The name’s Fox, Michael J. Fox

If memory or Wikipedia entries serve correct, the 1980s were much more totally righteous than the 70s. I was born as Vietnam was winding down imploding to a halt, Tricky Dick was stealing the letters from G. Gordon Liddy’s first name, OPEC hosed us by turning off the oil spigot and Jimmy Carter was flushing the can-do spirit of the free world down the peanut hole. By comparison, the 80s saw me going from third grader to high school senior; Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II kicking commie arse all over the Warsaw Pact; Bill Cosby’s sweaters; and a show called Family Ties starring a scrappy little Canadian named Michael J. Fox.

All was right with the world.

Assuming, of course, you didn’t mind being asked by children with underdeveloped senses of humor if you were related to said Michael J. at least 18 times fortnightly. At the time, I found it a tad oppressive. It wasn’t until the late 80s when the tide shifted to catcalls of "Hey, Doogie!" did I realize just how innocuous the MJF harassment really was.

Anyway, I say all that to say this: I feel a bit like my Canadian surnamesake today. For today is my first full day using the new iOS 4 on my iPhone 3GS. And until all my apps are updated to properly utilize task switching multitasking, the biggest new feature I’m using is FOLDERS. So yes, I’m like Michael J. "Marty McFly" Fox in Back to the Future, which came out in 1984—the same year as the Mac. Finally using folders on an iPhone 26 years after the appearance of Apple’s first GUI for the masses.

But I don’t care. I love my folders. I’ve gone from 11 screens of apps to two. TWO! It doesn’t look quite as elegant as all the individual apps, but maybe Jobs will someday unlock the power of custom icons for folders to make them purtier. You know, like we used to do in System 7.

In other updates to the iPhone OS, we have such groundbreaking features as: a soft orientation lock that only works in portrait mode; an updated Mail program with threading, a unified inbox, and (still) a complete lack of a "mark all read" function; a 5X digital zoom on the camera for enhanced noise; touch-to-focus while taking video (hey, actually useful); custom wallpapers for the home screen; iBooks for extra squinting time (curse you, iPhone 4 owners with your superfine Retina displays); and more.

Okay, so the big update doesn’t really seem so big at the moment. As alluded to earlier, developers will have to take advantage of all the new APIs to really make iOS 4 sing. Things like local notifications require updates. Which require approval from Apple. Which tends to be capricious and random. While several of my apps have already been update to 4.0 compatibility, most have not. In fact, the new Facebook app that just came out last week actually crashes more under 4.0. But I expect that from Facebook because their programming always blows. I sincerely hope Navigon updates their navigation app pronto since they’ve been harping about how cool it will be to take a call while driving and still be able to hear the voice prompts. Also, I like downloading 1.6GB updates over 802.11g.

So those are my thoughts. All in all, I realize this is an important update. One that would be even more superspecial if 1) all my apps were already 4.0 aware and 2) I were using it on an iPhone 4. Sigh.

Oh well, at least I didn’t almost take my mom to the prom like Michael J. That’s just creepy, yo.

Later,

Fox

Comments closed
    • riviera74
    • 9 years ago

    Back to the Future was released in ’85, not ’84.

    §[< http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088763/<]§

      • Jason_Fox
      • 9 years ago

      Dude, if you can remember the 80s, you weren’t there. Wait, that’s not right…

    • JdL
    • 9 years ago

    Don’t forget tethering support from AT&T finally.

    • Fighterpilot
    • 9 years ago

    If it can identify where you are it can also show where you’ve been.
    Over time and overlaid with Google Maps its a little intrusive I think.
    Looks like its going to be Apple that morphs into SkyNet not Google after all.
    This nicely lays the foundation for the machines to track all the humans :))

    • crazybus
    • 9 years ago

    iBooks is ridiculously sluggish. It takes a full 15 seconds to simply rotate orientation. I think I’ll stick with Stanza for now.

    The interface with the Alpine receiver in my car is also extremely sluggish now too. Scrolling through Artists/Albums takes forever. I hope they can fix that.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 9 years ago

    I have to ask, but do you use your cell phone to I don’t know make phone calls? 11 screens of apps? wow.

      • Jason_Fox
      • 9 years ago

      Yep, 11 screens. Granted, most were apps I only use on occasion; but since I had the room, why delete them? Now folders lets me group those apps accordingly.

      Yes, many calls. But I’m no teenaged girl. Actually, teenaged girls never talk, they text.

      Also, I refrained from using a really good bathroom joke in this reply.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      The article seems to think Google is benevolent, which kind of kills it for me. I just can’t seem get worked up. Seems pretty innocuous though:

      To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.

      Some location-based services offered by Apple, such as the MobileMe

        • xtremevarun
        • 9 years ago

        But stopping you from using apps or iTunes if you don’t say yes to that tracking, that’s kinda ‘very’ hard to swallow.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 9 years ago

        Hmm did you read the article? If you opt out of tracking you i[

    • Xenolith
    • 9 years ago

    I have an ipod 2g… no multi-tasking for me. Hopefully a jailbreak will take me to this promised land.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    OK stupid question – am I supposed to be able to change the black background that’s on my app home screen? That’s what I assumed the wallpaper was; I’ve been able to set a “wallpaper” for my lock screen as long as I’ve had my iPod, so that can’t possibly be what’s new can it?

    • cygnus1
    • 9 years ago

    Pandora background streaming is pretty slick too. Overdue, but still slick.

    I’ve gone down to 2 screens worth of apps as well. I don’t think I was anywhere near 11 though, I think I only had 6 or 7.

    Another nice feature is that the settings app is now backgrounding. So if you leave at the wifi screen, it’ll be there if you bring it back up. That’s kind of nice because I turn it off and on quite a bit to save battery power and/or avoid the monitored wifi at work.

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