Bring In The New...

Collectively, we have entered a new decade this week, but personally, I have entered a new era of my own. Over the weekend, while I was visiting my parents, I took the opportunity to cash in on the last of my Christmas presents -- an iPhone.

Despite being a dedicated Mac enthusiast, I had resisted the iPhone for quite some time. For one thing, I was concerned that I would get one just in time for Apple to release a new version, which was what happened when I became an early adopter of the iPod. I had the second generation iPod, only to have the click-wheel generation be released a month or so later. Mostly, however, I was resistant to the additional $30 charge on my monthly AT&T bill for the iPhone data plan.With my salary, it was not an expense I could easily justify, especially considering the paltry volume of email I receive. I'm just not somebody who needs to be constantly in touch.

Still, the iPhone was undoubtedly appealing. It would be a godsend to have internet access on the go, and be able to stand at the bus stop and check the CTA's Bus Tracker system to find out how much longer I would have to wait. It would also be great to be able to check a map when I have a moment of panic en route to somewhere I've never been before (I have a huge irrational fear of getting lost). Plus, I would be able to consolidate my iPod and my phone, and carry just one device, which would help lighten the burden that I carry around on my shoulder all day. There would definitely be perks to having an iPhone.

So, after hemming and hawing for the past three years (I also pondered getting one when they first became available), and with my cellular plan up for renewal, my parents decided to intercede and give me an iPhone for Christmas, along with a one-time lump-sum payment to cover the additional expense of the data plan. Well, that is to say that they told me that they would go with me to the store and buy me one (they didn't actually go out and buy it, wrap it, and give it to me as a gift, since they didn't know which one I wanted.)

Since I was home over the weekend, we headed to Best Buy to seal the deal. I ended up with a swank 16GB iPhone 3GS (I couldn't foresee myself needing the 32GB version, considering the minute fraction of my iPod's storage capacity I actually utilize.) I came home, fitted it with an Invisible Shield screen protector (which was much more difficult to install than I had originally anticipated, but at least I managed to get it on without any air bubbles) and an Incase rubber skin, and was good to go.

I must say, the smartphone experience is pretty addicting. Having Bus Tracker at my fingertips is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to my daily commute, short of getting rides to and from the office from family and friends. I downloaded a couple of fun games -- DoodleJump and Tetris, which have quickened the pace of the solitary lunches I have been eating this week while my friend Natasha is out sick. I'm sure that I'll find more apps to download when the need arises, but for now, I'm pretty pleased with my new device. Thanks Mom and Dad!

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