Slippery when Apple

When I got my first iPhone, I bought a case for it within a week or so. The aluminum back of the original iPhone felt cool and slippery to me, and I was sure it’d fall out of my hand someday. The case was less to protect the phone if I dropped it than to keep me from dropping it in the first place. The warm plastic of the case felt more secure in my hand.

I lot of people say the iPhone 4 and 4S are slippery, but they’ve never seemed that way to me—at least not in my hand. The glass isn’t quite as tacky to my fingers as the plastic case was, but I’ve never been nervous about it squirting out of my hand as I put it in or take it out of my pocket. So I’ve decided to keep my 4 uncased.

One place where the iPhone 4 is slippery, though, is my lap. Whenever I’m sitting somewhere that doesn’t have a table or desk, and I need to set my phone down on my lap to get at something else, the phone never stays still. It always tries to slide off my leg, and I’ve often looked like a fool in airport waiting areas, suddenly pulling my feet up and clamping my legs together to keep the phone from skating off onto the floor. Fortunately, I’m old enough to know that nobody really dies of embarrassment.

The texture of my MacBook Air (late 2010 edition) makes me nervous for two reasons. First, the aluminum body has that same cool feel that the back of the original iPhone had. There’s just something about it that puts me in mind of a fish or a wet ice cube. Whenever I have to pick it up with one hand, I squeeze extra hard.

Worse than the aluminum shell are the four hard plastic feet. When it was new, the Air would slide across a wooden desk like a hovercraft. I thought about buying some rubber stick-on feet, but the ones I saw were meant to be attached to flat surfaces, not the partial spheres on the bottom of the Air. So I did nothing and hoped that age and use would roughen up the feet and keep it from sliding so easily.

Which it has, sort of. The Air is now about a year old, and it isn’t nearly as skittish as it used to be. But it’ll still start to slip down my Bräda laptop desk if it I tilt it far enough.

Ikea Bräda laptop desk

The price of elegance is eternal vigilance.