2012-10-08 15:56:50

The Apple Experiment: Lowering Expectations

After days of struggling with the account creation, I had to realize that I could simply not have an iCloud account. The Windows toolbar, which was my last, best hope for a clean iCloud account, could not create them, only log in to them. So I had to create an Apple ID based on my current Google Apps mail address. After opening Mail, I could then finally create my iCloud address, but the account was tied to my Google Apps mail account.

But at least I could finally start using the iPhone. I connected it to the wireless (I was in a different place now) which worked just as nicely as you would expect. Except the keyboard is a bit quirky because, unlike the Hacker Keyboard on Android, it doesn't come with number keys or symbols without first switching to some different mode. If you have complicated passwords, this can be very time-consuming.

Come to the iTunes store (if you can)

I then went on to install various apps on the phone. The App Store suggested a number of usefull apps from Apple which I should install by all means. In order to do that, though, I first had to sign my Apple ID up with the iTunes store. This procedure involved giving my home address, credit card and phone number and verifying some mail I received in my Gmail (rather than the iCloud account, so I had to go back to my laptop to confirm my account creation).

While the iTunes store asked for a backup mail address, it complained when I entered my Google Apps address because even though this address would be the backup for my iCloud account, it was still associated with the Apple ID, so I had to enter a third, distinct mail address to satisfy the iTunes store.

Unfortunately it took me some time to find my home phone number and by the time I had it ready, the screen lock had kicked in. I unlocked the screen and found that this going into the screen lock had closed the iTunes account creation wizzard and I was staring at the regular start page of the App Store. The advertisement for the useful Apple apps was gone for good, I couldn't find it anymore. So I decided to install an app and was asked to type all the iTunes account details in again.

Luckily, I made it on time this round so I didn't have to repeat the process. Now I was finally able to install the free DB Navigator app I required for my trip to Hamburg the next day. Then I tried to install the SBB app and was asked to come up with 3 security questions and their answers. All of the questions were completely useless and could be figured out easily by anyone with enough knowledge of my life. Like, what was the first rock concert you ever went to? Really?

Then I had to find the SBB app again and tell the App Store one more time to install it. Luckily, it didn't have any further questions and just fulfilled my request.

Big Podcast disappointment

I then found, installed and launched the Podcast app. Since I was going to Hamburg the next day, I would want something to listen to while traveling. The Podcast app contained a slightly sorted list of completely random podcasts, but it appears that the collection was big enough that I could find some interesting ones by searching for a bit. I added them to my list and one of them started playing immediately and rather loudly, which earned me some slightly embarassing stares.

I then set the alarm clock and went to bed, attaching the phone to the charger for the first time since its recent repairs. On the next morning, I was woken up by my esteamed phone at the right time. However, the battery was still at a relatively low rate. It had not been charged over night, again. It seems I will have to send the phone in for repairs another time.

I caught the bus to the station and boarded the train to Hamburg. I made sure to take my Sennheiser phones with me on the train so that I could listen to some of the podcasts I had selected the previous day. When I was looking through the list, all of the episodes were gray. It turned out that the default setting was not to download them ahead of time for you to listen, but to let you do that manually. (At the same time, the default setting would download them only on wifi, not on 3G when you're someplace outside).

Unfortunately, I was in a foreign country (Germany), so I couldn't download the episodes from the train. Also, consdidering how full the 3G network in Zurich is during commuting times, I would expect most people to have difficulties doing that in the first place. I reconfigured the Podcast app and continued my trip without anything to listen to.

So I wonder, will I be able to get along with this phone? I haven't yet found any offline street maps for Germany, like OpenStreetMap (OSMAnd) for Android. Also, will I ever have a phone which works for more than a few days, until the battery is drained and cannot be recharged again?

Read more about this in the next episodeā€¦

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