FaceTime Family

My mom’s mobile phone had finally thrown in the towel.
A week ago here in Germany, the Deutsche Telekom had lost exclusivity for selling the iPhone 4. They now can be bought on contract from Vodafone and O2 and without net- or provider-lock from many other sources.
After the last Apple keynote, FaceTime for Mac had come out in beta form.
Need I say more?

This is bizarre!

This is bizarre!



Said my son when I facetimed (It’s gonna be verbed anyway, so let’s give in!) him the hex keyword two floors down in order that he could join my parent’s WLAN on his Android smartphone. While photographing the scene on my MacBook Air’s screen. While he was doing his best to get a halo from the living room ceiling lamp with my mom’s new iPhone lying on the dining table. Yes, I thought it was bizarre, too.
By the way, this iPhone buying experience was much more satisfying than getting my own iPhone 4. Vodafone had the iPhones in store, absolutely no waiting, and the contract was more taylored to the use my mom will get out of it. On the other hand, there’s no Voicemail on the phone as with Deutsche Telekom, that tab in the phone app leads to calling the usual mobilebox, the network’s answering machine. Perhaps Vodafone will roll it out later.
iPhone 4 at my mom's workstation

iPhone 4 at my mom's workstation


And does my mom like it? Yes, very much so. She loves the design, the form factor and the sharpness of the Retina Display screen. On her contract, she even has two weeks abroad with no extra cost. This will come in handy when she visits her friend on Tenerife.
There are some newbie difficulties though. First and foremost of them was reliably triggering touch events and typing on the virtual keyboard. Long fingernails don’t help with that! The concept of apps, navigation with swipes, the home button, table views and back buttons were easily understood. Perhaps it helped that I had introduced her to computers and the net on a Palm IIIe some years ago.
And there’s one more social difficulty resulting from the introduction of the second iPhone to my family. Now my dad’s a bit miffed that she knows more about a computer thingy than he does. 😉

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