‘Something Went Wrong’

Uh, can you be more specific?

Indeed it did. And so it begins, the Decline and Fall of the iPhone 5.

The New York Times apparently has cooked up an app update that my device can’t digest — the iPhone 5 peaked at iOS version 10.3.4, while the NYT demands 11 or better — and now I can’t surf the shit monsoon from my 7-year-old phone. Woe, etc.

The iPhone SE, ready for its closeup.

Asked for comment, the NYT Customer Care Crew advises, “We are no longer supporting older versions of the NYT app,” adding that geezers in thrall to antiquated technology should “use the mobile browser to access all content on nytimes.com.”

So I sez back to ’em, I sez: “Thanks for the reply. I already figured that out. The iPhone 5 maxes out at iOS 10.3.4, so using v9.11 of your app is not an option. I’m disappointed to learn that the NYT has dropped support for older versions of the app. My iPhone is elderly, to be sure, but not yet senile. For instance, The Washington Post app continues to work just fine.”

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Sonny Jim. Then get off of my lawn.

It’s not this iPhone’s first step on the slippery techno-slope, of course. I’ve already had to replace the battery once, and the Phone app itself has developed the palsy, seizing up and even crashing from time to time.

I can fix that, as I always keep a large hammer within reach. But first, I should probably unbox the iPhone SE that’s been hanging around idle for the past few months. Naturally, it, too, is a discontinued model, slated for the boneyard — and rumor has it that the Wizards of Cupertino are working on a bigger-and-better model for release early in 2020.

But mine will run the latest and greatest version of iOS. For now, anyway.

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11 Responses to “‘Something Went Wrong’”

  1. SAO’ Says:

    A seven year old phone with only one battery swap is pretty impressive by today’s standards.

    I’d like to see a re-shoot of Apollo 13, except without the alarms and flashing red lights and instead of bunch of worthless error messages.

    Something went wrong
    Your lungs are not receiving oxygen
    Please try breathing later

  2. psobrien Says:

    You need a phone like mine. You know, the ones drug dealers throw out the car window when the cops are chasing them.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I do like an iPhone, when it works. But it’s definitely a luxury. That’s why I went for the cheapo SE as an “upgrade.” Why, a fella can get hisself a nice gee-tar for the price of some of these fancy-dan squawk-boxes.

  3. David Rees Says:

    Two SE units in the family, both now nearing 5 years on – an eternity in this world. I think it was being sold as a “cheapo” (as you said) at the time, but it wasn’t that at all. Apple just really wanted you to move up to the more expensive model, with other real benefits. It’s a perfect size for us (i.e. small) and I’ve kept the OS up to date religiously – which seems to help with them still being relevant to Apple.

    The damn things now are “collectible” and I’ve read that Apple is thinking about bringing out the same size unit, and price, in the near future.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ve had just two iPhones, the 3GS and this 5, and both have lasted a lot longer than I expected. I take good care of my tech, so maybe I get a few more miles out of it. Or maybe I’ve just been lucky.

      I’m not a big phone user, especially now, since I no longer do any work-related travel to speak of. I’ve thought about doing without, maybe acquiring a new iPod Touch instead, but they’re not much help away from wifi.

      Too bad Apple doesn’t make a real cheapo, something that’s (a) a phone, (b) a camera, and (c) a web browser with a mail widget. Not a genius — just smart enough to keep you in touch, with lots and lots of storage capacity.

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        Uh, why would Apple do such a thing? Can’t be much of a margin in a low-end gizmo like that. OTOH, the most expensive AZUS thing I can find online is $250… but of course you have to use the dreaded Android program with it – which maybe to the I-folks is like garlic or a wooden stake/silver bullet to a vampire and probably means the Chinese will be spying on you.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Aw, the Chinese are spying on everyone. But you’re right, there’s no money in it for Apple, and no prestige. They enjoy being the Rolls-Royce of phones, which are actually pocket computers, not phones.

        You can spend $1,349 on the iPhone 11 Pro if you like. I don’t like, for the same reason I don’t like buying new cars. It’s going to end badly, upside down in a ditch with a ding or two or three.

        If I were dashing around and about, shooting stills and video and recording podcasts with the wee beastie, I suppose you could make an argument for owning such an outlandish device. But I’m not.

        Since I already have still and video cameras and microphones and what have you, maybe I should buy the Mac Pro and Pro Display XTR monitor/stand combo to edit all that ol’ shit. Starting price: 12 large. Operators are standing by, starting tomorrow. I hope they’re wearing comfy shoes.

  4. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    F–k Apple! I hope to go to my grave never having given them a dime. “You have to be an idiot not to have an I-this or that!” the cult members say, but aren’t these the f–kers that “updated” their phones to make ’em slower and/or the batteries croak faster? That’s a cult (like Scientology) I’ll pass on, thank you. All of the damn smart phones are smarter than me anyway, so my cheapo AZUS gizmo does just fine annoying the hell out of me at the cost of only $200 a few years ago 🙂

  5. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Meanwhile back at the Hippodrome…..I’m the kind of troglodyte that remembers when appliances and various electronics would last for many years of dutiful service. Without updates mind you. “They” say they don’t make em like they used to cause we won’t pay the price it would cost. That is such horseshit. Many of us think by buying “up” to Pro or Commercial grade products we are bypassing the throw away stuff and maybe doing the planet a favor too. Ha! If it has a chip or circuit in it; well my friends you’ve been had. But I wonder….are there still things made like McIntosh amps or Leica cameras that can actually be handed down to the kids? For sure steel bike frames!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Musical instruments. mebbe? A nice handmade guitar or high-end piano? A Shure SM58 microphone? Or cookware, like a good cast-iron skillet?

      Most of what we buy these days seems designed for the landfill. I’m not sure just where the slide started.

      My 15-year-old Subaru Forester is still rolling, though it requires a bit of reconstructive surgery now and again. Our 11-year-old Toshiba TV is still dishing up the mind candy. My 20-year-old AGP Graphics Power Mac remains suitable for scanning/coloring BRAIN cartoons, and my 5-year-old MacBook Pro handles the day-to-day stuff. But my 7-year-old iPhone 5 can’t digest the new NYT app, and its equally aged cousin the iPad Mini is basically a doorstop.

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