Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The iPhone Review

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post that was neither baby-related, nor me whining on and on about my life in general and hardly saying anything about my baby at all. I try not to bore everyone who is only here for Jellybean details with miscellaneous other stuff, like how I’m excited I fit into a smaller size jeans recently (*edit – Uh, not so much anymore, after a visit from my parents and real non-Cheerios meals and then a week in Toronto on an expense account and a different awesome Thai restaurant every night) and how much I’ve secretly loved not having the nanny here anymore. However, I have a new love in my life and am just so darn happy that I had to share.

Before you get too excited, remember I titled this post ‘The iPhone Review’, not ‘OMG I FINALLY MET A DUDE’. I’ve been a Nokia girl for a very long time (even had the crazy 3650 with the circular key pad), and my N75 recently drifted off while I gently cradled it. Or, more accurately, the stupid power/lock/settings button broke a spring or a pin or something, and since that was pretty necessary to the general day-to-day functioning of the phone, I decided it was time to move on. Random strangers on the street have been peer-pressuring me for quite some time about the sly little i-device. Knowing my love of all things geek-y and make-life-easier-y, more than one person suggested I join the cult. Despite the fact that I tend to be an early adopter of some things, as far as cellular devices go I’m usually slow and steady. I’ve been doing lots of reading and news-watching of the iPhone for quite some time; I watched friends pay first-car amounts for early models, observed hackers jailbreaking (and consequently bricking) more than once, and was quietly jealous of a few really cool apps.

What made me decide to finally go for it? I was looking at buying a Garmin, and was fretting I wouldn’t have it before my next Canada roadtrip. Garmins are expensive. The iPhone has GPS. I saw how many awesome kids’ apps there were, and our gal Jelly loves her some cell phone. I got sick and tired of not being able to check email or movie times or anything browser-necessary. And I should be getting some Christmas money here soon, so I figured why not.

First, I gotta say it’s really, really awesome. Like, really. Just alone, on its own, with no downloaded/purchased apps, it’s a great piece of technology. Pretty, fast, functional. I still prefer a phone that feels like a phone, but this is no phone. It’s a space-aged communication device, and there are some things you just let go of when you have so many other things making up for it. Granted, there are some irritating ‘why can’t it do that?’ types of issues, that pop up when I least expect it. You get so use to performing certain tasks and finger taps that you come to a screeching halt when you can’t save a pdf attachment from your email, or copy/paste it somewhere else (I was trying to insert the upcoming local Christmas parade route into my Calendar reminder, obviously quite critical). And the camera is pretty crappy. But as far as what you CAN do – pretty sweet.

I’ve tried very hard to not go overboard with downloading apps, and have thus far been fairly successful (on this, our 1-month anniversary, only $22.70 spent thus far!). I find it interesting how little overlap I have among friends. It’s very telling about how personalized each phone becomes, which I think is the biggest draw of having one. I tried to keep the majority of the applications in the under-a-dollar category, if not free, and there have only been two that have fallen outside of that; an RPG I couldn’t live without because I’m a big dork, and Jamie Oliver’s cooking app (because I would pay any amount of money for anything he does, because he’s bloody brilliant and totally smoking hot). I’ve also tried to keep them organized, and are so far broken down into the following categories; Main Page (use frequently, like Phone and Email and Messaging etc.), Jenny (games and stupidity like ‘shake the phone and it will sound like a choo-choo and your kid will go freaking bonkers even though it was free and you paid all kinds of money for other stupid apps that she hates’), Games (stupidity for me, like Cow Bell), Functions (for travel, for shopping, for cooking etc.), and Tools (Flashlight, Calculator, Lighter). I’ve only had the phone one week so haven’t had a chance to get out and use a lot of the stuff yet, but I figure starting with next week’s business trip I’ll use the heck out of them and come back and do another review. (*edit – As I mentioned, I’ve had it a few months now, so have revised my top favorite apps based on some actual road-testing)

So far, based on what I’ve downloaded (and I’ve already uninstalled a few items), here are my Top 10 personal favorite apps:

• FastContacts
• Maps (great as a simple local GPS; I decided I didn't like having my GPS and the iDevice in one unit, and The Ta sold me her Garmin for a steal)
• PackingPro
• Choo Choo
• Baby Piano
• Monkey Ball
• Grocery Gadget
• Yelp/AroundMe (I still haven't decided which one I like more; each one can yield different, extremely handy results. So for now I'm keeping both and we'll see how it goes)
• Alarm Clock
• Voice Memo/Dragon Dictation (still playing with these, but like that they're free and I can grab the phone and do a quick, 'Note to self')

I don’t like news, so there aren’t any news apps, although I’ve been told there are lots of great ones. I tried out TripIt and liked it, but didn't love it - I think there should have been more it could do as far as links and flight delays and stuff like that. I'll keep an eye on it. Leave me a comment if you want more details about any of these or how to find the exact versions. If you're my cousin reading this and your name is 'Jen', don't be horrified by this list. They are the things I use all the time that make life easier, I still have plenty of other crap on it.

1 comment:

marit said...

Hehe... thank god you qualified that post for me. I know, I'm nuts about the phone, but now you are too! Yeah nuts! Wait... that's not appropriate.