By now the iPhone 6, named for the six mile line of customers waiting to purchase it, has hit Apple stores around the country. And, as with previous versions, I am watching from the sidelines, unwilling to convert until someone confirms the presence of the only feature that I feel matters on a new phone.
Based on the September 9 launch event, I honestly thought this would be the version I had waited for. On a side note, why does an iPhone launch generate such buzz? The average supermarket is full of new and improved products that nobody ever hears about. Earlier this year Milk-Bone introduced a new trail mix for dogs, yet the announcement did not include leaked photos and rumors, both of which permeated the run up to the iPhone 6 unveiling. It also didn't include a surprise appearance by U2. This, despite the fact that the new Milk-Bone morsel contains, according to its website, a combination of REAL BEEF, SWEET POTATOES AND CRUNCHY TREATS! Don't Bono or the Edge own dogs?
I watched Apple CEO Tim Cook gush over the iPhone's larger screen, more robust camera and mobile payment feature. Then it was over. And I am still left wondering if the iPhone 6 can pass...the toilet test.
Specifically, will the phone work after being dropped in a toilet?
I own a two-year-old Android phone. I will not reveal its specific make, model or version for I do not want angry engineers from Apple to contact me and badmouth it ("Yeah, but does it have a barometer function that senses your current elevation? Ours does!"). I will also not go into great detail about what I was doing when the phone ended up in a porcelain bowl. I will say that the phone was submerged only in water.
The first incident occurred in a friend's New York City apartment. One minute I was scrolling emails, the next I was sticking my hand in the bowl and cursing how dumb it is to read emails while in the bathroom. The phone was underwater for two seconds max. I quickly and lovingly toweled it off, apologized to it, checked my favorite apps and was amazed to see that everything seemed intact. Like a first time philandering spouse, I swore I would never, EVER use my phone in the bathroom again.
Bad habits die hard, as I discovered six months later. The scene? My dentist's office. Breaking my own vow, I decided to use the facilities before settling in for an afternoon of oral discomfort. My fingers failed me again, only this time the phone did two full revolutions midair before belly flopping into the bowl, where it remained for a good 10 seconds. I fished it out, returned to the waiting room and, upon surveying the moisture, was convinced I would be making a mad dash to the phone store, still numb from Novocain, and say, "Some ting is wee wee wong wit dis phwone." Anybody whose phone has ever made contact with water knows that the No. 1 mistake is to admit it. Better to just hand it to a technician and play dumb -- even if a small mouth bass swims out when the case is opened.
The phone appeared lifeless; Wi-Fi was nonexistent, I couldn't make outgoing calls and all ring tones were silenced. Still I removed the battery, wiped it dry, replaced it and hoped for the best. To my amazement, all the features returned, albeit slowly. From what I've heard, iPhones tend to disintegrate if you text too hard.
So Mr. Cook, I'm sorry, but I will not be converting until you tell me the iPhone 6 is water-resistant, or until U2 confirms it in a song. And as for your other cool release, the iWatch, count me out for that, too. For the next time I have to plunge my hand into a toilet bowl, it's best if I'm not wearing anything on my wrist.
(c) 2014 GREG SCHWEM. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC