Monday, October 8, 2012

I met my match - my iPhone 5

Good morning, driving to Office, very cold out here, -2 degree C”, was the message I dictated to Siri this morning while driving to office to respond to a friend’s message on “Whats app Messenger

No matter what the World thinks and competitors say about Apple, truth is that Apple still has the lead when it comes to sales and customer pull. I don't want to sound like an Apple fan because I am not a true Apple fan except the fact that I am an owner of iPhone for last 5 years, but it’s true.
Despite the fact that Apple was criticized for its taller and not wider design, flaky maps and what not, one fact that still remains on top of all is that Apple broke yet another record of selling its new iPhone 5, the 6th generation iPhone.

For the last 3 years I was planning to let go my 2nd generation iPhone, iPhone 3G because with every day passing by, it was getting worse and worse with its speed, performance and space. But every time a new iPhone came out, for some or the other reason, I failed to buy it. On my 1st upgrade cycle, one of my relatives wanted to have an iPhone, so I upgraded my line and gave the new phone to him. I was stuck in another 2 year cycle of contract with old phone but it wasn't that bad until few months ago.

Lately, my phone started telling me that I am aging now and you need to find another partner. This reminds me of the starting line of the iPhone ad in which Jony Ive, Sr. Vice President Design says, “when you think about your iPhone, it’s probably the object that you use most in your life, it’s the product that you have with you, all the time”. For me, it truly is the thing with me 24x7, besides Internet of course. I still remember my first day when I unwrapped my iPhone 3G on March 28th 2008 gifted by my brother and sister in law. I was shocked and my half-wife sitting by my side was thrilled to see me surprised. My first call was to my brother to thank him for such a wonderful gift and I said “main kya karunga yaar is phone ka, mujhe normal sa phone hi bahut hai, all I need is a device that can call and get calls” (translation: what will I do with this phone, I just need a simple easy phone that can dial and get calls) and he laughed and said, keep it and my sister in law said, I’ll ask you after 2 days if you need it or not. It’s been 5 years and I am still with iPhone. I won’t say it changed my Life but It truly changed a lot around me.

I waited for quite some time to make up my mind and go for a new phone and this September when Apple launched its new iPhone, I knew I was going to buy it. All started with pre-ordering the phone at AT&T website and getting my phone shipped to Virginia where my brother lives as my line is registered to his address. Phone was shipped last week and I was informed about it on time. I couldn’t wait to hold it and play with it but I had to for 7 more days until my brother and I meet in Boston. Last Saturday, finally the moment came when I did the ceremony of unboxing the phone again but this time with my family by my side. The moment Apple Logo flashed on the phone, I knew I met my match. Perhaps God made matches in heaven; mine was made by Apple at Cupertino, California and assembled in China that travelled from Virginia to Boston to finally embrace me and live with me in Chicago.

As usual there were several debates amongst our family on iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III, Android vs. iOS but am glad that I wasn't cornered this time in minority. The key players were strong on Android side but iOS didn't lose its ground. Now when I have my own toy in my hand and I've had good chance to play around with it for 2 days, I think I won’t regret upon my decision. Not that Samsung is not good, it may be better than iPhone 5 in many aspects but for me, it is a worth upgrade and money paid for good. There was a time when I used to launch apps on my iPhone 3G and would stare at the screen for more than a minute for the app to show up or in some cases to know that app crashed and now the app launches and is ready to use even before I realize that it’s up and running. It’s funny but when I installed “Words With Friends” on my new phone and launched it, the app came up so quick that I forgot that I was on new phone and I was still staring at the screen thinking that it is still loading. Same happened when I first loaded my blog on the newly designed Safari. It loaded with lightening fast speed on LTE (Long Term Evolution). I couldn't believe that my phone could be so fast. My first reaction to that was “Wuhoo, this is Super Sonic" and I showed it to my brother and my elder nephew came running to me asking show me Super Sonic speed (he’s just 6 and learnt this new word from one of his school friends few days ago). My sister in law said she should have recorded the entire episodic event of “Me meeting my iPhone 5” coz’ I was thrilled like a baby with glitter and shine in my eyes.

Well, the thing is, for me and for all those who have an old phone, no matter an iPhone or a Samsung or some other smart phone, upgrading to iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S-III would really be a journey from Earth to Mars but if you already own an iPhone 4 or 4S or a recent edition of Samsung S series or other equivalent smart phone, upgrading to iPhone 5 probably makes no sense.

I am so far satisfied with my new Toy, my partner in crime, my iPhone 5.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Art Competition - A Fun Family Event

Sometimes I wonder what a Family I have got. Don't take me wrong, nothing bad about it. On the contrary, I am a part of a crazy but amazing family. As back as I can remember in my life, all my vacations have had something really unique about them. We all siblings have done uncountable naughty things, spit fruit seeds on people walking on streets from home terrace, eve teasing, troubling neighbors, bunking primary school classes, flirting with opposite sex in young, very young age, blowing fire crackers in people's backyard, you name it and one of us probably did in one or the other way.

I still remember how our daily exercise of washing terrace with water used to turn into water Holi every single evening at our grand parents house and how annoyed our elders used to get. All those creative games, 1 minute game shows, fashion shows that we used to organize on top of our terrace, kite flying, playing cricket across terraces were few of the daily activities of our summer and Diwali vacations.

As we grew old and got busy with studies and careers and families, all these things took back seat and we kind of forgot that how much fun we used to do when we were young, not that we are not young now but when we had all energy and no tensions and worries.

Something magical happened last month and thanks to today's great Technology, we all family members once again came close to each other virtually from all around the globe and not just close but like 24x7. Being everyone in different time zone, someone was always awake and free to ping others. We all created and joined our own family group on Whatsapp and shared all sorts of stuff, jokes, breaking news, gossips, recipes and what not.

And from this 24x7 live networking came the idea of resurrecting the long forgotten family activities. One thing that I never mentioned anyone is that every member in my family has got some kind of artistic skill, not to boast about it as I am sure every family and its members has unique abilities. We have awesome cooks (some self made and some professionally educated), superb artists (very few but most of them including me keep trying our hands with colors) and some are amazing writers, orators, poets and guides.

We revived our lost spirits with an art competition and gave everyone a month to come up with something. For adults, the topic was Kashmir and for kids of all ages was their Super Hero. We never expected what would be the outcome of this initiative but every second day one or the other family member kept reminding the group about the deadline. Some had sleepless nights and some probably even took anti-anxiety pills and the last day crossed the limits of excitement when I had to reach out to everyone so many times reminding them that the Deadline of Sep 30 ended few hours ago but me being on US time zone, everyone was allowed late submission. What an amazing day it was. We had quite some creative skills display. Winning or losing was not the motto of the competition, the goal was to bring everyone back to the same page which we forgot to turn long ago and I am glad that most of us participated in high spirits and best part is that everyone enjoyed it.

Now we all are looking forward for the next fun idea and who would come up with. I guess, next in the line would be poetry or something related to writing and I am sure if that is the agenda, we'll have a big competition as all big guns will also come down in the battle field.

Here is the outcome of the collaborative effort put in by all of us in our first joint event. Names of the creators are still unknown amongst us too, just to keep it to the hilt of excitement.