Getting It

October 11, 2012

Last week as I was crossing a street on my way home from the grocery store, I noticed a phone on the street. The phone was a Galaxy Nexus, and to be a good citizen, I picked up the phone and decided to call its owner or one of his friends or family members to organize a return. So I walked far enough away from the road to where I could be heard over driving cars, and I set out to make the call. Little did I know it wouldn’t be that simple.

Just waking the Galaxy Nexus from sleep was confusing to me. It was kind of dark outside and so I followed my instincts and reached for the top of the phone for the on/off button, only to find that it wasn’t there! There wasn’t a Home button either, so that was out of the question. I felt my way around the phone and found buttons on both the right and left sides that felt the same. After initially pressing the volume buttons, I pressed the on/off button on the right side of the phone, and boom, the huge screen lit up!

Contrast with the iPhone, which has a single rectangular on/off button at the top off the phone, directly opposite of the charging port at the bottom. The iPhone also has a Home button on the front of the phone right underneath the display, which acts to wake the phone from sleep among other things. It makes sense for the on/off button to be opposite the charging port, and aside from that, every physical button on the phone has a unique shape to denote utility. But anyway, back to the story…

I successfully got the Galaxy Nexus’s display to turn on! Unfortunately figuring out to unlock it proved to be more difficult than just waking it from sleep. A little padlock icon appeared on screen, which had me thinking it was password protected and I almost gave up right there. But I tapped and held the padlock anyway, and three icons appeared around it, leaving me clueless. I turned the screen on and off a couple of times, and eventually figured out that the padlock moves with my finger when dragged, so I dragged it to the phone icon. Success!

Feeling accomplished having woken from sleep and unlocked a Galaxy Nexus for the first time, I proceeded to call its owner’s wife. One thing led to another and the phone and its owner were reunited, and everybody lived happily ever after. I felt like quite the dunce though, good deed notwithstanding.

I remember the day that I purchased my first iPod touch. It was just another day in Fall 2007. An Apple Store neighbors the movie theater I used to work at, and with nothing to do during my 45 minute break, I walked into the Apple Store and purchased a 16 GB first gen iPod touch. To date it’s my largest impulse buy, and one of my most valued. When I got home later that evening, I activated my iPod touch and was greeted by something which would prove significant over time: A little visual cue on the lock screen which states “slide to unlock”.

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