I’ve never really had a great strategy for naming my devices. Based on my conversations with friends, it seems that most people just use the default of “You’re name’s iPhone.” But I never liked it. Up until recently, I’ve always removed the “Michael’s” bit and simply named the device its product name — iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air, etc.
When I purchased my iPad earlier this year, I thought of a clever naming convention that would help tie together the devices I own and help me recall what era they were from just by how the name relates to the names of my other devices. I’ve decided to name all new products after characters from TV shows in my childhood and stick with a single show for at least a couple of years-worth of purchases. My iPad Air 2 was the first to be bestowed with a name under this scheme and the iPhone 6s (64GB, Space Gray, if you’re curious) I receive later today will be the second.
At first I had considered trying to stick with Nickelodeon shows, which happen to hold a special place in my heart, but I’ll probably leave it a little more open-ended and just go with “cartoons from my youth.” The first show I’ve decided to use is Rocket Power — a show about a group of extreme sports enthusiasts. The show has plenty of characters with unique names — Otto, Lars, and Tito to name a few — and for a period of time it was my absolute favorite show.
The iPad Air 2 that I’m writing this on has been named Otto after the arrogant leader of the group whose short-sightedness often gets him into trouble. The name I’m giving my iPhone 6s is a little more up in the air and will probably remain that way until I get my hands on it. But it’s certainly going to be either Sammy, the clumsy newcomer who’s intelligence outweighs his abilities athletically, or Twister, the daredevil and videographer of the group whose older brother is always bullying the Rocket Power Team. I guess I’ll know which it should be when I get to the setup screen.
I haven’t decided exactly how long I’ll stick with each show, but I’ll probably switch to a new one once I start replacing devices that have Rocket Power names. There’ll be plenty of devices from each generation, though, just in the next year I plan on purchasing the new Apple TV, an Apple Watch, a Time Capsule, an iPhone 6s for my fiancée, and maybe a new MacBook Air. That should help me rapidly solidify this new naming convention and give my home network a bit more character.
I’ve already thought of a ton of shows that I could use for naming future generations of devices. Here’s some of my favorites:
Just the above shows alone could easily get me through the next ten years of device names.
I can see how someone would consider this to be a waste of time — it’s not like we interact with our devices name all that often — but I think in 10-20 years when I’m cleaning out my basement, come across an iPhone, and plug it into an old computer running iTunes, I’ll be instantly taken back to the time when it was my primary device, just by its name and how it reminds me of the other devices I used at that time.
I’m also curious if anyone else has any interesting naming scheme for their own devices. If you do, let me know on Twitter, I’d love to hear about it.