Tuesday, January 06, 2009

iPhone Update

I thought it's about time I updated you all with my iPhone thoughts now I'm a month or so in. So how's it going?

Well, generally pretty well I'd have to say. I'm very please with the device. I'm not going to go on about a few of the known shortcomings - cut & paste, PIM integration etc, that's been done to death here and elsewhere. What I am going to focus on is how I'm getting on with it in daily use.

It's good. Turning out to be a much better "phone" than my Centro/Treos, with clearer call quality both ways. It is not as easy to hold as a phone though as the Centro. Slightly annoyingly it's also not as easy to operate one handed. Although you can in a lot of the Apps, where scrolling up and down records (RSS feeds for example) developers seem insistent on putting the up/down arrows at the top of the screen rather than the bottom where they'd be much easier to use.

My main uses are email, SMS, Twittering, RSS reading, browsing and now WordPop's appeared playing that! generally it's good in all those areas. I've also listened to more music on this than I ever did on the Palm platforms, and have watched some movies. There's no doubt it's a fantastic media device.

Getting Apps onto the device is easy - perhaps too easy given that you can do it over the air and that in general they're free to cheap - I haven't paid more than £5.99 for anything yet. The quality of Apps varies enormously though, and the reviews can't always be trusted to give an objective opinion, so it can be a bit hit and miss. Here's a list of what I've added so far, in no particualr order, and my very biased opnion of each.
  1. Twitterific. Tha basic Twitter client. Superbly easy to set up and use. Highly recommended.
  2. Newsstand RSS reader. Anything's going to be good after the Palm experience, and this doesn't disappoint. Another highly recommended install
  3. YouNote by Sophiacom. The basic iPhone note App is pretty crummy. This allows you to write text notes, freehand notes, take phot notes and even capture web pages. Prtty useful if you have lots of sporadic notes floating about. Still on the iPhone.
  4. Notebook by Appigo. A much better and rounded note program that uses HTML (I think) to allow bulleted lists, links, folders etc. Another recommneded one
  5. eWallet by Ilium software. My favourite "private/secret" data wallet application - on all platforms - Win Mob, Palm and no iPhone. Superb.
  6. ToDo. Another App by Appigo, that fills the hole left by Apple not including a task manager on the iPhone. Syncs over the air to ToodleDo (web based task manager). Great if you need task functionality.
  7. ABContacts by Andrea Vettori. Supposed to allow better contact management and allows creation of contact "groups". Installed it, but didn't get on with it, so it's no longer there. Might be just me though.
  8. Bejeweled 2. What more is there to say. A classic game and even better on the iPhone.
  9. iBlogger by illumineX. Wanted something to post here. Works fine, but sadly doesn't yet support pictures/photos to blogspot blogs such as this. Still there for text posts though and works a treat for those.
  10. BlogPress by Coollittlethings Studio. Bought because iBlogger didn't do pics to blogspot, and this one said it did. Works, but very buggy. However, having emailed developer I've had several very fast responses on what the problems are, what he's working on and even thanks for some of my suggestions. One to keep an eye on.
  11. Converter by Brendon Royal-Gordon. Everyone needs a converter App, and this does what it says on the tin. very useful.
  12. Cro-Mag Rally. Bought this because I'd heard it shows off the true gaming capabilities of the iPhone and it's accelerometer. It does. Very good, but not really my sort of thing, and it's crashed on me a couple of times.
  13. Google Mobile App. Strange one this, but the killer is voice searching of Google. Just lift the iPhone to your ear, speak your search term and off it goes. Works sometimes! Cool idea.
  14. Mobilelinked IM by VirtueSoft.com. Got this one to IM my daughter when I'm away. Works OK. Nothing flashy but does the job.
  15. Photogene by Omer Shoor. The iPhone camera isn't all it could be, but this app allows you to edit photos directly on the iPhone. In a word - Brilliant. Highly recommended.
  16. Sol Free Solitaire by Smallware. Again, everyone needs a slitaire game. Flashy this aint. but it does the job
  17. Things by Werner Jainek. A todo list app. Didn't get on with it, so it's no longer on the phone.
  18. WordPop by Smartbox Design. About my all time favourite game for handheld devices. Out for the iPhone this week. An absolute steal at £1.19
Blimey. I didn't know I'd bought/downloaded so many apps. HAving siad that, only a couple of them were more than a couple of quid, so I haven't broken the bank. And there are so much more to try....

Overall then? I can do pretty much everything on my iPhone I could on my Palms - document editing etc still a bit of a hole - still waiting for Dataviz to get Docs to Go sorted for the iPhone. As you can see from this link, they say it's coming, but this page has been here for months.

I have to say though I still miss (a bit) my Centro and get it out of the drawer now and again. Actually used it for sat-nav (Tom Tom) last week, and I'm awiating the Palm Nova/Device announcement this Thursday with interest. Having signe up for an 18m contract on the iPhone just before Christmas though, I certainly ain't going anywhere else yet - nore do I feel the need to.

No comments: