Once again, this morning I found myself transfixed before my MacBook Pro, glued to Engadget's live blog of a Steve Jobs presentation of Apple's newest must-have techno-wonder.
The iPhone 4.
And this time it truly is a must-have for me. I was strongly attracted to the iPad when Jobs revealed its appealing features, but after the show was over I was left with a nagging feeling of "cool toy, yet what would I do with it that I can't already?"
Different reaction to the iPhone 4, for sure.
Currently I have an iPhone 3G which can't even capture video (unlike the 3Gs, a later model.) So when Jobs talked about how the iPhone 4 takes HD video and comes with a version of iMovie, so my video creations can be edited on the spot and uploaded to You Tube, or wherever, I was sold.
The video chat ability, courtesy of the iPhone 4's front-facing camera also was way wow.
OK, it's a limited "wow" at the moment, given that you can only chat with someone who also has an iPhone 4, and only via wi-fi (not a cellular connection, undoubtedly owing to AT&T''s crappy capabilities), but the prospect for sharing events with friends or family by means of the back-facing camera is another reason for iPhone 4 lust.
Which explains why I kept checking to see if AT&T had added them to their upgrade options after the iPhone 4 rollout had been completed.
I got Twitterly excited when the wireless area of the AT&T web site was down for "maintenance," but maybe this was true -- since when it came back up there was no mention of the iPhone 4. The good news is that my wife and I qualify for early iPhone upgrades, even though our two-year contracts aren't up for quite a while.
On the down side, AT&T is going to charge for the long-awaited tethering capability on the iPhone 4 (meaning, I can plug it into my laptop and connect to the Internet via a cellular connection -- no need for wi-fi when I'm out and about). This doesn't seem fair, since it shouldn't make any difference what device someone is using to access their AT&T cellular services.
This minor quibble doesn't have any bearing on the main theme of this post: I'm about to achieve perfect happiness! All I need is an iPhone 4, and my days will be sunny, worry free, and blissful forever. (Well, until I die, but that's "forever" enough for me.)
I feel that the iPad was a test of my Apple faith, a little bump in the road on the path that is leading me to an eventual surrendering of my life completely to Steve Jobs and all things Apple'ish.
Happiness isn't complicated. Today I simply felt good that the iPhone 4 and I will have an intimate relationship before too long (pre-orders start June 14, and they're available June 24, so AT&T upgrades should be possible before then).
Jeez, here I am, sixty years old, and only now realizing that I've had it wrong for most of my philosophically-inclined life: notwithstanding the oft-heard adage, money really can buy happiness.
I know this, because I've become increasingly blissful the more dollars I send in Apple's direction.
For an iPod Touch. Then a MacBook Pro. Followed by an iPhone. Then my wife's iMac. And shortly a much-improved iPhone. With each swipe of my VISA card, my life becomes more satisfying.
I can only assume that the trend will continue, until -- praise be the day! -- every aspect of my existence has been embraced by the comforting presence of the most dependable entity I know: Apple.
Of course, I'm not alone in my worshipful stance. There's a Church of the Apple Mind. Plus the Cult of Mac. And this family shows in their video why the Church of Apple makes more sense than Catholicism.
Apple, though, does its own best evangelizing. In the promo video for the iPhone 4 we learn that this isn't just another technological device, it's going to "have a lasting impact on the way we connect with each other."
Amen to that. See and believe.