Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the iPhone, Part Two

My fascination with this device continues.

I've had several emails from readers asking questions about my new iPhone, so I thought I'd post a bit more about it.

An iPhone is actually an upgraded iPod Touch, or an iPod Touch is a downgraded iPhone . . .

The main difference is that an iPhone is an actual phone. An iPhone also has true GPS capability, although it requires additional software to give you turn by turn instructions. And lastly, the iPhone has a built in camera.

Now to be fair, while the iPod Touch is missing the phone, the GPS and the camera, it also has no monthly charges.

My feeling was that, after using the iPod Touch for six months, I was ready to move up to the iPhone. In the interest of full disclosure, my monthly bill is right around $80.00, which gives me 450 minutes of prime time phone, free nights and weekends, 200 text messages and unlimited internet. For me, it was more than worth it.

And now that I've told you the basics, I'd like to share some of the things that continue to excite me and further my belief that this is just one super little piece of equipment.

While I had my iPod Touch, I would often get messages that certain applications needed to "use my current location". I usually just said no, since here at Ghost Ranch, I often don't have either wifi or phone service. Now that I have GPS capability, all these little aps work just fine. I'm talking about the kind of applications that let you know what's around you at any given time. This is handy for all kinds of things from finding restaurants, gas stations, etc. to being able to walk into a store and scan a bar code and have the iPhone tell you if that item is available within a reasonable distance at a lesser price. Pretty cool, huh?

This last weekend (Black Friday) a whole ton of aps were on sale through the iTunes Store (both the iPod Touch and the iPhone are loaded through the iTunes Store).

I found a great GPS ap called CoPilot North America. Normally, it sells for $35.00 (note, most aps sell for $1.00 to $2.00) but for Black Friday, they priced it at $19.99. I decided to bite the bullet and downloaded the ap, and boy am I glad I did. This application turns your iPhone into an actual real live GPS, complete with vocal turn by turn directions. We tried this today, and found that it worked just fine!

There's another ap called Road Trip. This is a small piece of software where you enter all your vehicles information and it keeps track of everything for you. Now I realize that this can be done on a piece of paper, but, information, once entered, accumulates and gives you complete statistics , such as mpg, how much you've spent on fuel (cumulative), how much it costs you to own your car (per day, per mile, etc.). I used to do this on paper, then transfer it to my computer, but this makes it so much easier.

The iPhone also acts as an eReader. Granted, the screen is small, but it's perfectly readable. There are tons of books and articles available, as well as manuals, magazines and newspapers..

Another of my favorite finds is Musee du Louvre, a tour of the Louvre Museum, complete on your iPhone, no internet connection required.

Also, as I mentioned before, I have all my recipes on my Mac using an application called Yum!. Yum! also has an iPhone ap which syncs with my iPhone, so I now have all my recipes with me at all times. This is particularly useful in the kitchen. And if someone wants one of my recipes, I can simply email it to them straight from my iPhone.

There are also several CPR applications, 0ne of which (Pocket CPR) walks you through CPR, including a metronome like timer, so you can do it properly. Now both Terry and I took CPR classes, but in the case of emergency, I'll take all the help I can get.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

You can also surf the web, get email, take pictures, manipulate your photos, play a ton of great games, on and on.

And who knows what tomorrow may bring?

If you have any favorites applications for your iPhone, would you please let me know?

I'm just having too much fun.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Jay Leno mentioned the other night that he had discovered a new ap on his iPhone: he can make telephone calls on it! :)

Hope all's well out there in the West. I'm hoping to get back out there at some point this winter.