So I know this guy. He’s older and he’s got some vision troubles, so he doesn’t drive at night. I take him to a game party one time and he asks me if I could help him install Uber on his phone. I think “well, this shouldn’t be so hard,” and accept the phone. If you read the title, you’ll see what’s coming. It was a Windows phone. The first I see, the app is already installed, but I don’t see it. I try to search for it using the search feature, but, of course, that goes straight to Bing to search the web. I scroll down to look for it and find it under the old logo. I don’t know how old. I move the app up to the top and make it full size so it’s easy to find. Then I open it and see I just needed to create an account. So I do. He gives me his information and a password and I enter it all and find out that his email is taken. He already has an account. That’s easy, I’ll just reset the password. Turns out he has an AOL address. So I send the password reset to his AOL address.
One problem, and this is where it starts to get weird, AOL mail doesn’t work on his phone’s old Internet Explorer app. So, I have to borrow a friend’s computer to log into his email and get the reset password. Fine. That works. Now it wants me to enter the four-digit passcode it sent to his phone in a text. Cool. I wander around on the phone trying to find out where the texting app is. I find the chat app, full of spambots posing as women making lewd comments. I try the search feature and it takes me to Bing again and searches the web for “text.” Finally I find the text app by manually scrolling through the tesselation of little square icons that makes up the Windows home screen. Nothing. I wait. Still nothing. I try resending the text. There it is. I input the four-digit code. “Error” says the screen. I resend the code and enter it again. “Error.” I resend and enter the code a third time. Success. We’re logged in.
So, I register his financial information. Error. I ask for his financial information again to register it once more. Error. I try a third time. Error. I back out. The information is registered and ready for use. The map looks like the Uber I’m used to, but all of the text looks like it’s been replaced by incomprehensible ads. Instead of “call Uber” it says “call hurricanes.” The label pointing to our current location says “check back for offers.” Fine. I know what it all means anyway. I tap the “call hurricanes” button. I set the destination and, just to show how much it usually costs, I tap the “estimate fare” button. “‘estimate fare’ is not available for hurricanes.” Fine. He’s ready to leave the party, so I order him a “Hurricane.” “Searching for your driver.” This screen stays up a long time. So long, in fact, that my other friends are getting impatient for me to join them in the game. A friend who isn’t playing volunteers to watch the searching screen. Once I pick up my cards, she comes to me and says a message came up, but it was too fast to read, and now we were back on the Uber home screen. I try pressing “call Hurricane” again, and this time we get a driver. The good news? He shows up and takes my friend home. Everyone at the party breathes a sigh of relief as the car finally drives away.
Please, if you know someone who is looking for a phone, don’t let them get a Windows phone. It’s not kind to anyone. This has been a public service announcement.