Software Updates Complicate Life
Answering my smartphone used to be a pedestrian process: touch the green button when the phone rang and it answered, even if the phone was in sleep mode.
Then came a new method I never asked for: to answer, I have to punch the button and swipe right after it rings.
I discovered this the day an old friend called. I punched the green button. Once. Twice. Three times. Four times. Nothing. Finally, he called me on our house line.
“Hey, I was here,” I said when I answered. “I don’t know what’s wrong with my cell.”
After we finished talking, I got online and Googled a question about answering an Android phone.
Now, I know swiping—right or left—is used with dating apps. A few years ago I edited a book titled, Beyond the Swipe. While that may be considered acceptable practice in the dating world, who in their right mind thought we should adapt it to answering calls?
It used to be so simple: tap the button and connect. Now, answering is a complicated process requiring two hands. I have to hold the phone firmly in place while I use the other to complete the procedure.
Sometimes I don’t do it in combination quickly enough and miss the call. If it’s someone I actually want to talk to, I have to return it. It aggravates me so much that when we were watching a BBC series recently, I exclaimed, “Did you see that?”
“See what?” my wife asked.
“The way that guy answered his phone,” I said. “He just hit the button!”
As others informed me, the reason for this complication was a software update. Those pesky changes included a more recent update that transformed my notification ring into one resembling a fog horn. It’s so loud I often silence it, knowing the buzz will be loud enough.
After COVID-19 lockdowns had curtailed church services in mid-March, our pastor asked the elders to divide up the members’ list and call them weekly to maintain ongoing contact. We also asked if anyone had a request they want added to the email prayer list.
Once restrictions eased and our church returned to in-person services, the pastor asked us to continue these calls. He thought it was a good idea, especially with those who have opted to stay home and watch services online.
Recently, the pastor was on my portion of the call list. A couple times previously, I had skipped him, reasoning with a fulltime job and four daughters he was busy. That and usually when I called him, I got voicemail.
However, this time I decided to call anyway. When voicemail came on, I told him I was contacting him just to see how things were going. I didn’t know that a day later he was headed to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for a gathering of extended family.
However, the next week he texted me, thanking me for my call. He noted that it had been flagged by his phone as “potential spam.”
I quickly texted back: “I don’t know whether to feel honored or insulted.”
Which brought the reply: “Ha, ha. This has happened a lot since a software update.”
Knowing that my name is on his contact list, I wondered who in the world would invent a software update that would flag a known number as “potential spam.”
Probably the same person who thought it would be a good idea to change the way of answering calls from a tap to a swipe.