What to Do When Your iPhone Drowns – Part 1

Posted: 15th August 2014 by Rich Bullock in Technology

iPhone Dependence

I admit, I’m one of those Apple iPhone diehards. But there’s a reason: we have Macs and iPads at home, and we sync our Contacts, Calendars, Bookmarks, Photos, etc., through iCloud. For years I struggled with Palm Treos, trying to get basic sync to work. It DID work at times for a few months, then I’d have a 6-8 hour day trying to get it to work again. I switched to an iPhone and never looked back.

But this past Wednesday brought disaster. Okay, nothing like hurricane Sandy, mudslides, floods, or earthquakes, but certainly a wrinkle in the smooth fabric of life: my year-old iPhone 5s sank to the bottom of Whiskeytown Lake. Kayak accident—”I swear it wasn’t my fault, officer.” The lake has a max depth of 145 feet and we were crossing the middle, so Find My iPhone couldn’t help me on this one.

I depend on my iPhone for many things: writing ideas, medical history, email, website accounts, audio and e-books, my music library, calendar, contacts, reminders, shopping lists, and a host of less important but still useful things, such as my Starbuck’s account, Fandango, Facebook, weather, maps, and Wikipedia. Oh, yeah, almost forgot phone calls and texting.

So, what to do. The new iPhone 6 model(s) are rumored to be announced around September 9th and released a couple weeks later, about 6 weeks from now. I didn’t want to get a replacement for the 5s model when I could wait for the new, shiny, faster one, but I really didn’t want to be off the grid that long. So, off to the AT&T store to explore my options.

Found out I qualify for the AT&T Next program. I can use that to get one of the new phones when they are available. I’m not a big fan of that program (it’s a little more expensive than the standard upgrade plan), but it will work for me in this case. Then the helpful store rep suggested I purchase a no-contract, Go Phone at Target, Best Buy, or Walmart, and use that during the gap. Off to Target.

At Target, I could choose a plain phone, but I could also get an AT&T Avail 2 basic smartphone running the Android OS for only $55 (plus a micro SD card for more storage). There were more expensive options as well.

AT&T Avail 2 Android Smartphone

AT&T Avail 2 Android Smartphone


I zipped back to the AT&T store with my new smartphone and, in only a few minutes, I had a new SIM card installed (for an existing account, you can’t use the one that comes with the no-contract phones), tested voicemail, and was on my way home.

My next task was figuring out the phone and Android. Could I get my Macintosh Contacts and Calendar to sync or at least download? Solutions for that and phone review in tomorrow’s post.