Retraining your Borg Mind to Master the Sounds of iOS 7

by Barrett

When the update bar gets to the finish line, your iPhone will never be the same. Better. Stronger. Faster. And unfamiliar. Welcome to the updated audio world of iOS 7.

When the update bar gets to the finish line, your iPhone will never be the same. Better. Stronger. Faster. And unfamiliar. Welcome to the updated audio world of iOS 7.

You are more Borg than you know.
Remember on ‘Star Trek’… that race of evil, technology-enhanced humanoids, all enslaved to the connected, collective ‘Hive Mind?’
Yeah… those guys.

The good news is I’m not here to report that you’ve lost your free will to technology.
(not yet)

The bad news is you’ve already lost total control over parts of your unconscious autonomic mind to your mobile operating system.

Case in point:
iOS 7.

Reprogramming Your Autonomic Tech Self
Your smartphone probably isn’t drilled into your forehead or otherwise hardwired via more elegant solutions.
But since you carry your phone about with you everywhere you go, it might as well be.

And when you’re not directly interfacing with it visually, the method your phone uses to stay connected is through a myriad of audio cues:

  • ‘Ding a ling.’  Your phone rings.
  • ‘Bleep.’  You’ve got mail.
  • ‘Ping.’  Hey, you’ve got a text.
  • ‘Ta Da.’  There’s calendar invite.
  • ‘Pong.’  Here comes a tweet.
  • ‘Beep Beep.’  Time for your appointment.
  • ‘Wahhhhhh.’  Your date just cancelled on you.

You really don’t have to think about what all the sounds mean anymore.
You just intuitively know it.

It’s like not having to think about breathing.
Your autonomic nervous system controls that in your brain’s medulla oblongata.
(And you thought you’d never again use that factoid from high school biology class.)

So what happens when all those familiar iPhone audio cues change?
Enter the new and ‘improved’ world of iOS 7.

Your iOS Life as It has Been… is Over.
I finally upgraded to iOS 7, Apple’s newest mobile operating system for their mighty army of iPhones/iPads.
I’m usually a late adopter, waiting around a few weeks for the 2nd or 3rd update tweak before I pull the trigger.  First versions are always a little buggy.
(I jumped in this time at iOS 7.0.3.)

It’s no secret that this new iOS looks quite different.
And it contains enough operational updates to require your focused attention while you’re brushing up on how to use it.

For me, the larger problem wasn’t what I had to relearn visually.
It was losing the ability to understand the sounds of my phone’s updated language.
My phone would talk to me, and suddenly, I couldn’t understand it.

It felt as if my connection to the Borg Collective had been severed.
And I was about to began wandering about aimlessly with my arms flailing this way and that…
(not that the behavior is so unusual for me)

The only solution was to learn all of the new default audio cues.
And then let that information slowly seep into my medulla oblongata…

Sure, I still kind of knew what was happening when the phone rang.
Although I did miss calls, sometimes thinking I had heard someone else’s ring tone…
And the default jingle is so much more soothing, you can easily miss it in the roar of life.

Plus, I felt detached from the newly foreign sounds.
Even the on/off clicking cue was different… It had more echo.
Couldn’t they leave anything alone?!

What alternate universe had I been transported into?
My happy, Borg-like relationship with my iPhone was now just a mess.

Resistance is Futile
After a week, I decided it was time to go back to the future.
I just didn’t dig the new language.

(No, I didn’t ‘man-up’ and stick it out till my unconscious sufficiently absorbed the update.)

Instead, I drilled down deep in the iOS settings menu to discover
‘Classic Sounds.’

And I reactivated them.
(all of them)

Mmmmmmm… Classic Sounds.

I felt all warm and cozy again.

Yes, one day I’ll personalize the language of my iPhone with some of the newfangled audio cues.
(‘cause old sounds do eventually get boring…)
But I’ll determine the schedule of implementation, thank you very much.

And thank you, Apple for leaving the back door ajar for me.

I’m happy to report that symbiosis has finally been restored in my little
bio-tech relationship. I can again walk and talk with my iPhone… with ease.

My sense of individuality remains intact.
Total assimilation can wait for another day…