When I got home yesterday, I started pulling things out of my damp purse, scolding myself for not taking a leather bag since it was pouring out. I set my phone on the bed. I noticed it acting weird right away. The Voice Control app launched itself several times. I tried texting a friend, but things would just open and close sporadically.
I tried restarting, but the weirdness continued, most notably with Voice Control popping up and asking me strange questions. Did you say “face time Aunt Peg?” I hit cancel. “Did you say call Dad?” Cancel again. “Did you say play music by The Cure?” OK sure.
Then I couldn’t click out of the iPod function to get back to the home screen. I was supposed to meet Quyn, so I turned to Gmail to finish making those plans. I couldn’t shut the phone off, but I figured if Voice Control kept popping up, the battery would eventually die. I didn’t want to bring the phone to the restaurant with me and have Voice Control start embarrassing me: “Did you say play ‘Little Mermaid’ soundtrack?” (It’s only on there for my niece, I swear!) “Did you say play voicemails on speaker?” No, cancel, cancel!
So, instead I put the phone on my bed and threw the comforter over it, so it wouldn’t pick up my roommate’s noise and interpret that as “Call the guy I broke up with yesterday. Then play “Little Mermaid” soundtrack.”
Thus began my first phone-free day. I got the restaurant before Quyn and sat at the table with nothing to play with while I waited. I got home and couldn’t text Courtney while streaming a show on my computer. I couldn’t check my to-do list or add something to my calendar. I reinstalled the operating system to no avail.
I wanted to call my parents to ask them if this had ever happened to their iPhones and if I could borrow “The West Wing” from them, but no phone, so I sent them an email and asked them to try me on Skype, if they were around. They were and they did.
I was getting ready for bed, then remembered my phone is my alarm clock. I asked my roommate, who happened to have an old travel alarm clock I could borrow. A couple times in the night, the phone woke itself and me up: “bleep, beep Voice Control. Did you say … .” Cancel!
But I missed my phone most in the morning. After my shower, I couldn’t stream NPR like I usually do to catch up on the headlines before heading out to run a news web page. I also like to check my email, bank accounts and the day’s weather before I go to work. I powered up the MacBook to do those things. But I was most concerned about losing a guy’s number since I hadn’t backed up since I added his info. We hadn’t exchanged email addresses, so I imagined myself waiting on his front step in Astoria until he came home. Meanwhile, he’d be like “Why’d Candace stop answering my texts? What’d I say?”
So I started off to work, and wanted to stop at the post office to mail a package, but couldn’t remember if the post office was on 51st or 52nd. Usually, I’d just look up the info, but not today. I’d have to guess, and I guessed right!
I turned the phone on a couple times because my co-workers were all late – train maintenance, they all said. But I couldn’t do anything except look for messages. Once Voice Control launched itself again, I turned it off and threw it in the drawer. I made an appointment with the Geniuses at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store.
About 20 minutes before my appointment, I decided to turn on my phone. It worked like a charm! As if it hadn’t been misbehaving the last 24 hours. I smiled. I couldn’t stay made at it. Thank you, sweet iPhone for coming back to life. I really didn’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars to replace you.