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iLove (my) iPhone: part one

November 13, 2009
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I think the iPhone is the best invention since the portabag. No, really, I do. This gadget is a life saver and a brain saver. I can put everything I need into it and still find new functions it can perform for me. My iPhone and my laptop are the best purchases from this year and ended up totally essential to my Honours productivity. My only problem with my iPhone was that it was stolen and I was without its wonder for a time (until D., my hero, bought me a new one from eBay – love!) Since returning to the wonders of the iPhone I have decided that some applications (“apps”) are more useful than others – and you (lucky you!) get to hear about them

My iPhone home screen

  1. Safari
    The web browser that comes preinstalled on the iPhone cannot be beaten (in my opinion). Free, functional, so easy to use I bet even my Dad could get it working. What more could you want?
  2. Mail
    Again, this app is preinstalled on the iPhone but like Safari, I cannot find a better email client in the AppStore. Mail allows me to check my Gmail on the go without having to open a browser window. Quick access, fast loading.
  3. Dictionary
    A phone-based version of which does not require a network connection. What could be more useful than a dictionary on the go? Dictionary is a free app but it is a big file so I recommend downloading this app over wireless.
  4. Clock
    Preinstalled app which includes: world clock, alarm, stopwatch and timer. I don’t understand why people make their own versions of this app and its individual functions when it works so well already.
  5. gNotes
    Free Google client note taking app. Yes, you can use the preinstalled Notes app, but gNotes allows you to create folders in which to create your notes. This year I’ve used the following folders (sample): @UniClass, @UniLibrary, Thesis, etc. The ability to group notes in folders means I can more quickly access those notes when I am in certain places (like at uni or in the library and so on). Productivity!
  6. Zenbe
    This is the most expensive app I have installed. At $3.99 (Australian) it was ‘a lot’ to fork out when I didn’t really know what the app would be like. However, Zenbe (handily) has a free online version which I used to check out Zenbe before purchase. The two versions sync with each other and you can use the same Zenbe account on more than one iPhone. This means if I forget my phone and I know my current grocery list is on Zenbe, I can sync it to D.’s phone and it’s all good.
  7. Phone
    The preinstalled phone app allows you to access your recent made/missed calls, contacts and keypad (as well as ‘favourites’ – no idea – and voicemail – which I don’t have). Yes, I have thought about downloading a new phone app, but only because some of them look really cool. But essentially, no other phone app has as much functionality as Phone so I haven’t bothered (also, most of them cost and I am a cheapskate).
  8. Settings
    I find Settings is an essential app and I access it more than I thought I would, hence it being located on my main screen. As my iPhone doesn’t function as a phone with 3G (which makes my internet speed faster but also stops me from making/receiving calls and texts) turned on, being able to access settings > network quickly is a must when turning 3G on means I can no longer be contacted (yes, traumatic in this day and age). It also contains many of the settings for not only the preinstalled apps, etc. but also for some of the downloaded apps (it stores some logins, as well as colour schemes and so on).

The following apps are all located at the bottom of every screen for quick access.

  1. smartICE
    I paid $1.19 (Australian) for this app but I think it is worth it. This app is an excellent “In Case of Emergency” app and its bright colours are designed to call attention when someone is looking through your phone for the right person to contact in an emergency. The only drawback of smartICE is that (since being stolen) my iPhone is password protected, which means randoms cannot get into it. But in the case of an emergency, it also stops people being able to access my next of kin and medical info. Yes, most of my friends/family members know the password, but I’m pretty sure strangers don’t. Some ICE apps allow you to create a banner to display across your screen saver with information in this case (such as “To access ICE info, call [NUMBER] for password”) but I rarely have mine displayed.
  2. Calendar
    I am yet to find a calendar/planner app I am happy with (I will pay you with cake to make me one!) so I have settled on using the preinstalled Calendar to store my appointments. Its list view allows me to quickly scan when I am working, as well as when I have meetings or papers due. Calendar isn’t perfect (for me) but it sure is free.
  3. Messages
    Preinstalled (surprised?) messenger app. Allows quick access to SMS, MMS and email contacts. Free, functional, fast. Why do people think they can improve on this?
  4. Camera
    One of the downfalls of the iPhone is its poor quality camera (2 megapixels, in this day and age? Are you serious? And no zoom!) but it is still handy to have when I am on the go. I take a lot of photos and its handy to have this function built into my phone – it means I have one less valuable to lug around!

Expect more posts about my iPhone and the apps I have installed!

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