Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Nazi lemak, please

IT was a particularly happy day recently when I took delivery of my first iPhone.

It was a long time coming. I had been waiting for two years to get it.

When Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone at Macworld San Francisco in January 2007, I, like millions other people who saw it in real life or on YouTube, was itching to get one because it really looked like the best phone ever made.

Later that year when the iPhone started selling, people made a beeline for Apple stores all across America to get theirs and the gadget was snapped up in a few hours.

Before long, the iPhone started springing up everywhere, including in Kuala Lumpur where it wasn't even supposed to be available.

Some of my friends had one. Another friend flirted with a girl because he wanted to get to her iPhone.

Me? I held off my purchase because I don't believe in becoming an early adopter.

Much as I adore products coming out of the Cupertino-based company, I believe when it comes to new, untested products, you need someone to get rid of the bugs. That would be other people, not me.

Besides, my Nokia N70 was still serving me well. Although its screen was too small for Internet surfing and the keypad required me to use my fingernail to type, I was happy to just make calls, send SMS and watch the occasional funny/naughty 3gpp video clips.

But there was never a shadow of a doubt that my next phone would be an iPhone. Hence the purchase.

One thing that I like immediately about the iPhone is the SMS feature.

The SMS exchanges that you have with your contacts are arranged like conversations, complete with their own word bubbles. This way, it is a cinch to keep track of what was it you said to whom even after days.

You flick through a conversation with your finger and it scrolls up and down like a Rolodex. So if it's a particularly long scroll, it's probably an exchange with that sweet engineer girl who scuba dives and speaks Mandarin.

I also like the predictive text input.

For the uninitiated, predictive text input works by guessing your words before you finish typing them. So when you type ipho, for example, a tiny dialogue spring forth suggesting iPhone and you just press the space bar to accept it.

The system takes some getting used to, however. I wanted to invite a friend over for nasi lemak the other day and it came out as Nazi lemak.

Once, I wanted to go jalan and it came out as I wanted to go Japan.

Try insulting someone with a particularly unparliamentary word, and it came out as "baby" instead.

Thankfully, it is a system that learns. What I find with the predictive text is that the more I use it, the better it gets at anticipating my words.

So now, my iPhone has recognised "u tgh wat pe skrg tido ker" as perfectly acceptable spelling.