St. Joseph News-Press, Mo., Steve Booher column
Feb 11, 2013 (St. Joseph News-Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Since the 3G, I've been a big iPhone fan. About every 18 to 24 months, I dutifully pony up the couple of hundred bucks required to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of the device.
That means I've skipped a couple of generations. For instance, I leapfrogged the 4S and didn't get to meet Siri until I recently upgraded to the 5. But that's the sacrifice you make.
Thus far, the iPhone has delivered. I know, I know, other people love their Android phones. Some have bigger screens, more memory, different features. But they all cost about the same and essentially do the same things.
However, I recently discovered a gap in the iPhone's functionality.
Valentine's Day is approaching and, like most men, I could use advice on just about everything, from the right gift to what to write in the card. Should I give roses, or is that too stale and predictable Should I buy a humorous card (which fits my personality) or one filled with sweet sentiments Should I write a personal message inside the card or just go with what the card has already printed After all, professionals designed and authored the card.
Or, maybe I should go ahead and add a personal message but employ such horrific handwriting that my wife would never be able to decode it. More than likely, she would close the card tenderly, smile and thank me. Chances are, neither of us would know what she thinks I've written.
Most guys are confused when it comes to Valentine's Day and anniversaries. Thus, when it comes to love, it's best to play the percentages.
Here's where my disappointment with the iPhone 5 comes in.
Out of all the hundreds of thousands of apps that have been designed for the iPhone, not one will help you out when it comes to V-Day. Sure, there are all kinds of apps that are "Valentine's Day related" but none that provide the practical assistance that men need.
For example, most of the Valentine apps are just wallpaper for your phone. Some give the history of the holiday. An alarming number are Valentine's-themed games that you can play on your iPhone or iPad. Who cares about that stuff
Guys need real help here.
For instance, we need an app that will access my wife's checking account, scan and analyze her spending, then suggest gifts that align with what she spends money on. For instance, if the app finds several debit entries to Starbucks, maybe it would suggest a nice gift card tucked inside a Valentine's Day coffee cup. Or, maybe the app could check the pages and statuses that she "liked" on Facebook and write a thoughtful passage for her card that expresses the sentiment she wants to hear.
Even better, I'd be willing to give the app access to my financial records and it would just automatically go to the Starbucks website, order up an appropriate gift, have it shipped to her work address and charge everything to my debit or credit card. Once the transaction is complete, the app would send a push notification that tells me "mission accomplished."
I could take care of a whole holiday and never even have to leave the recliner.
I'm sure there's plenty of wives, girlfriends and significant others out there who are reading this with a disapproving eye. Sure, it's a bit crass to have a smart phone do your dirty work during this, the most romantic of holidays. But, I'm not sure a little disapproval outweighs the terror some guys feel when buying a gift or selecting just the right card.
So, I challenge all the iPhone app developers out there to come through on this one, at least by next year. After all, you've developed apps that bring us news, weather and sports scores. We can check our e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. We can pay our bills, bid on eBay auctions and order from Amazon.
We can do all that, yet we guys are still on our own when it comes to Valentine's Day.
Steve Booher's column runs on Mondays.
He can be reached
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