Chapter 33:

Smartphone Part 1

New Leaf!

 Ren taught me how to use the TV! Two days after shopping at Beattie’s Heart, I asked — mainly to eliminate my boredom. One, it isn’t a touchscreen. Two, OLED… is some techy term that didn’t really interest me much… Apparently, this is something called a smart TV by a company called Simsang. When Ren explained it to me, he said that it’s like a computer? That’s crazy to me. For the past… um… I think fourteen years, I haven’t really experienced technology or its evolution. Yeah, I don’t really use or see electronics, but when I do, it’s always someone else's — for example, the TVs in store windows, the apparent touch screens at public transit stations, or the gigantic TV on the sports stadium I saw during my first days of being in this city. It’s crazy to think that computers have evolved to be as big as TVs… Bookmark here

This TV is really handy. When I asked Ren, it was in the morning, but now it’s the afternoon of the next day So, I spent almost two days experimenting with this thing. Basically, not to brag or anything, but I’m an expert — um, maybe. The three features that interested me the most are the Internet, games, and an app called BluFilms. First, there is the Internet. I have heard of it before, but I haven’t used it many times. And while experimenting, I didn’t use the Internet feature that much. Two, there are the games. The selection isn’t very diverse, only having three, but I suppose they are good at killing time. For example, this one game has a chicken trying to cross various roads and streams, dodging obstacles like cars and boulders. This is fun to me because it tests reaction time — knowing that my skill improves is fun to me.Bookmark here

And finally, there is my favourite feature that took the majority of my experimentation time — the app called BluFilms. Basically, it’s an app for streaming different movies or TV shows. Many features are animated, live-action, or creepily in stop-motion. My current obsession is this one beautifully animated cartoon. Basically, it’s about this guy that gets transported to a fantasy world. In this fantasy world, four nations are at odds with each other. One nation is heavily religious and focuses on magic, another nation worships an opposite religion and focuses on a different type of magic called dark magic, another nation is very secular and they focus on technology and its evolution, and the final nation is in between the two religious spectrums and focus on physical strength and skill. The protagonist must unite these feuding nations to stop an evil that threatens everyone… There are three seasons with twelve episodes each, and I’m already done with the majority of the second season… it’s that good!Bookmark here

...It’s kinda weird that Ren knows a lot about the TV when he said that he doesn’t utilize it much. If it’s not used often, then there’s no point in learning about it, right?Bookmark here

Bookmark here

As I was about to start the next episode, I heard the front door open so I went to it.Bookmark here

Dammit…Bookmark here

“Hi Ren, welcome home.”Bookmark here

“Hello Camryn, I am back.”Bookmark here

Ren had three bags in his hand. Two of them were white plastic bags and another was a slightly larger black one made of paper.Bookmark here

“Oh, did you go shopping?”Bookmark here

“Correct.”Bookmark here

Oh, did he leave work early to go shopping?Bookmark here

Ren went to the dining table to put down the bags and I followed. He then reached into the black bag and handed me a rectangular box. It was the same colour as the bag and it was made of hard paper-like material. The box was a bit bigger than my hand.Bookmark here

“T-Thanks… But what is it?”Bookmark here

“It’s-”Bookmark here

“Wait, a dark colour? Is this chocolate? Thanks!”Bookmark here

A special type of chocolate? I mean, it was in its own bag and it was in a hard box!Bookmark here

“Er, no…”Bookmark here

“Oh…”Bookmark here

“But I bought a carton of chocolate milk for you.”Bookmark here

“Eh, really!? Thanks!”Bookmark here

Ren nodded and pointed at the box he gave me.Bookmark here

“Actually… this is your new smartphone.”Bookmark here

S-Smartphone…Bookmark here

“Oh… W-What’s that?”Bookmark here

“Oh?”Bookmark here

Ren was shocked. Bookmark here

“You don’t know what a smartphone is? That’s surprising because the majority of people have them. Even when you lived with your parents, you haven’t seen a smartphone before?”Bookmark here

“Oh… Um, n-no…”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

I really didn’t know what a smartphone was. For all of my life, even since before I went homeless, I haven’t had a lot of exposure to technology. Hm… “Smart” and “phone”, huh? Bookmark here

“Wait, like those things that open and can be used to talk to other people from far away?”Bookmark here

“Open? You mean a flip phone?”Bookmark here

“Flip phone? Are those what they’re called? Yeah, I remember having this small device! It’s like a really small version of your laptop. And when you type a number on the keypad, you can talk to someone from far away!”Bookmark here

Ren was still shocked.Bookmark here

“Um, yeah… Smartphones have that feature. But they also have a lot of other features — it’s kind of like the smart TV.”Bookmark here

“Eh, really!”Bookmark here

I was excited. A device that fits in my pocket that is like a smart TV... I’ve been missing out on technology's evolution! I eagerly opened the box, and… what?Bookmark here

“Ren, is this it?”Bookmark here

“Correct.”Bookmark here

I took it out of the box. It was wrapped in plastic film. Bookmark here

“W-where's the keypad? It’s just a screen! How am I supposed to type numbers? Oh wait, there are buttons on the sides. But this isn’t nearly enough! R-Ren?”Bookmark here

Ren shook his head.Bookmark here

“Like the map at Beattie’s Heart, this is a touch screen.”Bookmark here

A realization came over me.Bookmark here

“Oh… I see.”Bookmark here

Ren took the smartphone from me and pressed a button on the side of it. Suddenly, the screen lit up. Displayed on the screen was a name I recognized.Bookmark here

“Woah… Huh? Simsang? Oh, like the company that made the TV.”Bookmark here

“Correct. Simsang is an electronics company that makes a variety of commodities for consumers.”Bookmark here

Ren rested his hand on the back of his neck.Bookmark here

“Um… I assume you don’t, but you don’t have a preference on what type of phone you wanted, right?”Bookmark here

“Oh? Well, I’m more experienced with a flip phone, but I think the smartphone will be more useful.”Bookmark here

“Indeed. But that wasn’t what I meant. I meant company.”Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

“Well, there are currently two companies that are leading the smartphone market. They are Simsang and Grapple.”Bookmark here

“Simsang and Grapple… Wait, what’s the difference?”Bookmark here

Ren nodded.Bookmark here

“Well, I have no experience with Grapple phones, but they are apparently more user-friendly. Simsang phones are more on the technical side, meaning that users can do more in-depth tasks with them, but Simsang phones are still user-friendly. Also, more people own Grapple phones than Simsang phones.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

I shrugged at Ren.Bookmark here

“So it depends on what I use it for, right? No, I don’t think I have a preference. They both have the same basic functions, right?”
“Yeah.”Bookmark here

“Then I don’t really mind…”Bookmark here

Ren nodded.Bookmark here

“Okay.”Bookmark here

I… don’t have much experience with technology, let alone smartphones, so I can’t really form an opinion. But I think I have heard people talk about Grapple more…Bookmark here

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