It should come as no surprise that I am not pre-ordering any of the new Apple products introduced last week – neither the iPhone 8 or 8-Plus, the iPhone X or the latest Apple watch that doesn’t have to be tethered to a phone in order to be used as one.

And by the way, as the big guy at Apple took pains to point out at the unveiling, the “X” in the iPhone X stands for the Roman numeral ten, so it is to be phonetically pronounced “iPhone ten” in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the iPhone. Do your own research on this and you’ll see why Apple thinks this is so cool.

My immediate question, of course, was what do they plan to do when they actually get to the real iPhone 10 (that would logically follow the iPhone 9)? Just skip over it and go straight to iPhone 11?

Because how confusing would that be, to call something a “ten” when there already has been one?

But I am obviously not the target audience for these latest and greatest offerings and I am certain these types of questions get no consideration. Curmudgeons like me don’t keep the marketing folks at Apple up at night. There are plenty of hipsters and techies who want these products, won’t ask silly questions and will pay — are you ready for this? — ONE THOUSAND SMACKERS for the tenth
anniversary commemorative phone.

That’s right. One thousand dollars for a telephone. Of course, at this point, you and I know it’s so much more. The “phone” part is becoming incidental.

You might have heard the iPhone X has facial recognition, meaning you only have to look at it in order to activate it. No more inconvenient pressing of the “home” button or having to slide something across the screen. You just take a look and presto, it’s on.

And even though this feature didn’t work when it was presented for the first time last week (and how awkward was that?), I’m sure that’s a kink that will be worked out by the time you pay your thousand bucks and get yours.

There is something called “augmented reality” which apparently all of these new phone versions have, where not only can you add an obnoxious “emoji” (I detest that non-word but it has, unfortunately, become common usage) to your text messages, but you’ll also be able to make it talk.

The real world and the virtual one are meeting head-on, and apparently there is a real demand for that.

There is also going to be wireless charging, which I actually find attractive, as the reason I had to replace my last phone was because the port into which the USB cord plugged for charging became “fried” (the term used by the high-powered green tee-shirt- wearing Apple Store employee after he looked at my phone for approximately 30 seconds following my two-hour wait — not that I’m bitter).

I currently own the iPhone 7, which is plenty advanced for me. It seems to track where I am in spite of my attempts to turn off “location services” and my reply of “no” each time it asks if it has permission to keep an eye on me.

It’s not like my life is that interesting, so I don’t know why in the world the folks in the control center of Apple are so concerned about my every move. As I wrote a few weeks ago, the phone seems to know where I’m going when I get in the car and tells me about how long it will take me to get there.

And now there’s even more. I recently noticed my pictures are sorted not only by date, but according to location. Shortly after returning from my recent vacation to Ireland, I was able to see a chronological slide show from it, set to music, with the word “Ireland” and the dates of my trip superimposed over the first frame. I can choose whether it’s short, medium or long in duration, and if I don’t like the music provided, I can change it.

I’m not complaining about this – in fact, it’s kind of cool. I was able to send it to the folks who went with me and give them the impression I put it together.
Which is totally not the case. It just appeared, as so many other features now seem to do.

I get these notices to upgrade and, because I am a rule follower, I do so, and all of a sudden I have voice mail that transcribes itself, little symbols (I refuse to say “emoji” again) that appear when I type in certain words and options for verbal text messaging.

Now I am getting notices that my “iCloud storage” is full and I can increase the capacity for a small increase in price.

Well, I never asked to store anything. If it’s full, that is no fault of mine.
So I’m going to take my chances and live on the edge for a while. With a phone smart enough to know where I am and sort my pictures into a slide show, I bet it can store a little more than it’s letting on.

Bob McKinney is a longtime Brentwood resident, happy husband and proud father, father-in-law and grandfather. Email him at

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