Burngate wrote:Today it seems to be a poor-quality camera, a typewriter with half its keys missing, a road atlas without an index, a poor-quality Encyclopedia Britanica, ... you name it.
Huh. My relatives are getting nice pictures of my nieces that they love and that they wouldn't be getting if my iPhone 6 didn't have a pretty decent camera and email app (the phone is always in my pocket, a DSLR and laptop are not), I find the keyboard quite workable for the size (and given that I'm not writing C or Perl code or using vi on it), I don't understand why I would want an index
to a map when I can literally ask the phone for spoken turn-by-turn directions to anywhere (if you want info on roadside amenities, Yelp is decent), and I find Wikipedia quite useful (one must question sources and sanity check information there, but of course that's true for _every_
source - and Wikipedia has been shown a number of times to be more up-to-date and accurate than some traditional encyclopedias) but if you really want, Encyclopædia Britannica has an app that will get you all their most up-to-date content (and I'd venture a guess that you never carry around the physical books "just in case").
I don't get the dislike for smartphones - people often use them too much, but that's a people problem, not a technology problem. The technology itself is astounding. I often reflect that, if I could take my iPhone back to my 12-year-old self, and explain what it can do, and the speed and capacity of the hardware therein, my 12-year-old self would be convinced that somehow the device was from several hundred years in the future - it far outclasses what Captain Kirk had available to him, which, back then, represented the far-flung future.
As to the keyboard limitations, I dealt with these a long time ago, by going into the keyboard shortcuts (Preferences, General, Keyboards, Text Replacement) and defining a handful of substitutions I can call upon as necessary:
"!bp" (bullet point) = •
"!fc" (Fahrenheit/Celsius) = °
"!uu" (unusual unicode) = ©®℗™°¢µ‽℅№§¶†‡·•‣¼½¾±×÷≠∞¬∴⌘⌥⌃⇧⏎↑→↓←■◆◇○●
The first two sequences get the two characters I find most irksome to be missing, the last I can always invoke and then grab the character(s) I want out of the middle, deleting the rest. (I have a few other shortcuts as well, for my usual username and email address and such, all chosen to trigger from sequences that'll basically never come up in normal text.) I also have an app on my phone
that allows one to look up any arbitrary unicode character one might desire.