After nearly 20 years I decided I should get myself a mobile phone, after all I spent quite a lot of time driving and on more than one occasion in the last few months I've had problems where I needed to contact somebody for help. Thankfully on those occasions I've had somebody with me who has got a mobile, but the time will come when nobody is with me and without a mobile phone I basically screwed.
I've heard a lot of good things about the iPhone. I've had iPods for quite a few years now and I love them. So I decided I would get an iPhone. Just recently I changed the stereo in my van in favour of one that would connect to an Apple device via Bluetooth, whether that be for streaming music, or accepting phone calls, in my case both.
So my mother and sister and I went over to Currys last week where I bought my mom a tablet for her birthday. Carphone Warehouse have got an outlet at the Torquay branch of Currys so I bought myself an iPhone 5C. I didn't want anything too expensive or elaborate so I paid £319 which I thought was quite reasonable.
The first thing I wanted to do was pair the iPhone up to my Panasonic stereo unit in the house just to see how well Bluetooth works. Well, could I get it to work? Could I hell as like. Whereas the iPod touch connects beautifully via Bluetooth to my Panasonic stereo unit which means I can stream music, the iPhone just doesn't seem to be able to find the Panasonic stereo unit, and vice versa, the Panasonic unit doesn't seem to be able to see the iPhone.
Obviously the first thing I did was to get on the Internet to see if I could find a solution. It seems that this is not an isolated problem to myself, lots of people have been having exactly the same problem with their iPhone 5's, they cannot connect to a Bluetooth device, whether that be a home stereo system, or a stereo in the car. I even spoke to a down my local tackle shop who has an iPhone 5, he told me he wasn't able to connect the phone to a Bluetooth on ear microphone. One of my carers Kim has the same phone, her phone won't connect to my Panasonic stereo unit either. So I know that it's not just my phone that has the problem, many other people around the world experience in the same thing happening with their iPhone.
So exactly what are we supposed to do? I bought this iPhone because of this function, without it the phone is pretty much useless to me. Because of my disability I rely heavily on Bluetooth, especially for streaming live music. Also, I had hoped that the phone would work through my stereo system and the car, a game that seems to have been dashed. There is absolutely no way I am spending another £200 for an iPhone 6. Surely Apple are aware of this problem? I would put it to them that they should recall all phones and fix the problem, not continue selling them knowing there is a problem.
Although this is not a review of the phone, just wanted to give my point of view of how easy it is to use one of these devices from a disabled person's point of view. Okay, in one word "difficult". These phones and iPods are not made for disabled people to use easily. In fact, I would suggest that anyone with larger than average fingers will struggle to use one of these phones. They have a touch keypad that is extremely sensitive, even my mother with small fingers struggled on my iPod to enter a callsign into iTunes for me, there will be no chance in hell that I could do it easily. I haven't got around to use the music side of the iPhone, but I know it's exactly the same as the iPod touch that I've got. That is slightly easier to use, but believe me it's not easy if you have to rely on the side of your finger. So if you are disabled and have limited finger movement I would think very carefully before buying an iPhone, I think there's probably more suitable phones out there with much larger keypads that you will find easier to use.
It will be interesting to hear from anyone who has experienced the same problem. Alternatively, have you had this problem and found a fix, I would love to hear from you, so would thousands of other people I would think.