When shown family pictures on my iPhone 5 a few years ago, and watching me text message my wife, or take pictures, or listen to music, or watch videos…my then 90-year old mother asked, but can you still call people on it? Yes, mom, you can. It just isn’t as necessary as it used to be.

As I was grunting while lifting a heavy box, a friend heard me say, “Yikes, I’m getting older.” Then, my similarly 70’ish friend asked, when do we stop “getting older” and officially become “old?” Well, I may still be getting older, but my iPhone is officially old.

I am now up to an iPhone 6s (for context, the world is up to iPhone 15) which I recently inadvertently left on a plane after a flight. When I ran back to the gate to say I was missing my iPhone 6s, the agent said, “So?” But, as I illustrated to my late mom, my outdated little iPhone 6s does most of what my friends’ iPhone 15s do, just not as well. The pictures aren’t as artistic, the emojis not as creative, the special effects mostly lacking, but the basic functions are really all I need. There are several functions I could be using but refuse to. I won’t keep my calendar on my phone because I misplace my phone too often and I never misplace my desk (where my desk calendar is); and I won’t board a plane with a digital ticket – I feel insecure without a paper boarding pass. I keep a rough mental tally of those boarding who still use paper passes – we are a proud but vanishing breed. I have also never watched a movie on my phone or played a video game on it – although I could, if I was so inclined. (Truth is, I’ve haven’t played a video game at all since Pac-Man, and that was on a huge machine in an arcade in the early 80s) before smart phones were a thing.

The battery on my iPhone 6s had a half-life of about 2 hours, even less in the cold weather. As a scientist, I suspected the problem was the battery was dying and I needed a new one. So I made an appointment at the local Apple Store “Genius Bar” to get one. The geeky genius there used his geeky handheld magic machine to test my phone and said, nope, the battery is fine – it’s probably the software. You’ll need a new phone because if you just replace the battery, the same software problem will happen and your battery still won’t last long enough.

Well, a new phone wasn’t in my plans. So I told the tech I’d take my chances with a $69 battery rather than buy a new phone – I like my little 6s and it has served me well, at least until then. So, how did it turn out? They reluctantly replaced the battery and my phone is like new – the battery lasts all day.

Moral of the story, trust old things. And trust old scientists.

iPhone 6s - Unlocked

My iPhone 6s, a loyal friend with a new battery.

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