The Great Smartphone Debate: iPhone vs Android

funny picture of a smartphoneYou probably have a smartphone. If you don’t, congratulations! You can honestly say that you are more intelligent than your phone.

But you probably have a smartphone. There aren’t that many other options, really, aside from the cement-block sized portable phone from the ‘90s.

Which is why you probably have a smartphone, because cement blocks really wreak havoc on your pockets.

How many other paragraphs do you think I can start with the words “you probably have a smartphone” appearing in the first sentence before it becomes awkward? Ooops, did it again. Sorry.

Anyways, since you probably have a smartphone, you either have one of two options: an iPhone, or an Android phone. What happens when there are only two options and teens are involved? Obviously, the only sensible thing to do is form a rivalry.

At this point, I could continue talking about how you probably have a smartphone, or I could just tell you the arguments for both sides of the debate. I think I’ll go with the arguments.

The iPhone

The positives of owning an iPhone might seem boundless. I don’t mean that there are literally an infinite number of good reasons to own one; I just mean that there are literally an infinite number of reasons, good or bad, which is usually good enough for us teens.

First of all, the iPhone was the original smartphone, and remains the phone of choice for all hipsters, hipster-wannabes, and clueless people who think that Android is some sort of character from Star Wars.

The iPhone also pioneered the app craze. If you have an iPhone, you can do many groundbreaking, scientific things, like toss feathered avian creatures at hogs, or ask Siri, for the millionth time, where to bury a dead body. These are all major positives in most teens’ eyes.

Furthermore, the iPhone easily syncs to all of your Apple products. This means you can stream your music from Macbook, or watch your movies on the big-screen Fuji apple display at the farmer’s market.

There are a few drawbacks to the iPhone, though, as it can’t do everything. For example, the ever popular ‘lighter’ app only rarely works in starting a fire, and the parachute app comes with a lengthy liability waiver.

Additionally, it is not waterproof, meaning that if you drop it in water you’re left with a shiny flat piece of metal. Although if this happens during the week, you probably won’t be awake enough to notice until Sunday afternoon. Half the time you’re just pretending to text to appear cool, anyway.

The Android

The Android phone is a little less stereotypical. In small words, that means that it’s harder to make fun of. Regardless, it too has its positives.

To begin with, you’ve got more options with how your phone looks. Since appearance is the only thing teens care about, that’s a good thing. The iPhone’s screen not big enough for you? Then pick up an Android phone with a screen the size of…one of those cement-block portable phones from the ‘90s. Sure, it won’t fit in your pocket, or even your backpack, but at least you’ll only need the ‘150lb load or less’ hand truck model.

You can also get apps on an Android phone. In fact, you can get the same apps as on an iPhone. The only downside is, well, you don’t have an iPhone, which sort of makes every app less fun. That’s called good marketing on Apple’s part.

Androids, however, are not the perfect phone. Many of them have digital ‘locks’ that can easily be confused for a fun game of connect the dots, meaning that you’ll be so busy trying to figure out what the picture is before connecting the dots that you’ll never actually unlock the phone.

Google is another consideration. Basically, you give Google even more power by owning an Android phone. That doesn’t really matter, though, because it’s not like they couldn’t take over the world even without hacking into millions of phones.

So, which side do you take (I’m assuming, here, that you probably have a smartphone)? Android or iPhone? Feel free to sound off in the comments. Myself, well, I’m reeling over the fact that I just started, for the seventh time, a paragraph of this post including the words “you probably have a smartphone.” I probably have some sort of borderline-insane writing disorder.

Last year on this date we published “3 Sections of the Driver’s Manual that You Need to Know.” If you have any hopes of ever becoming a semi-safe driver, then you need to read this post. It won’t make you a better driver, but it will make you give up on those hopes, because you’ll realize just how crazy the rules of the road actually are.

3 Brilliant Ways to Use Water Balloons

A water balloon about to explodeThe concept of the water balloon is perfect. It is part humor, part adrenaline, part skill, part luck, part projectile combat, and part public admiration/humiliation.

However, the execution of the water balloon is not so perfect. For one thing, filling them up. They take anywhere from 3 to 18.1 trillion seconds to figure out how to hook them up to the hose, and then another 5 seconds to fill with water. It takes only 1 second for the balloon to be thrown and explode.

Furthermore, nobody likes picking up the pieces of a shattered water balloon. Which means you either clean up, which is not something any sane teen enjoys, or you leave the pieces outside on the ground. And if you do that, your conscience has to wrestle with the possibility that a number of cute small mammals or birds choke to death on those pieces of neon balloon, all because you were lazy. So you end up cleaning up.

All of sudden, you might be questioning the worth of the water balloon. Does it take more time to prepare and clean up than the enjoyment is worth?

Of course not. Are you kidding? You get to nail somebody with what’s essentially a flying projectile filled with water, totally soak them, and, if done correctly, watch their facial expressions as well. To teens, that’s worth more than half of the US nuclear arsenal (“Yes, Mr. Kim Jong-Un, just stand here and face me. I’ll throw the balloon and then hand over the control panel.”).

Even so, there are ways to make your water balloon experience even better.

The Windows

Most people would agree that the element of surprise is great ally to have. They would be right. When it comes to a successful water balloon strike, this is vital.

However, in most cases, the surprise is lost after the first balloon. That’s not true in this case.

What you need to do is to find an area in your house or apartment with a number of consecutive windows. For added effect, use windows not on the ground level. Open them all. Then, run back and forth amongst the windows, tossing only one balloon from each one. If you are lucky, you will run out of balloons before being discovered.

Disclaimer: High School Humor Blog (from herein, referred to as ‘us’ or ‘we’. Yes, we may not refer to ‘us’ again in this disclaimer, but we wanted to get that clear regardless) is not responsible if: you fall out of the window; your victim sues for undue mental distress; or you fall out of the window onto your victim and they sue for undue mental distress.

The “Made You Look”

Acting skills are a must. You should hide just one water balloon somewhere on you, like a pocket, bag, or sock (“What, that? That’s just my insane calf muscle.”).

If you want to carry more than one balloon (not recommended), you could use a trench coat or top hat. When people ask you why you might need a trench coat/top hat in the summer, just reply, “If you need to ask, you will never understand.”

Then, find a friend/enemy to walk alongside with, one who is preferably either weaker than yourself or not prone to physical violence. After a few minutes, point to the sky on the other side of your friend and say either: a) (for rural/suburban areas) “Wow, look at that humongous flying semi-invisible bird!” or b) (for urban areas) “Wow, look at that humongous flying semi-invisible bird!”. (The difference, by the way, is in the voice inflection, in case you didn’t figure that out).

As soon as they turn their head, whip out the balloon and nail them with it. From there, you can either ad-lib an explanation (“Dude, the bird totally just dropped a bomb on you! Gross, and yet sick, man.”) or just keep a totally straight face and act like nothing is wrong.

The Sneeze

The value of this one is in seeing others’ reactions, although, on the downside, you don’t get to nail anyone else with a balloon. Set it up like you would the previous one, with a hidden water balloon. Then, pretend to sneeze, while crushing the water balloon in front of your nose. Total chaos and fake disgusting-ness should ensue.

Note: Not recommended for use in front of mature persons, because unlike teens they might get genuinely concerned and feel a need to take you to the doctor/hospital/government research lab.

So, whether you go with using the element of surprise (#1), using the element of surprise (#2), or using the element of surprise (#3), water balloons are sure to make your summer better. Although if you live in a cold climate, beware of hypothermia, pneumonia, and, um, drowning (long story short, don’t do these on thin ice). Really, though, the fun that water balloons create (for you, at least) totally outweigh the – hey, look at that giant flying cloud!

If you’re having a more serious summer, perhaps you’d like “3 Ways to Tour A College,” published at this time last year.

5 Phone Apps for Teens that Someone Needs to Make

the gum locator appSmartphones. Where would we be without them? I’ll tell you where I’d be: I’d be in the middle of a country back road in a car, utterly lost and starving to death. My stomach would be slowly digesting itself and I would be feverish, delirious, and hallucinatory from lack of water. And worst of all, I’d have no idea what my friends were saying on Facebook.

After all, our phones can do a lot of things. They are calculators, maps, games, news headlines, and, most importantly, teen status symbols. However, there are some vital functions that our phones have yet to acquire.

Obviously, our phones will never be able to talk to us. Oh, wait, sorry, I forgot about SIRI. What I mean is, our phones will never be able to understand us as humans. Except for every music app that suggests songs for your tastes. Okay, look, our phones will NEVER be able to never drop calls.

Since technology is advancing at such a fast rate, though, I figure that all I need to do is mention some new advancement and then try to have the patience to wait for a few milliseconds until it is invented.

With that in mind, here are 5 Apps that someone, possibly you, but probably not, more likely your friend, but still not that likely, or maybe your school nerd, slightly more likely, or a programmer, very likely, or Google, 1,000% likely, needs to make.

1. Bad Song Eliminator

Our phones are already genius when it comes to music (pun for those of you who catch it. If you don’t, either accept that you are inadequate or go here). But we all have songs we hate, whether it’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Baby,” or “Fruit Salad.” Even worse, though, is the fact that because the gray thing impersonating our brain during our teen years hates us, the song will instantly be stuck in your head. This means you will be unable to function for the next hour or so, as you can’t do anything but sing the song you hate. Leading to many awkward situations, such as:

Police Officer: Did you know you were weaving in and out of lanes 20 miles over the speed limit?

You: Well, uh…Fruit salad! Yummy, yummy!

And this is why our smartphones need to be able to not only predict when a song we dislike is coming on, but also stop us from hearing it. Whether that entails emitting noise-silencing waves, blasting our own music louder, or extending a little rocket launcher from the camera lens and completely obliterating the offending radio/friend’s iPod/stereo system/street musician, this is one app we all need.

2. Gum Sensor

We all know what the problem is: we don’t have enough gum. It doesn’t matter if we have so much gum in our mouth that we can’t breath; we still don’t have enough gum. Also, that’s why we have noses.

The science in this one is simple. Just take a teen brain and stuff it inside the smartphone (it’ll fit, with room to spare). Then, just give the phone x-ray vision, an enhanced sense of smell, and supersonic hearing. It will thus be impossible for anyone to conceal opening gum, buying gum, chewing gum, getting out gum, throwing gum, and all-around enjoying gum without you noticing. After that, just ask them for some.

3. Homework Excuse Voicemail Imitator

Sure, you’ve got a few perfected homework excuses that rarely fail. But why risk it? Wouldn’t it be so much better if you had a voicemail from your parents? For example:

“Hi, this is your mom/dad. I’m just calling to let you know that I took your dog to the vet this morning and after extensive surgery, he is now fine. In case you’re interested, although I doubt this is an important detail, the problem was that your 5,000 word essay on the humanity of Odysseus was clogging his small intestine, big intestine, throat, mouth, nose, and appendix. Oh, they also removed his appendix, because apparently dogs aren’t supposed to have those. Call me back when you get home.”

Or:

“Hey, son/daughter, just so you know, the insurance people came and offered to pay for all the damage that the fire, which was caused by the short-circuiting of the wireless part of the wireless remote for the TV. Sadly, it looks like we will be unable to salvage the science experiment that you’ve been working on since four months before you were a fetus. Call me back when you get a chance, please.”

Essentially, this app would come with an endless supply of perfect voicemail messages just like these, and would even act like your voicemail. If your teacher tried to call the number back, it would go to a pre-recorded message saying that the phone was unavailable.

4. Book Summarizer

We’ve all been in that terrible situation where our teacher decides to assign 300 pages of reading due the next day. Most of us won’t read it. The rest of us will read the first and 300th pages and make up our own versions of what happens in-between. But what if your phone could read it and then summarize it for you?

Now, I’m not talking about the sparknotes or shmoop quality of summaries. I mean a valuable, in-depth summary that is shorter than 5 words, that also incorporates all elements of symbolism and literary devices. Additionally, it would include the page number and position on the page of where to place sticky notes, so that you can make it look like you really read. Furthermore, this would work on all texts, from your English novel to your chemistry book.

Of all these apps, this is the one that I would be willing to give my three smallest toes for*.

*That is an exaggeration for comic value. (I’m throwing in this disclaimer so that no one will invent this and then show up at my house with a knife and jar of toes. Please, I’d rather have another visit from some Jehovah Witnesses).

5. Irrational Anxiety Fixer

One fun part of having a brain that works hard to destroy you emotionally, physically, and mentally as a teenager is that it is constantly making you doubt yourself. For instance, is your pencil really #2 pencil? What if your SAT results are cancelled?

Or, what if you changed your clocks the wrong way for daylight savings time? What if you turned your clock so far backwards in time that you get eaten by a velociraptor on the way to school?

Sometimes, a friend will reassure us. “Don’t be crazy,” they’d say, “A velociraptor? Really? OH MY GOD DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU!”

But, as you can see, it is more likely that a friend (if they are a true friend) will simply make fun of us. Therefore, we should be able to turn to our phone. At the touch of a screen, it should read us calming statements, read by calming people like the AllState insurance guy, such as: “Don’t worry. Whatever it is, it can’t be worse than having to make a living selling insurance to people over the TV.”

And now, as it so usually happens at the end of posts, it is time for a conclusion. There isn’t much to say, because it’s not as if I have some profound theme I am going to touch upon, like “Those who want what they don’t have don’t have what they want if they don’t want what they have or don’t have what they wanted to not have.”

Huh. That’s pretty good, if I do say so myself. I think I’ll stop there.

(Please ignore the deep theme. It does not belong on this blog and is a result of too many English classes).

On a lighter note, are there any apps that you think belong on this list?

Also, just a reminder: we’d really love it if you’d like our Facebook page. And a big thanks to those who have already done so or are about to do so.

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