Family iPhone upgrade policy

My wife didn’t want an iPhone. All of her friends had those side-slider things with physical keyboards, and she was sure that she’d never get the hang of an onscreen keyboard, so we got her whatever side-slider AT&T had at the time. It was a pain to set up its home screen and menu system (it had a resistive touch screen) and after a couple of frustrating experiences, I refused to help her with the settings anymore. This sounds like the behavior of a jerk, and I won’t deny there was a bit of that, but the main reason I stopped helping her was that I couldn’t. I’d been using an iPhone for a couple of years by then, and I’d lost the ability to navigate the ass-backwards settings of normal phones. My older son took over phone support.

This spring the side-slider died. We had an older phone not being used sitting in a drawer, so I pulled it out, performed the SIM transplant, and got her back online again. There’d be a new iPhone coming out in June, I told her—she’d softened to the idea of an iPhone by then—so you just have to get through these next couple of months. Right…

So Apple screwed me over on that one, and my in-house reputation as an Apple expert has taken a severe hit. But today—or in a couple of weeks, whenever the new thing is released—that will be over. There is still a lingering question, though: who gets the new phone?

Normally I would get the new phone because it means more to me and because I would get more use out of it. This time, though, I’m not so sure. There’s no question I would make better use of the speed increase that’ll come with the A5 processor and the expected extra RAM, but my wife’d get a lot more out of the rumored voice recognition, especially if it smoothed her transition to an onscreen keyboard.

I’d think she’d be the bigger beneficiary of iCloud syncing, too. I’ve been syncing by wire for ages, and it doesn’t bother me. I’m still not sure, though, how we’re going to use iCloud. Our music was bought under a single iTunes account, and we’re certainly going to want to share that, but we’re probably not going to want to share contacts, calendars (other than maybe the kids’ sports calendars), or files. Shortly after people started beta testing iCloud, there were articles about how to handle this situation, and I bookmarked a few of them; I guess I have some studying to do.

The family upgrade policy should become clearer in a few hours.