Letdown of an iPhone 5 Experience

After guiding a good friend through his iPhone 5 activation, I told him that it would make for a good story. Here is Manoj Osuri's first 48 hours with his iPhone 5. My initial iPhone 5 experience has been less than ideal, to say the least. It's not that I think it's a bad phone…it's actually pretty awesome, now that I've gotten it working. But it was the "getting it working" part that really tainted the experience.

So one of the things I love about iPhones (and my limited experience with Apple products in general) is how quick and easy it normally is to go from opening the box to enjoying the new device without skipping a beat. I pre-ordered phones for my wife and myself. When they arrived over a week earlier than we initially expected, it felt like Christmas came early.

We both turn our phones on, see that it prompts us to sync it with our iTunes, and run straight to our computers. My wife has an HP running Windows 7, and I have an early 2008 MacBook Pro. Within a couple of minutes, my wife has her phone up and running without any problems. I, on the other hand, get a message saying that my phone cannot sync to any iTunes lower than 10.7. I don't think this is more than just a minor annoyance, but when I try to install it, I find out it won't run on my operating system. I do realize that my OS is old (OS X 10.5... I have no idea what animal that corresponds to in Apple's feline nomenclature), but I kept up with all the available updates, and I don't think it's right that I would be forced to buy a new OS in order to use my phone. A big reason why I spent about 4 times as much money on a laptop 4 years ago was because I was put under the impression that my computer would not go obsolete in a few years. I assumed that paying for new operating systems every couple of years would not be involved in keeping my computer relevant. Luckily, since I'm pretty close to being computer illiterate, Elijah was able to help me get OS X 10.6 installed on my computer, but the process took up my entire afternoon and early evening. While all of that was happening, I had my old phone backing itself up on iCloud (which in hindsight is probably something I should have done before). It took nearly as long, but at least I was able to get my phone working that evening. And because the activation of my new phone had technically started, I had no usable phone the whole time.

After going through all of this, I definitely lost most of my excitement over my new iPhone. Getting this phone was not nearly as awesome of an experience as when I got the 3G or the 4. I guess it really left a bad taste in my mouth that, compared to my wife's setup process, I felt like having an Apple computer made things way harder on me than if I had had a PC. And to make things worse, my story still isn't over….

Now this part is definitely not a knock on Apple, but rather a terrible experience with AT&T. That night, my wife and I went to an AT&T store to combine our separate accounts into a family plan. As I expected, I had to change my number since she has a North Carolina number, and I have a Maryland number. Since NC is considered to be in same regional market as Georgia (we live in Atlanta) it made more sense for me to change my number to an Atlanta area code, and have her keep her old number. (Not to mention that she had to deal with enough hassles with changing her name after we got married, so it was my turn to take one for the team!) So after combining our accounts, I started texting my friends and family my new number. I realized something was wrong when every group-text failed to deliver. (Yes, I checked my settings to make sure it was enabled). So having to text all of my contacts my new number individually added to my annoyance with my new phone. The following day, when I left our condo (and our wifi) I saw that my phone would not connect to the internet. I could still call and text (as long as it wasn't a group text), but no internet. At first I thought it was another phone issue, but after investigating a bit further, I start to think that my data plan never got reactivated after getting the new number. That was confirmed when I called AT&T. The person who helped us at the AT&T store the night before somehow missed that step. But in a way, it was a blessing in disguise, because not only did she forget to reactivate my data plan, but she never actually set up our family plan. She just put both of our individual accounts on the same bill. I probably wouldn't have caught that for a while since I use auto-pay, and we would have ended up paying a lot more than we were supposed to. And I'm not 100% sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if having no active data plan was the reason why I couldn't send group-texts. So most of another afternoon was wasted setting up my new iPhone 5.

All that said, I am happy with my new phone... it's pretty awesome. And while I wasn't really expecting to be blown away by it, I did expect to at least have a fun and exciting experience when I got it. And thanks to all the issues I had, the "new iPhone experience" definitely wasn't fun or exciting.

Sandals – Montego Bay: The Arrival

Over the next week,we're here! I’ll be writing about the experience that Adelle and I had over the 4 night / 5 day vacation we had in Jamaica. I chose to split it up into a three part review starting out with the overall Resort Experience, Casual and Formal Dining and Amenities. Below is the narrative. We landed at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica after a quick 2.5 hour flight from Atlanta, Ga. Making our way towards customs, we thought that our processing would go by rather quickly, but instead we endured a long one hour wait which included some entertainment particularly a fight between two older women about letting their families cut in line. It went on for a good 10 minutes before the locals separated them but it was definitely close to escalating into a slap fight.

When we excited the baggage and customs area, we entered a lobby where the resorts had taken up shop creating a welcoming experience for their guests. It basically consisted for a lounge where Red Stripe Beer was free flowing; our bags were taken care of by the airport valet (gratuity not included, and it was totally unnecessary); other colas were available and some fresh fruits on the table if you got their early enough before the other tourists ravaged the tray. Our bus arrived quickly and to our surprise, the Sandals Resort at Montego Bay was relatively close. A 10 minute drive was nothing compared to what the others were talking about. Some of the other Sandals resorts were as far out as 1.5 hours in a van, but I was glad that ours consisted of 10 minutes of driving on the left hand side of the road. As a side note, the booking agent made sure that we knew that all gratuities on the resort were included as it was dubbed an All Inclusive Resort but all the little things such as the van ride to the hotel, valet baggage service and the little knick knacks here and there are NOT Included and they make sure to tell you that they work on tips. Not that I spent too much, but I was a little surprised.

Our bags were taken from us and put aside while we were escorted to another lounge within the resort where they gave us a lemongrass cold face towels, some champagne and a “membership card” along with our “upgraded room” packages. They make it seem that we were special and got the upgraded accommodations, but it really just seems all like a little thing to spruce up your enjoyment from the get go. The card that they gave us had Deluxe upgraded to Honeymoon Waters Edge printed on it. We were definitely grateful for it as our room included a jetted tub, mini bar (which was included) a king size bed and a view of the ocean from out small balcony. Sandals makes it a point that everything gets billed to your room so that your don’t have to carry too much around which is a nice detail but then again, without the exchange of cash or cards, you can easily end up spending a lot more than your initial vacation budget. Housekeeping surprised us by cleaning out our room twice a day and we only caught them once! I guess it makes sense that they would tidy up the place that often due to the frequent showers and swims at the beach but it became a game to guess when they would come because they really were good at keeping out of sight.

We got to the resort around 1400 and were excited to hit the beach and explore so we did. Walking around the main lobby, there was an activities board that was updated daily, a spa desk for the expensive massages that couples get (we opted out) tourism desk (also for expensive tours that we were advised against) three different restaurants and a pool that was always closer to the freezing readout. I taught Adelle how to swim two days in row so that she could pass the swim test prior to the scuba dive, so we had a lot of time in the pool. I can’t say that I ever warmed up.

Once on the sand, there is a hut that provides an assortment of blended cocktails and drinks on one side and a grill aptly named “Irie Grille” on the opposite side. More on that later. Along the beach, there are Hobbie Cats (quick little sail boats), paddle boats, one wind surfing board, 4 2-seat kayaks, a designated swim area, glass bottom boat that gives hourly tours, the scuba boat that goes out twice a day and a large catamaran (not included). There are plenty of white beach lounge chairs some under huts and some not, a couple of “exclusive” mattresses that couple can rent out, and a piano-pool side bar on the far east end of the resort. There’s also a basketball court, beach and pool volleyball, an oversized chess piece set on a smaller than standard board, shuffle board and a little bench swing. More to come soon!

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