Tuesday, November 18, 2008

iPhone Apps

This year I finally broke down and bought an iPhone. Of all the technology devices I've ever owned, this has to be the most useful overall in a day to day capacity. Things I like:

(1) The Camera isn't great, but it's good. And that's far better than any other cellphone camera I've ever had. I use it constantly to take photos that I want to capture where I don't have a real camera with me. I also use it to snap photos of prices and item information when I'm comparison shopping for goods... But the real reason I use it so much is that I can quickly email the photos to people, allowing me to share the moment with friends. I _love_ that feature.

(2) Weather. It isn't perfect (is any weather forecast?) but it provides the fastest way for me to get weather information for where I am and where I'm planning to go. I also keep Buffalo on there, so that no matter how bad the weather is where I am, I can see that someone else is more miserable :-)

(3) Maps - I cannot overstate how cool it is having google maps on a phone. No need for a nav system anymore. Google something, find an address, look it up in google maps, have the phone tell me how to get there from where I am right now. If you don't think you would use this, you are wrong. This is the second best feature of the phone after having the internet with you at all times.

(4) Safari - Having the real internet with you at all times is amazing. Want to find the best restaurant in the middle of connecticut while you are on vacation? No problem. Want to find what subway train to take in the middle of New York City to get to the restaurant for dinner? No problem. Want to know what something costs online before you buy it in a store? No problem. Want to remember who the lead singer was of that obscure band you are hearing on the radio? That's easy. The mobile internet rocks.

Those are just the built-in apps. Now the fun stuff:

(5) Facebook - Say what you want about social networking, having a dedicated client on your phone makes it way, way better.

(6) Ebay - Sniping is no longer a problem when you can bid anytime, anywhere. Set an alarm to remind you if it's critical, then place your bid.

(7) AirSharing - The last trip we took, I printed out every receipt, every reservation screen etc. as pdf's and put them on my phone via AirSharing, making it quick and easy to find what I needed. Great way to have documents with you when you travel.

(8) Units - How many ounces are in a gallon? How fast is 240 KM in MPH? If I buy a 60 kilo bag of coffee, how many pounds am i getting? Units makes it quick and easy to find the answers to these kinds of questions.

(9) AroundMe - What is the closest coffee shop to me? This uses your location to tell you... It covers more than just coffee, gas, banks, grocery stores etc. But all I care about is coffee ;-)

(10) SportsTap - How much is USC winning by right now? Quick access to that answer and other less important sports results all in one place.

(11) YouVersion - Bible software from lifechurch.tv, this completely rocks. Search or just browse, a daily reading plan, and almost any translation you could possibly want available when you are online, all for free. There are also some downloadable translations, but not as many. The best!

On the whole, I _love_ the iPhone. It has been a great tool and is by far the best phone I've ever owned. It also plays a few pretty good games...

Joel

5 comments:

Kevin said...

Downloaded Google Mobile App today. It is fantastic! Try it out.

kevin said...

oh yeah, after a year I just found out you can take a "screen capture" by pressing power and the home button together. The image saves to your photos. I was going to blog later today about the apps I'm using with photos.

iphone apps said...

Hi there!

You can also find free iPhone apps at storedapps.com.

Perhaps you can also review our site in your blog? Thanks.

Jason said...

Hi Joel,

I enjoyed reading your thoughts and comments regarding your decision to purchase a ChMS. I was curious, do you think there is a need with churches to have iPhone native apps connected to their ChMS of choice? Thanks!

renewingmind said...

Apps are a cool idea, but the products should at least offer a mobile web version. Arena has a mobile portal that strips out a lot of the graphics and such, and incidentally looks fantastic on an iPhone with Safari. All of the products should at least offer this, IMHO.

Joel