Thursday dawned, and I overslept. When I finally dragged myself out of bed (at around 9am), I checked the iPhone to see why the alarms I’d set the night before failed to wake me. That’s when I discovered my error: I had the clock on the iPhone set up to use the 12-hour clock, and when setting my alarm for 7am, I had actually set the alarm for 7pm! Not much I could do about it, so I got on with my morning routine and woke my stepson. Whilst he ate breakfast, I (as I do every morning) checked my BBM groups, reading through the messages I missed as I slept.
As an editor for UTB (as well as contributor), I am often asked to check unpublished articles both here and on UTBGeek.com before publishing them. Once published, I then add the post’s details to the relevant UTB BBM Channel (C0028049B for UTB Blogs; C0027BC67 for UTB Geek). This morning was no different; there were two published articles which needed adding to the Blogs Channel. A quick Google search led me to the login page for the BBM Channels Manager webpage, I logged in with my BBID and got to work.
For the uninitiated, channelling a post is relatively simple, but involves a bit of switching between browser tabs in order to copy and paste the article heading, a bit of flavour text, the article’s featured image and a link to the full article. My process is as follows: copy the URL of the article, tap-and-hold on the featured image and ‘Save Linked File’, switch to the Channels Manager, add the image and paste the link, return to the article to copy the title before pasting into Channels Manager, then finally return to the article to copy the flavour text, paste it into the body of the Channel Post, then hit Post.
With practice, I have managed to reach the point where I can regularly complete the above process (using the BlackBerry browser) in around a minute-and-a-half. Using the iPhone however, it took noticeably longer – and not just because of my inexperience with iOS.
iOS offers copy/cut-and-paste functionality much like that in BB10 – a press-and-hold on a word brings up a ‘magnifying lens’ which can be used to placed the caret, and a small menu pops up offering the option to select a word or the entire text. On selecting a word, it is highlighted (highlit?) with two draggable handles so you can change the selection, whereupon the small menu offers you the choice of copy, paste or ‘define’ (particularly useful on websites when encountering an unfamiliar word).
However, more than once I noticed that when I dragged the handles to resize the selection, the small menu failed to appear. This meant unhighlighting and reselecting the text (sometimes more than once) before I could copy it, and this inevitably increased the time it was taking to add a post to the Channel(s).
Eventually, I posted both articles to the Channel and while my stepson washed and dressed, I downloaded Twitter from the App Store, waited while it installed and then checked my feed.
After an hour or so’s shopping (in preparation for the sleepover we’d arranged with two of my stepson’s friends for Thursday night), I decided to start work on my next article (this one!), so I took the iPhone out and swiped across the screen to unlock it.
That’s when I realised I hadn’t put the iPhone on charge overnight – it’s battery meter read 3%. Out came the lightning cable (no generic USB-based cables here, folks!) and 5V 1A adaptor plug, and for the next couple of hours or so, I have to admit I joined the ranks of the “wallhuggers”, tethered to a power socket by a 1-metre cable while I typed (and re-typed) my draft.
By comparison, on the (thankfully rare) occasion that I have to charge my Passport, I use BlackBerry’s 5V 1.8A Folding Blade charger (as sold on shop.blackberry.com) which (when used in conjunction with a US-UK power adaptor) charges the Passport’s massive battery from under 10% to 100% in a little over an hour. Its 3-metre long cable allows me to sit comfortably on my sofa as it charges; the iPhone’s lightning cable offers just barely enough length for the iPhone to lay on the arm of the sofa while it charges.
Occasionally as I typed, I’d get a message notification from one or other of my BBM groups and I’d have to “iTask” in order to respond – double-tapping on the Home Button, tapping on the BBM app (which I kept running in the background, much as I do on my Passport), tapping out my (retyped and double-checked) message and sending it, double-tapping the Home Button and returning to Documents To Go and my draft article.
Finally, the iPhone reached a full charge.
I was free again!
I decided that if I was going to make this a fair test, I should download a game to play for a while. I opened up App Store and searched for the popular MMO strategy game Clash of Clans. Sure enough, there it was, and a tap and a (8-minute) wait later, I was happily playing whilst we waited for my stepson’s friends to arrive.
After an hour and a half or so of playing Clash, surfing the internet, responding to BBMs and generally just mucking about on the iPhone – at one point I was “iTasking” with 5 ‘open’ apps at once – I got a (somewhat expected) notification informing me that the iPhone’s battery had once again dipped below 20%, and it was time to charge it again.
It was at this moment that my stepson and his friends needed some assistance setting up their Minecraft game (I’m the “Technical Support” in my house), so I left the iPhone charging on the arm of the sofa while I helped out. When the boys were sorted, I returned to continue my Clans game.
And that is when disaster struck.
As I sat down on the sofa, I brushed against the iPhone (which as you will remember, I had left on the arm of the sofa) and it slipped off the sofa and onto the floor – a drop of just 23 inches (I checked!) onto carpeted wooden floor. As it fell my heart sank with it, and despite almost reaching it, I was unable to stop the iPhone impacting the floor, face down. Full of trepidation – we’ve all heard the stories of the fragility of iPhone screens – I reached down to retrieve the little glass-clad slab.
As it turned it over, my worst fears were confirmed: the glass over the screen was cracked and the digitiser only worked on half the screen. I could unlock the iPhone, and select some (but not all) of the apps and icons, but even on those I could open, I couldn’t see half the screen, and could interact with less than a quarter of it.
Realising that I had effectively just ruined my entire experiment with less than 48 hours on the clock, I picked up my Passport to inform the UTB BBM group about what has happened. I explained to them that I was concerned people would think I had broken the iPhone deliberately so I didn’t have to complete the full week; after some discussion (and if I’m honest, a fair amount of laughter from the group!), we reached a decision.
We owe it to our readers to be truthful. Therefore, the only thing to do is to let you, our readers, know what happened and how (as I have done, above). Obviously, the experiment cannot continue with the iPhone in its current state, and as it is out of warranty there is no point taking it to visit a ‘genius’ in an Apple Store. Therefore, I will purchase a replacement digitiser and screen as soon as I can afford it, make the repair myself and continue the experiment once the iPhone is fully functional again.
Just for the record, I’m actually really annoyed that the iPhone got broken, despite it happening accidentally. I had (and still have) every intention of completing a full week with it and promise that I will do so as soon as it is possible.
In the meantime, why not let us know your thoughts/opinions in the Comments below?