In today’s Exponential Investor…
- I’m angry
- I’m sorry
- I’m worried
Yesterday morning, my wife walks into my study…
“Something’s wrong with my phone. It’s just stuck on the Apple logo.”
I asked if she’d done anything to it. She said it asked her to update the software, which she did, and then it just packed it in.
Okay, well I know at least it’s nothing she did. This is an Apple problem, a software problem. But not an unfixable problem.
I’ve dealt with this sort of thing before with Apple iPhones. Time for a “hard” reset which will likely fix it and boot it up.
Nope. No dice.
Hmmm. Okay, well time to plug it into the Mac and do an update that way. Hard reset, plug into update…
So far so good. The Mac can see and recognise the iPhone, updating… waiting… “An unknown error has occurred, cannot update phone.”
Right. Well there’s one option left here. Factory reset. At least I had the iPhone set to daily backups synced with iCloud, so can restore once reset.
Repeat process, but reset phone this time… resetting… waiting… “An unknown error has occurred, cannot recognise iPhone.”
Now I’m angry. Actually I’m worse than angry.
This iPhone is no more than five months old. And here it is, bloody bricked. How does a brand new iPhone just brick itself when updating to new software?
Not the first time Apple has shafted me. I had a MacBook Pro, I updated the software because it literally gave me no other choice. It then became the slowest junkiest, rubbish laptop I’ve ever had.
Before the update it was great. After it, absolutely useless. I’ve since wiped it and now never use it because its software update, which I can’t roll back, is 100% useless.
Apple, I argue. is the biggest deliverer of shocking software in the world.
Its software can effectively brick its devices. And leave users 100% in the dark about what happened, why it happened and with zero options to fix it.
I’ve had issues with Android phones before, but they’ve never completely bricked without being able to reset and fix when it’s software related.
So, right now I’m furious at Apple. Luckily my phone is Android, so I’m not completely fuming. But I’m fuming that a brand new iPhone can be so rubbish.
I then had to pull out the backup phone (an older Android) and set that up for my wife with all her email accounts, WhatsApp, and other regular use apps, like internet banking and all that.
I doubt she’ll have any problems with that while the iPhone is sent away to be fixed and or replaced.
Bricking a car
Now, during all this process, as I was fuming about the mess I had to deal with thanks to the failures of Apple, I might have got a little “shirty” with my wife.
After I’d had her set up with the new (old) Android phone she said to me, “Are you less angry now?”
She was right, I had maybe taken it out on her a little too much. I was sorry.
And then I got thinking – I’m sure I’m not alone when it comes to phone rage that I’d experience. God knows in the past I’d had bouts of computer rage, video game rage… now I’m getting device rage.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an anger problem. I do just get frustrated when devices fail that really shouldn’t be failing.
But I was then thinking about our fast-approaching world of connected cars. Road rage is something I don’t get. I’m pretty cruisy when I’m on the road. Sure from time to time I come across drivers that astound me at how they got their licence, but I’ve never been a road rager.
However, if the future of cars is more connected, “smarter” and our cars are more like our smartphones than cars… will I end up with car rage in the future?
If my car is doing an over-the-air update because it leaves me no other choice and it just decides to brick itself, what kind of bubbling frustration will come to the surface then?
Imagine that. Imagine going out to your car, about to head off on a family journey for the day. You start it up and the car does nothing. The dash says “Update software, please wait.”
Then you see a little status bar indicating the progress of the update. It’s ticking along. You shouldn’t have to wait too long now, almost done.
Then it just stops and says, “Unknown Error. Car cannot Update. Please call support.”
And with that the car ceases to work until you get some kind of software support. A “bricked” car. Not bricked as in on bricks while someone nicks your wheels. Bricked as in software error – your car no longer works.
Is this the world we’re hurtling towards? A world where a car can brick itself because of software? And what happens if you’re not at home when this happens?
The future of devices, cars, our connected world, is exciting. And there’s much promise as to what it will be like and how we’ll connect, interact and transact.
But with that are some of the more “real world” problems that need to be sorted before it realises its full potential.
If a stupid iPhone can just stop working because of an “unknown error” then surely we’re going to experience the same thing with high-tech cars? To think they’ll all be 100% fool-proof is naïve.
It’s a serious problem that needs to be looked at, fixed or have processes in place to ensure that redundancies and computer rage doesn’t spill into device rage and into car rage!
Editor, Exponential Investor