Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Case for an iPhone's Case...

Every time I get an iDevice, the wife gets a headache. Yes, the wife. This is because every time I get a new device, an iPhone, an iPad, even a MacBook, I always agonize about getting a case for them or not. The wife is very supportive and always comes with me to accessory shops (and even go through different online shops when we were still living in the U.S.) to look at different types of cases. She says she's fine with the ordeal but I can sense the discomfort in her every time I say "I just want to look at some cases..." Yes, that's how she loves me...

Anyway, why do I agonize about cases?

This is because Apple devices are so damn pretty!!!

On one hand, you want to protect that beauty, to preserve its pristine condition, to always have it look like new... Cases will preserve this pristine condition most of the time. Also, cases will protect your devices if ever they take a tumble. Yes, the wife's iPhone 5c was dropped and we had it repaired but it doesn't feel the same anymore. It is now creaking and, though the display looks the same, the experience of using it now doesn't feel like it came out of the design labs in Cupertino... (Yes, it was repaired by a third party repair shop here in Metro Manila.)

On the other hand, putting the device also has its set-backs.

Apple spent millions of dollars and hundreds, if not thousands, of man-hours to come up with beautiful designs; I feel like it's an injustice to the Apple design team to put such a beautiful piece of hardware in a case that will make it 10 times thicker (ok, I exaggerate. Or maybe not...). The thing is, you buy an iDevice for its beauty and ease-of-use. Why, then will you suddenly put it in a cage, hiding its beauty and making it harder, even if just a little, to operate? It's like you buying an off-road vehicle but you not wanting to take it off-road because you don't want to put mud on it. Or you getting a beautifully wrapped Japanese candy but you not wanting to eat the candy because you don't want to ruin the packaging.

These do not make sense...

And Steve Jobs himself said one should not put an iDevice, an iPod in his example, in a case because the things that make the iPod yours are, one, the music you put inside it and, two, the dings and scratches you put on it when you use it. The imperfections the iPod suffers because of how you use it make that particular iPod yours. There are some tens of millions of iPods out there but the one with the scratch on its back is yours because you are the one who dropped it.

The ding on one of the corners of my iPad makes this particular iPad mine because it was the wife who dropped it. And my love for the wife wasn't lessened because of that. And I love the iPad more. (Yes there were a couple of seconds of trepidation right after she dropped it but all was forgiven.)

So, did I get a case for my iPhone 6+?


At the beginning, I put the phone in a wallet. As with my previous iPhones (4 & 5s), I didn't put them in a protective case  whenever I use them. However, I put them in a sleeve when I put the phones in my pockets. Why? Because I don't want my keys and coins scratching up the displays. Yes, a few nicks and scratches are fine, but I don't want to add them up deliberately. And in the case of the 6+, there is always that fear of bending it whenever I put it in my bag. The wallet case, with my cards and IDs, acted as an exoskeleton for the iPhone. The wallet, cards and iPhone, collectively, are much stronger than the iPhone on its own.

I put the 6+ in a wallet because I don't want my stuff in my bag bending the phone...

And I am a bit worried about that protruding camera lens...

However, there were several occasions already when I almost dropped the phone. Once, I was walking to meet up with the wife when a teenage kid bumped into me: that almost knocked the phone off my hand! Another time, I was eating some fries while reading tweets one handed and the phone almost took a tumble to the floor; good thing the phone landed on my lap instead!

Now, why did these things happen?

It's a combination of two things: the iPhone 6+ is too damn slippery and too damn big!

Having a bigger screen has its benefits, as I mentioned here, but it makes the phone harder to wield also. This is one of the reason why it is not advisable to use the iPhone 6+ one-handed! Well, at least if you are not a 6'8" athletically gifted person...

So how did I remedy this?

I got a case that is nearly transparent and thin enough so that the beauty of the phone can still shine through. A case that can be easily put on and peel off whenever I want to use my Olloclip, a case that adds some "stickiness" to the phone. With this case, my fear of the phone slipping off my hand is greatly diminish. And yet the phone's thickness is not that much different than if I use the 6+ completely naked...

But of course, this does not make the phone drop nor weather resistant. But I am fine with that.

Am I afraid of accidentally dropping the phone while using it? Absolutely! There is a high chance that that will happen. But this makes me take care of my phone more. This makes me more careful of how I use it. Now, I won't go out of my way and intentionally scratch and drop my phone but I am happy with my choice.

And when I get a new iDevice, I will look at cases again and the wife will have to agonizingly go through those each time. That's just the way I am.  And I don't think I'll change: at the end of the day, I would still wish the design to be the one highlighted, I would still wish to use the iDevices the way they are intended to be used.

And if I ever use a case, a protector, I still would want it to be as minimal as possible. And my friends who gave me advice that I should get a sturdier casing for my phone just have to forgive my, ahem, insolence.

I just hope I don't drop my phone...

(Typed on an un-cased iPad.)

Photos shot with an iPhone 5s using the iOS app Hipstamatic:

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