I watched Apple's new product announcement Tuesday with a combination of awe, fear and ironic bubbling rage.
The awe is because Apple consistently manages not just to sell me stuff I didn't know I needed, but to shape the world so much that the only reason I need the stuff is because the company reconfigured the universe to make sure I couldn't function without it. It's like it has partnered with God to handle market development.
The fear is twofold: Every annual Apple product announcement might as well be a huge bill presented to me for payment down the road. I will eventually buy at least one (and more likely three) of every gadget showcased. And then I will have to try to keep all profiles, iTunes passwords, device passwords, apps and warranties straight, while navigating the iCloud. I hate the cloud. It put all my contacts and apps on my wife's and daughter's phones, and theirs on mine. And that takes sharing too far.
The ironic bubbling rage welled up because I tried to watch the announcement on a personal computer, not an Apple. It didn't work, of course, so I had to subsist on the Apple tweetstream, which is like following a World Series game by telegram.
Because some of this may come off as touting, I have to confess that my wife and I own some Apple stock. Percentagewise, we own about as much of the company as the average homeowner can claim of the planet Earth.
So, the hot news from the show: The phones are getting either bigger or much bigger, depending on which model you buy. This is a huge deal, because I do everything on my phone. Reading Dante? On my phone. Watching "Avatar"? On my phone. Talking to my wife? I don't really do that anymore, it's so 2003, but I do text her.
So I'll be buying a new iPhone -- because a bigger screen would be a help when watching "The Sound of Music" while I drive (hey, they just said no texting) -- when my contract is up, and the price goes from $1 bajillion to $199. That's in 23 months, or just before they introduce the iPhone 8, which should be able to turn water into wine, if they listen to God over in sales.
The second big announcement was Apple Pay, which will let you pay bills by waving your phone in front of a thingie and waiting for the blessing of the beep. I have mixed feelings about this: On the one hand, I keep hearing security issues have allowed naked "selfies" to be stolen off iPhones. On the other hand, the only thing a sane person would be less likely to steal than access to my battered and beleaguered credit and debit cards is access to pictures of my battered and beleaguered naked body.
Then came the biggest news, the Apple Watch, which the company refuses to call the iWatch because that's what everyone calls it and Apple people can be contrary as snakes. This product works in concert with the owner's iPhone, rather than as a stand-alone unit.
This is the Apple game-changer, because it's the one I can't imagine possibly wanting or needing -- yet I know I'll want it and need it. It's cute. It's tiny. It's got some neat fitness uses, and as the world's slowest regular runner, I like to be able to track my lack of progress.
But I have doohickeys that do that. No, I'll need the watch, and the payment app, and the huge phone, because the world will change to fit the technology. Eventually, if I don't have the technology, I'll no longer be able to adapt to the world. Also, once my Apple addict wife and daughter have the new stuff, I'll get all jealous and grouchy and homicidal. That's what happens now when my trusty old PC clicks, gurgles and vomits while their MacBook Pros whistle and dance. Maybe I should just buy one of the new watches now, and write my novel on that . . .