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How useful is the iPhone in my life?

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Saturday, 12 July, 2008

Content I'm quite excited about the new Apple iPhone 3G as much as the next geek, but I resisted the first adopter mentality as I didn't want to waste time queuing and scrambling for a unit from dwindling stocks of the device.

Without wanting to add to all the praise and exposure of the iPhone in the blog world, I nevertheless do see the device in a positive light mainly from a practical point of view, in the context of my own life.

iPhone

Alot of the things it does that makes it useful for me could have been done before on my other devices, such as synching contacts, getting push email, listening to music and of course, making calls. But the appeal is that the Apple iPhone 3G does it so effortlessly and all from within one device.

I've always found synching contacts to be a chore that I have to set up to do each time. I don't have the business need of the immediacy of push email as I have access to my laptop the majority of the time and when I don't, it can usually wait. And I don't like the need to have to manually set up another device for things such as music, where once transferred, it no longer synchs with changes I make on my main workstation.

In fact, my needs have never been essential enough to have to go out and get a Blackberry for instance. Certainly not to check my Facebook account every hour. I guess I fit somewhere between a pure consumer and a pure business person.

But the iPhone fits my needs perfectly, making alot of things very convenient. Sure, its a little bigger than my Sony Ericsson phone, but I can also get updates to emails, in case I happen to be away from my laptop.

If I want to listen to music, I can browse a much larger collection of mp3s to hand. Photos can be shown to my parents and friends if I happen to see them and certainly, the web access can be useful if I suddenly found myself out in the wild pining for the convenience of a wireless network and my machine.

Even if sitting in a hotspot with my laptop does the job, its a little less conspicuous with an iPhone.

The new gps feature will also certainly come in handy. We have a sat-nav device, but of course, we don't always carry that around with us - obviously not when we're on foot.

The iPhone apparently doesn't give turn-by-turn instructions yet for getting somewhere, but that sounds like its a matter of time before some developers create the software to do it.

Which brings me to my next point and which the net seems to highlight about the new iPhone - software. With my previous devices, I more or less accepted that once bought, that was it. No major features or functionality. (I don't count downloadable games.)

But with a growing catalogue of software from independent developers, it seems the cloud's the limit on what the iPhone can do for me. Not just within the device itself, but also in connecting what I do on it to my laptop and the net.

Right now, it not only seems useful and very practical but potentially continues to be so, allowing software upgrades that expand the life expectancy of the device in our lives.

And that's not including all the emotional lust that exists around the iPhone. Now all I have to do is go out and get one - soon.

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Technology.

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