Having spent a few weeks with my new iPhone now, I can state that the 3rd generation of the iPhone is polished and fast. The basic functions of the iPhone are well thought-out, easy to use, and intuitive. The integration between the pre-installed apps is well-designed and for lack of a better term, slick. However, the real power of the iPhone lies with all the software available for the iPhone, better known as “apps”. I’m going to share a few examples of apps that I’ve personally used in the last few weeks and how having all this software available to you could literally change your life.
The first app I’ll discuss is called “Things”. “Things” is an advanced “to-do” or task list manager. I needed something to help manage my time better, so I started researching this type of app. As an exercise, I did all my research on the iPhone itself, purposely not using my computer to see just how much I could get done using the iPhone alone. I was able to search for apps that matched my criteria, see the prices, read the description of the apps, see screenshots, find out how the apps were rated, and read user reviews. This was from within the App Store itself. I was able to do further research using the Safari web browser on the iPhone. With all the information I was able to find, I felt I was able to make a good decision, and bought and downloaded “Things”.
The second app is one called “Ping Lite”. I was in a situation where I needed to test network connectivity for a client, but I had to test it from outside their network. Using the iPhone’s 3G data network would have been perfect, but I didn’t have any software on the iPhone that could do what I needed. Within minutes I had the free Ping Lite app downloaded and performed the test I needed to do. Again, I did all this only using my iPhone and simply using the info provided by the App Store. The key here was that I was able to do this within literally a few minutes using only my iPhone.
Finally, a fun app that has been featured on Apple’s commercials is called Shazam. It is a program that can identify songs by simply “listening” to them. I was at a friend’s house when someone asked the name of a song playing on the radio. Before the song was over, I had searched for, downloaded, installed the app, and identified the song using Shazam. While this app is more fun than anything, my example again showcases the power of the iPhone and the App Store. Before the iPhone, what I did would not have been possible, and now I can do it in minutes.
The point of all this is that the iPhone allows us to have virtually unrestricted access to information, anytime, anywhere. It’s hard to describe to those who don’t have one just how liberating a feeling this is. At least for me, someone whose job depends on quick access to information, having an iPhone is changing my life. I expect that many others would feel this way as well. If you don’t have an iPhone see if you can borrow one for a few hours, play with a few apps, and search for apps that might interest you. If you already have an iPhone, try using it in any situation that requires the quick lookup of information and see just how quickly you can get the answer you’re looking for.
The Tech Spot will be having an “App Party” on July 22nd where iPhone and iPod Touch users can get together, talk about their favorite apps, and share their real life experiences with each other. This will help us all learn about new and useful apps.