Friday, August 24, 2007

Me, Myself & iPhone

Yeah, I broke down and got an iPhone. There are a couple of minor things that are a bit annoying - but that is to be expected. And yes... as everyone else has already reported, I too, would love it if it used the 3G network and that it supported Flash content. But in short I think it's great. I wasn't going to get one - I was going to sit on the fence until the second generation then decide. I didn't want to be the Apple fanboy that thinks any/everything that comes out of Cupertino is the best thing ever created. I even posted that I hoped the iPhone would be a total piece of crap and that it would fail. But alas... it is not. When I went back and looked at my old posts about what I have always wanted in the ultimate phone (wifi, MP3, video, large storage capacity, *relatively* fast data network) - I realized that I was in denial that the iPhone met all of these criteria. The one it didn't meet was that It doesn't support subscription music services - but see my post from yesterday as to why this criteria no mattered for me. But in lieu of support for Windows Media DRM, it even threw a spectacular UI and a qwerty keyboard that works pretty well even though it is virtual. Not as good as my old Blackberry's hardware keyboard but it works good enough for me.

As *many* people have posted about the overall usability and UI - I will share a personal experience that I think is very illuminating. If you hand the iPhone to an adult (particularly someone from my parent's generation) - the initial response is "wow"! This is because they have been trained and beaten down over years that technology (particularly cutting-edge tech) shouldn't be this easy.

On the flipside, when I handed the iPhone to my 3 year old daughter for the first time I got *no* reaction. That's because she didn't know any better - to her it worked like it was supposed to... completely intuitive.

So, after a few weeks with it - I've compiled the list of apps and websites that I have found to be the most indispensable for you other iPhoney's.

  1. Handbrake - rip a DVD then transfer it to your iPhone. Note: In Handbrake select the iPod settings but make sure that the output size is no larger than 640x480 (I had to go in and manually change this one parameter of the iPod setting). If you don't do that then the file won't sync.
  2. iPhone Remote (aka Telekinesis) - Not only can you use your iPhone as a remote control for you Mac (opening applications, etc.) but you can also stream content off of your Mac to your iPhone (music, videos, snapshots from your webcam). Works great over my LAN, but not sure if/how it will work outside the house since I don't have a static IP address. Still playing with it, but has *lots* of potential. Another option is Signal, but it does less and costs more ($29 vs. free).
  3. Facebook Mobile - If you love Facebook, then the iPhone optimized version of the site is a must-bookmark.
  4. Seeqpod for iPhone - MP3 search engine optimized for iPhone. Search for a free range MP3, and stream directly to your phone. Obviously better to try when on WiFi. Another great option is's iPhone interface.
  5. TinyBuddy IM - A web-based AIM application (built by folks at AOL) using the "standard" iPhone UI. The other option is Meebo which also works well.
  6. Netvibes - I actually just went through the pain of migrating all of my feeds from Pageflakes to Netvibes just so I could get the same content on my iPhone. It takes a long time to load over EDGE, but when on WiFi it works very well.
What are you guys using?

Now playing: Weezer & Soul Coughing - American Girl
via FoxyTunes


Louie said...

I personally think the Google Reader does the best job and they have an iPhone-specific interface that does the trick for me

Anonymous said...

My co-worker Dan (who also is a member of the Music 2.0 group on Facebook) put together this Seeqpod/ music exploration tool for the iPhone:

I think it's pretty slick.

Anonymous said...

So are they going to give you $200 back for buying the iPhone a couple weeks early? Or maybe they could just give you a new 8-gig Nano instead to cover the difference ;-)

jherskowitz said...

At least I didn't buy in for like $2K the first day. :-)