon, I am compelled to follow the crowd like a mindless sheep. And 90% of the phones used on sets I've been on are iPhones.

Plus, Apple makes it easy. If I wanted to go Android, I'd have to weigh the pros and cons of LG, Samsung, HTC, etc, and then a host of different models, Galaxy, Lumia, Atrix, Evo...I don't have time for that shit. What I like about Apple is they are to electronics what In-N-Out is to fast food. They keep it simple. One or two models in each line up. So choices are easy.

I paid the full $600 to get it unlocked and then chose a non-contractual $40/month plan from Virgin Mobile. Why? Well, the other option is pay $199 now and then get locked into a 2-year contract for $80/month or so with Sprint or ATT or Verizon. Do the math. After 2 years, I'll actually save $600 over the person who paid less upfront for a higher monthly obligation.

And that phone paid for itself the first week, saving my ass so many times. Plus now I can explore the wonders of a portable music player (I've never had an iPod before either).

I love this thing.