The title of this blog could be the Six Days War, but I think that term has already been used in the Middle East. Because it was half price (a new one is coming out next week), I decided to take the plunge and buy an iPhone 5s. Here’s the report from the front lines:

Day 1:
Bought IPhone 5S from salesperson who didn’t know how to turn on the voiceover when we started. By the end he was excited about the possibilities as am I. My goal for today was learn to make a call on iPhone and I’ve done a couple. I also got the weather app to tell me about tomorrow’s weather. For the apps that involve much typing I’m going to wait for the speed dots which I ordered. They will give me some tactual orientation on the screen. So far so good. It stopped talking once but I toggled a switch and it started babbling again. I’m getting tired so better quit before I break it.

Day 2:
I woke up in the middle of a horrible dream about being totally lost in a graduate program in philosophy out east. Even I can figure out where the totally lost part of that dream came from. My Facebook friends sent lots of encouragement about tackling IPhones and one guy even sent links to tutorials.
I think my computer got jealous! I was reading on the Internet about the wonders of Siri and suddenly Internet Explorer wouldn’t work any more. Four hours later including a long session over the phone with the computer help desk at school and I have a new version of Internet Explorer which fixed the problem. After taking a nice walk between storms with Luna, I got back to work.
I sent myself a message, which Siri does fine, but she won’t delete the messages. It took me a while to paw around and find the delete button but I got the job done. I told her to find a recipe for baked corn fritters and she did nicely. I just told her to wake me in ten minutes, so we’ll find out how the alarm works. Tomorrow’s job is to skim an iPhone for seniors Bookshare book. Yes I can. The alarm rang and eventually stopped whether because I found and hit the delete button or because it got tired who knows.

Day 3:
My goal for today was to get so I could dictate to fill out forms instead of trying to type on their keyboard. Luckily I had to go to church and farmers’ market and cook corn for tomorrow’s brunch so I did accomplish something today. A neighbor figured out there was “dictate” as an option for messages and notes but not in apps like BARD and Newsline where I need it. A listserv of blind people got me two responses but their solutions didn’t work. Apple Care Support was closed by the time I called. I submitted the question on Applevis website. So all avenues were explored, but goal was not achieved.

Day 4:
I am making some progress today. Took my first two pictures, Luna’s hindquarters and a selfie that makes me look 100 pounds heavier mean and exhausted. That’s what fighting technology will do for you! No useful help from Applevis or listserv, just people saying “dictate” works for them. So I called Apple and talked to a pleasant woman who got to where she understood my question and then put me on hold for a half hour after which I hung up. While on hold I managed to get the dictate option to show up on Google search, but not on either of the blindness apps. Go figger!

Day 5:
Labor Day I labored a bit to use Newsline and WI Public Radio apps. Successfully enough to feel comfortable using them if I was away from my computer which is still easier to use. Then I did some practicing with the phone and message apps. Still a bit of panic when the phone rings to figure where to poke to answer. Then I signed up to receive emergency campus notifications by text. I think that will include storm notifications. Enough laboring for one day!

Day 6:
To check Verizon minutes and data usage, you have to have a second level of security created by picking an image (no link provided even if I knew what the image was to pick it). But under accessibility I did find a phone number where I could check usage. I asked Siri to check my usage and she said she couldn’t and corrected my pronunciation of Verizon. So now I’ve been corrected by Siri. I succeeded in downloading the Kindle app downloading a book and starting to read it. Whew! Buoyed by this success I signed into the BARD (books for the blind from NLS) app which thankfully one only has to key in email and password once to do.

So after six days, I can do what I want to do on the IPhone but often it’s slowly, very slowly. Now on to the next phase of learning, figuring out things to do where this technology will be a plus for me. That’ll involve trying a lot of apps and practicing tasks so they become easier and quicker. Siri and I aren’t best friends yet, but I do plan to go to that movie about a guy who falls in love with Siri, called “Her.”

Advertisements