My last post was several weeks ago, about my disappointment with Apple. In the spirit of fairness, I must update that story.
Rather inexplicably to me, that post went, in a small way, viral. (I suppose that explains the trolling the post was getting, which at the time to me came completely out of the blue.) It must have showed up on some Mac message boards, and eventually got forwarded to people in Apple administration. Kudos to Apple that they thought the situation warranted contacting me; a few days after the post (early December) I received a response to my initial e-mail from early October. The e-mail was not from somebody in the accessibility team, to whom I had initially reached out, but from somebody on the customer relations team.
Over the next several days, I spoke at length with a helpful, professional, kind Apple customer relations employee. She was as helpful as one could reasonably be under the circumstances. She asked me what I really wanted at this point, and I told her that primarily what I'd just wanted was the opportunity to buy an iPhone. She helped me through the process and made it as painless -- as it were -- as possible. The only other thing I wanted, I told her, was the knowledge that Apple was receiving my feedback about the difficulty of using the iPhone from the point of view of this one mobility impaired user. She assured me that my e-mail to the accessibility mailing list going unread was an unfortunate fluke.
Only time will tell if any of that was true. I've been saying since this new iPhone came that I wasn't sure if I was going to keep it, but I've tested my way all the way through my window of being able to decide to send it back, so I guess I've decided to keep it. Today I'll be putting together an e-mail for the accessibility group of questions, bug reports, and feature requests. That e-mail, again, is only from the point of view of this one mobility impaired user. I will also post those here, not in the spirit of complaint, but in the spirit of sharing with interested people about the different ways some people use devices.
I'm still really unsure about this phone. I've been at a pretty steady pain level since I got it, because there really is no way to use it without hurting myself. All of the accessibility features make it possible for me to use it, but not painless. Common sense would dictate that if a device is painful for me to use, I shouldn't use it, but there does seem to be a genuine utility to having a smartphone. I survived fine without a cell phone for years, but I will admit that NextBus is something of a killer app.
I can't shake the feeling that I'm making a foolish decision.
...Except that there's this vain hope, this little spark within me, that maybe my experience means I am actually more likely to be listened to by Apple when I send them my list of feature requests, and maybe by using this device I can improve the experience of using handheld devices for all people with mobility impairments. Or at least the people whose mobility impairments are similar to mine.
Anyway, again. I want to say thank you to Apple for responding to my complaint about being nibbled to death by inaccessible ducks with the courteous and professional handholding I received. I wish my initial inquiry had received a response, but I'm willing to accept for now that the situation was a fluke. Like I said, only time will tell.
I'm leaving comments closed on this post as well, because I'm going to link to it, in the spirit of fairness, from the prior post. That post is still generating hits, and I'm an extremely conflict-avoidant person. I don't want the trolls to follow the link and leave comments here.