With the invention of the Smartphone, I cannot believe that manufacturers cannot get the devices to correctly perform its most basic function: voice calls. OK, there are plenty of those out there who defend the phones’ rotten sound quality and dropped calls saying, “Well, placing calls is a lot more complicated than you think due to ‘fill-in-the-blank-technology’” Yadda, yadda. This type of character reminds me of comedian Jimmy Fallon's character Nick Burns, the condescending computer expert he portrayed so well on Saturday Night Live. The bottom line is Smartphones’ voice calls are terrible.
The Smartphone allows texting, emailing, Skype capabilities, instant messaging and more. I prefer all of those communication methods to voice calls. Why? Because every time I elect to actually pick up a call on the Smartphone, I’m sorry that I chose to answer the call. When I’m on a call, I have severe anxiety that the call will be dropped. I’m wondering if there’s a term for that anxiety.
I rarely place calls on the phone preferring to use a nearby landline. When it comes to sound quality, the landline isn’t much better than a Smartphone. The old technology might be a bit more reliable, but it has barely advanced since the touchtone feature was introduced. OK, I know techno-geeks will disagree with that assessment saying, “No, ‘fill-in-the-blank-technology’ was implemented in 2007 making the sound clearer and richer.” Yadda, yadda. Landline phones sound inferior to Skype, end of argument. I realized how terrible a landline’s phone quality is after using Skype for the first time a number of years back.
Many Smartphones have Siri who is able to tell its users where the nearest dry cleaner is located, track our every movement, organize our calendars, download books, music and movies; provide us with weather alerts but, we can barely place calls on these devices.
With voice calls, we can go hands-free or put the call on speakerphone, but we cannot prevent the calls from getting dropped. Why?
Then, there’s voice mail. Voice mail is clearer through the Smartphone, but the same cannot be said of the landline traditional home answering machine. Yes, answering machine manufacturers tout the digital technology, but the messages still sound like the muffled voice calls from the Charlie Brown television specials. Some folks like to leave barely much of a message while others ramble on for several minutes attempting to be as detail-oriented as possible.
Nevertheless, here’s a note to the Smartphone manufacturers and their apologists: Get the voice calls to work.
Many things in life are ironic indeed, but does it have to be as annoying as dealing with telephone technology?