Thursday, November 27, 2008

Living with the iPhone

Well, after living with the Apple iPhone for four months today, I have to say that I still love it! I can do most of what I need to do on a daily basis and the interface cannot be beat!

It was not until the App Store launched, and I installed the OS upgrade on my iPod touch to try the App Store, that I realized the power of having a well-engineered, converged device. I have been a smartphone user for years (both Palm and Windows Mobile) and there is truly no comparison. I have been following the other new devices, like the Android and Storm, and do not feel a bit of techno-lust!

The only downside is the poor battery life. I know I can shut off some functionality to prolong the battery life, but that is an inconvenience. (However, I guess it is MORE of an inconvenience to have no battery life left!) I have just purchased a small battery life extender (Kensington Mini Battery Extender) and that should solve my problem.

There are all types of apps for the iPhone, and many of the ones that I have installed have been free and low-cost. Some of my favorite add-ons include:
  • Twitterfon: for keeping up with my tweeting colleagues
  • MobileFiles: read-only access to my iDisk files
  • Google: text search and the great new voice search functionality
  • MightyDocs: read-only access to all my Google docs
  • YouNote: write, draw, or record a to-do for yourself
  • Pandora Radio and AOL Radio: two different types of streaming radio
  • GPS Tracker: open it up and family members can follow your whereabouts
  • iWant: based on your current location, find local essential services
  • Ruler, Compass, and Dual Level: handy tools to have with you at all times
  • AirMe: send your photos taken with the phone right to the Web
  • Panolab: create a panoramic photo with the iPhone
  • fring: access to Skype
  • Google Earth: it is amazing how well it can be used on the iPhone
  • HanDBase: the great database program now for use on the iPhone
  • iTalk: an easy-to-use voice recorder that can sync with your computer
  • Say Who: voice-dialing program
  • SportsTap: easy access to sport scores of all types
  • i.TV: based on your location, get the TV show lineup
  • SnapTell: take a photo of a book, CD, or DVD cover in the store and get pricing
  • Facebook and AIM: I could not be without them
  • SearchMe: a search engine that returns "coverflow-like" results
  • Games that take advantage of the touchscreen and the accelerometer like iBowl, TapTap Revenge, magic8Ball
If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch and want to share your favorite apps and a short description, please do!

Update 12/6/08:
I have purchased Tweetie for using Twitter on the iPhone. It is a full-featured Twitter client that is very easy to use and parses well on the device.

The Kensington Mini Battery Extender arrived it and works very well! First it charges up the device, and then, when you use the iPhone, it supplies the power until it runs out of power and then you start using the iPhone battery again.

Here is a list of 50 iPhone apps for education that came out right after this post.