I recently took a trip to Scotland. I didn’t plan ahead to add international calling because I thought I could disconnect for a week. Sometimes the world has other plans.

After landing in Glasgow I turned on airplane mode and left wi-fi enabled. Not surprisingly, I received a couple iMessage texts from some of the Minnesota Brass staff.

What did surprise me is that I was able to send and receive regular text messages as well. I wondered if it was because I had enabled Wi-Fi calling. My suspicion was confirmed after I enabled it on my wife’s phone and text messages came pouring in 😩

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Mobile Phones. They’ve revolutionized the way we communicate, the way we ignore people around us in real life, and the way we attempt to kill each other while driving.

Before number portability came along, the turnover rate between providers was a hefty 25%. People would change their providers (and consequently their phone number) whenever a bigger better deal came along. Or they simply wanted to try out another provider because their current one is run, owned, and staffed by jerks, only to find out their new provider is run, owned, and staffed by jerks.

The phone numbers were ditched and quickly recycled for new customers. This was a major factor in the number of wrong number calls, voicemails, and text messages in the 2000s.

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Forced upgrades and planned obsolescence – almost all companies do it, but Apple has really advanced it from a science to an art form. I was holding onto iOS5 with my cold, Minnesota frost-bitten hands because I liked Google Maps as the default mapping app – you know, one that will actually deliver correct directions. But there were a couple of apps I wanted to install that required iOS6. Too bad I waited too long, once iOS7 was released, upgrading to iOS6 was no longer possible. At one point, iOS6 users were automatically upgraded to iOS7 “over the air” – meaning it happened automatically without user approval or intervention. Then there was a lawsuit which quickly stopped OTA updates. None-the-less, iOS6 is a memory, and while I thought I would only have to deal with Apple Maps and iOS7 generally grinding my “old” iPhone to a halt, it turns out there are many more bugs to be discovered.

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