From my perspective, the police violated our daughter’s Fourth Amendment protections when seizing the iPhone 13 Pro that she inherited from me as a 2022 Christmas present. The story: Parents of the household where she visited handed over the device when asked. But it wasn’t theirs to give, nor the cops to take. Our only child couldn’t, and so didn’t, authorize the seizure. Justification: A sergeant, and later detective, told me they sought evidence of a crime against our daughter, the victim.
Law enforcement’s fishing expedition deprives the device’s owner as she recuperates from a double stroke caused by oxygen deprivation and prepares to go to an acute rehabilitation facility sometime soon. She wants her iPhone, and the detective doesn’t respond to my calls. We even had tentatively scheduled a meeting whereby we would discuss possible passcodes to unlock the device. That was before our girl made massive strides unthinkable the day of the proposed meetup to which he didn’t show.
Tonight, I got our daughter a lavender Samsung Galaxy S23 from her cellular carrier. The smartphone is less, but also much more, than what she used before. The iOS mobile has 1TB capacity; the Android is a puny 128GB. But the cameras and display are superior, and Samsung’s One UI 5.1 makes Google’s excellent operating environment better in ways Apple can’t compete with. Additionally, I rate the accessibility features on Android to be much more usable than iOS; she will need them.
The switch won’t be easy, given the mental and physical retraining our daughter will undergo during the coming months. From one perspective, she could benefit from familiarity. But same could be said for the challenge of change. I see platform switch as way of creating a barrier with some people who might reach out to her, whom she shouldn’t want to be distracted by. For that reason, she also has a new phone number, which permanence isn’t certain.
Then there is the problem of iMessage. Have you ever switched platforms and forgotten to turn off the feature—and, therefore, association with your mobile number? I have, and what a mess if you no longer possess the device. I encourage you to read Philip Berne’s TechRadar missive documenting the travails. Headline: “I switched from iPhone 14 Pro but iMessage wouldn’t let me go“. Dek: “iMessage took over texting and hid messages from me”.
Most of our daughter’s friends are iPhone users. She can’t easily, and confidently, disassociate her previous number—as the cops stashed the thing in a property and evidence room. When procuring a new SIM card for her previous number and putting it into Google Pixel 2 XL, I waited for a mass of text messages to blow through from long queue. There were two. Where did they go? The answer is the point.
None of this would be much of a problem had I even considered buying her a new iPhone. But the S23 is free, with 24-month commitment, which is a good price when tabulating the unexpected expenses cropping up following her injury.