October 28, 2009

My Latest Toy

I'm not one to follow fads or seek out what's hot solely because it's hot.

[Okay, okay, I'm lying. I'll admit to owning parachute pants in the 80's and lots of florescent t-shirts. And I distinctly recall going through a phase during which I wanted to dress like an extra from Miami Vice. And, okay, there was the flannel and ripped jeans grunge phase when I grew my hair down to my ass, bought Doc Martens, and pierced my ears a couple times. But for the most part - at least lately - I don't feel the need to chase trends or be in any way trendy myself.]

Which is why it took me a long time to get my hands on an iPhone and why I didn't believe the hype. Until recently.

[Yeah, I lied again. The reason I waited so long was primarily due to the fact that AT&T didn't offer me an equipment upgrade until earlier this month and frankly I didn't want to spend a bazillion dollars on a phone. Okay, I did want to spend a bazillion dollars but I didn't let myself. Or, um, Beth wouldn't let me.]

While we were in Manhattan, we swung by the flagship Apple store on Fifth Avenue, a day after my phone upgrade got the green light, and plopped down the cash for an iPhone. Hands down, best gadget investment ever made. I've spent the week and a half getting used to it, configuring my email accounts and calendars, syncing contacts, and loading applications. And I think I can honestly say that this thing changed my life, just a little bit.

With it, Beth and I were able to keep in constant contact with each other while one of us was at the hospital with Mia and the other was with Owen. We shot video of the kids and sent them to the other. We texted throughout the night and snapped pictures to send back and forth. I know I could do most of this with my old smart phone but not this easily. And now that I'm loaded up with apps, I can make dinner reservations, browse Amazon, shop my local Target store, order Mexican food (Chipotle!), open up and edit all kinds of documents, book movie tickets, read the latest novel (courtesy of the Kindle app which I was skeptical about but needn't have been), Tweet, update Facebook, play the piano and accompany myself on drums, fly an airplane (a fake one, that is), make sure my desk is level (who wants a sloping desk?), retouch pictures and scan barcodes (I'm not sure why I would need to do that but it really is cool for some completely unknown reason) all without leaving the comfort of wherever I happen to be.

[So, really, if you're paying attention at this point, you can see that the iPhone is a total enabler for me to sit on my ass and buy stuff. And I'm fine with that.]

Do you have an iPhone? If so, what apps do I need? And what piece of technology that didn't exist say 10 years ago are you most dependent on now?

[By the way, Apple paid me approximately nothing nor did they give me anything for free to say all this stuff. But if they'd like to, I wouldn't turn 'em down.]

Posted by Chris at October 28, 2009 6:47 AM

I have had my iPhone for a little over a year now, and I use it constantly. I agree, it completely changed my life. I love the voice recorder. I have messages from my husband and visa versa that will never be deleted. :) For fun I like iVote, and I use Food Scanner by daily burn. It really helps keep you on track. I hope you really enjoy your new toy.

Posted by: Tess at October 28, 2009 7:36 AM

Don't have an iPhone (yet), but apparently there's this feature that recognizes songs for you. I went to see "(500) days of summer" some weeks ago and the friend I was with had the application on during the movie and in that way managed to find out all artists and song titles. Very nice!

Posted by: mikkie at October 28, 2009 7:51 AM

I've been marginally anti-Apple for a while. Maybe also to convince myself that I didn't need any new toys, but also because of things like iTunes. Then my mom turned up at my apartment with an ipod Touch. And I was sold within about five minutes. Gorgeous, smooth, intuitive, fast... everything an appliance should be. I gave in and bought myself a Touch within a week. In hindsight, I kind of wish I had an iPhone, but there's no good reasons (and lots of bad ones) why I shouldn't replace my phone.

The apps I love:
- Evernote
- Remember the Milk
- Facebook (addictive)

The rest are just cool. You've noticed that you can bookmark pages in Safari and save them as a button already, yes?

Posted by: Hannah at October 28, 2009 8:08 AM

Must read previous comments before adding my own two cents...

That app that recognizes songs is Shazam. However, I didn't note it because I never have internet access when I want to know what song it is, making Shazam useless. Did I mention that iPhones really do have a major advantage as they can have a (near) constant internet connection?

I'm going to shut up now before I start talking about push protocols and whatnot... enjoy your new toy! :)

Posted by: Hannah at October 28, 2009 8:09 AM

Oooooh! And audio books! With bookmarking!

I think I said I'd be quiet... sorry! :)

Posted by: Hannah at October 28, 2009 8:11 AM

I would love an IPhone but I'm not willing to switch to AT&T to get it. Verizon works the best in my neck of the woods...I just wish Iphone didn't have an exclusive deal with AT&T...

Posted by: Dee at October 28, 2009 8:11 AM

I wouldn't turn them down either if they offered me free stuff. I bought an iPhone about 3 months ago. Just for spite because my husband bought Bose earphones (and I had an upgrade).

Hands down the best thing I've done. Sure...it's delicate and I have fear I'll break it and then have to do without but I do enjoy it. I just wish it had a longer battery life (or maybe I shouldn't be on it SOOOO much)

Posted by: daisy at October 28, 2009 8:15 AM

I have an iphone. I've had 3 in the last 2 months. If I were you, I'd go buy the 2 year extended warranty. That said, I love the iphone having been a previous XDA officionado. The apps I would recommend and cant live without are :

Road Trip
Informant (calendar, syncs with google)
aWake Simply (nice little alarm clock)
i Emergency+ (or any ICE app will do)
Instapaper Pro
Awesome Note
FireBox (keeps all your passwords safe)
CraigsMobile (craigslist)
Daily Deviations (Deviant art app)
Wikipanion (Wikipedia)
ConvertBot (conversions from almost anything to almost anything)
iChm (the best CHM viewer out there)
WeatherPro (love the satelite views)
ArountMe (what's in your local vacinity)
Timer (simple egg timer)
LinkedIn (a must)
Bump (for those who cant be bothered to carry business cards anymore)
SideSlip (stumble client)
TAUW (Unofficial Apple info)
iWrecked (in case you have a car accident)
Files (file viewer, word, excel etc)
TapTu Search (search iphone friendly websites)
SugarSync (syncs all files from computers to the cloud and your iphone)
MyPhone+ (replaces the standard phone app)
Groups (best contact app ever)
NewsStand (RSS reader - the very best and well worth the cash)

Posted by: ChocolateChip_Wookie at October 28, 2009 8:25 AM

I bought into the hype but I didn't know just how much I would end up loving my iPhone. It is my ~constant companion. Its name is Dave (Matthews) and it is stuffed with apps, some of which I need to remove because I never use them.

I just got Scrabble last night. It is so worth the investment because you can play people on the same wifi network and you can play over Facebook. And it is FUN. And AMAZING.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at October 28, 2009 8:55 AM

I have not gotten one either- waiting for my Verizon contract to run out. . . however, all of my kids have them, and the coolest program Ive seen - just for fun-- is the one that sounds like a light saber from Star Wars - you handle the phone moving it around a bit and the sound correlates to the movement! Really cool :)

I'm definitely jones'n for my iphone. . .

Posted by: 3jaysmom at October 28, 2009 9:05 AM

I love, LOVE my iPhone. I may or may not have slept with it for about a month after I got it. (And by a month, I mean that I still do.)

As far as my favorite applications:
Price is Right
Now Playing
Things (best To Do app ever)
USA Today Crosswords
WordPress mobile
IndieBound (finds independent bookstores near you)
B&N eReader

Have fun!!

Posted by: Rachel at October 28, 2009 9:18 AM

I luuuuuuuuurve my iPhone. I don't have a 3GS, but I do have a 3G, for almost a year. I don't know how I'd live without it now.

The apps I use the most are:
Stanza (for reading -- doesn't have to be tied to Amazon)
GroceryIQ - great for grocery shopping, I can even keep track of how much I'm spending.
GasCubby to track gas purchases and mpg
CoolSudoku & Civ Revolutions are my favorite games, though Stoneloops of Jurassica was also well worth the buck or two I spent on it.

I have a lot more, but those are the ones I use the most.

Posted by: Jaime at October 28, 2009 9:20 AM

I love my iphone. Far too much. And I'll come back when this is all done and check all your recommendations....

My favorite apps:
Shazam (mentioned already)
Nike+ (this comes on the 3Gs - and with the little sensor it tracks speed/distance/mileage for walking and running - this combined with Couch to 5k app is the only thing that got me off my ass and running - because I upped the nerd quotient and I love that aspect of it)
Balloonimals (for the kids - makes balloon animals)
Words With Friends (to play scrabble with people - lemme know if you get this and want to kick my ass at scrabble. It's fun)
Guitar ToolKit (this is a $10 app - but it's pretty damn cool)
Pediatric Symptom MD
Photoshop Mobile


Bubble Wrap - the free game that keeps my kids amused in long lines.


Posted by: Sarah at October 28, 2009 9:40 AM

You're preaching to the converted, dude. The ones I use the most: Tweetie, Facbook, Scrabble (for Facebook), Shazam.

Methinks I need to add some of the other ones mentioned.

Posted by: Angella at October 28, 2009 10:01 AM

I want one! I've held out this long because I don't particularly want to switch to AT&T, and because I don't really like the keyboard. But posts like this weaken my resistance...

Glad you are having so much fun with it.

Posted by: bad penguin at October 28, 2009 10:09 AM

I want one desperately! But I will not switch to AT&T. You listening iPhone people? Please be listening . . . Verizon service is just too good to give up. It's as good as the iPhone is cool. I honestly don't understand them tying themselves exclusively to AT&T. Why did they I wonder . . .

Posted by: Sara at October 28, 2009 10:13 AM

I have yet to cross over to mac... I am afraid my head might explode with all the techy flash and genius.

Posted by: Jasmine at October 28, 2009 10:19 AM

I swear I don't know how I ever lived without it.

And I'm not big on the games and stuff, but I do have a few apps I love.

Pandora (a must have if you love music...mine is playing as we speak at my desk)
Drop7 (the only game I play...LOVE IT)
The Weather Channel
myWireless (AT&T's quick link to your account)
Remote (let's you access your friend's iPod if you're in proximity with each other.)
MLB At Bat 2009 (minute by minute, pitch by pitch updates to any game, plus for 99cents you can watch one on your iPhone)
AppGReader - Google Reader for your blogs
Shazam (the most amazing thing and my all time favorite - if a song is playing, you allow Shazam to listen to it and it will tell you what song and who sings it and link you to iTunes to buy it)
101.9 RXP (an alternative rock station that I LOVE)

Posted by: Candy at October 28, 2009 11:05 AM

I am with the few others in saying I'm intrigued by the iPhone and know I would totally geek out, but there is no way I'm switching to AT&T from Verizon. My husband and I just made the switch this year to smartphones and already are completely addicted to our phones. The man who said he'd never own a blackberry and never text is texting me & sending photos daily. But AT&T service is c.r.a.p. around here. And my workplace is a near cellular dead-zone - all my colleagues with iPhones get squat in the building. But I've got no problems with my Verizon service. Too bad, huh?

I feel a twinge of jealousy.

Posted by: kate at October 28, 2009 11:13 AM

I'm sorry I still can't get past the thought of you with hair down to your ass...where's a picture of that!!!

Posted by: Gabriella at October 28, 2009 11:47 AM

I have an iPod touch which is the iPhone without the phone and camera. I. LOVE. IT. Truly I think it's the best bit of technology on the consumeer market.

my phone is a sprint Instinct- all touchscreen- it's a good phone but can't hold a candle to the iphone, especially in web surfing. Maybe your AT&T service is better there- I hear a lot of complaints about it in NYC.

When my sprint contract is up I'll most likely switch service and get an iphone. it was too expensive this time around.

Sadly i recognize a lot of those apps you mentioned....I love apps....

Posted by: jessica at October 28, 2009 12:04 PM

My most frequently used app is the GPS/Map thingie. I use it every day, especially since (unlike the GPS in my car) I can type in something like Quizno's and it will pinpoint all the ones closest to where I am, complete with phone numbers in case I need to call first. Friggin' Awesome.

Also, I've downloaded several children's game apps, which are terrific for keeping my 4 year old pacified during restaurants and shopping trips. There's a really cute one called Balloonimals. You should try it.

And I use the weather app pretty frequently. And the Facebook one. And the app for my bank. And one to track expenses. And one for photos. Yeah. I'm addicted.

Posted by: Amy at October 28, 2009 1:21 PM

When my Sprint contract is up in Feb we are jetting for iPhones.

Posted by: DCUrbanDad at October 28, 2009 2:00 PM

Love mine too. Only negative that I have found so far is that I can't block a number.

We use these apps the most in our home:


Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at October 28, 2009 2:26 PM

I don't even have an ipod. In fact I've been thinking how nice it would be to have something like that, but I know nothing about what to look for or anything. So I guess it will be a while until I make that purchase.

Posted by: Maribeth at October 28, 2009 3:00 PM

I resisted all Apple products until this past summer. Then I got a Macbook Pro with some unexpected gig money. Then another unexpected gig got me an iPhone. Now I can't sleep with out the WhiteNoise app, I keep anxiety at bay with a relaxing game of LineUp and I don't have to enter all of my contacts because of Bump. We'll see what the next unexpected gig gets me in apple products....

Posted by: Lizzle at October 28, 2009 3:20 PM

Dude, so I don't have an iPhone (yet- waiting on stupid two year contract expiration from TMobile), but I do have an iTouch (which sounds dirty). Urban Spoon is my FAV app. You tell it the food type you want, amount of money willing to spend, and it gives you where you should go in the neighborhood. Love.

I also enjoy EveryBlock, which has news, crime, real estate, events, for your area. (Big cities, so DC)

My favorite one I've paid for, though, is called RunPee. It tells me when I can safely leave and go pee in the movie theatre without missing something vital, how long I have, and exactly what happened during the time I was gone. Big lifesaver for me. :)

Posted by: caleal at October 28, 2009 3:21 PM

Simple answer - I don't own one, but nearly everyone in our family does. No plans to get one - at least not yet.

Posted by: cassie-b at October 28, 2009 4:12 PM

I don't have an iPhone, and I don't think I want one (horrors!). But my husband has one, so if he's around, I don't really NEED one, either. And he's madly in love with his iPhone. He was coveting one for months before he got it, and we actually switched to AT&T when our T-Mobile contracts ended just so he could get one. (As a few other people have said, the AT&T exclusivity thing is the only major drawback, and the main reason that some people I know are still holding out.)

He's said he can't remember how he managed before he had an iPhone. Sounds like you're headed the same way.

Posted by: Florinda at October 28, 2009 4:14 PM

I have the iPod touch, which I got free when my mum got a new laptop (because we bought it under my name and got the student deal...shhh! heh.) and it's a lot of fun! I'd love to get an iPhone, but, $$$ and I'm under contract still with another carrier. We shall see!

Posted by: Heather at October 28, 2009 5:10 PM

So it looks like I'm the only heretic with an Android phone. Being already connected with Gmail+contacts+calendar it made sense to me to get a phone that was a Google native, that automatically syncs and pushes these apps (no week and a half set-up time, jut log in and you're away).

Plus every iPhone app I've wanted, I've found the same in Android Market, and being slightly smaller than an iPhone it fits in my back jeans pocket when the occasion requires it.

I love it. I took a heap of photos on my son's school sports day, clicked "share" and emailed them to the mothers standing next to me. Yesterday I needed to pick up my son early from school, so I took a quick pick of the blackboard and he finished the work at home.

And Twidroid rocks (for Twitter). Also Google Starmap - you point it at the sky and it maps the planets and constellations. And the Huffington Post app keeps me up-to-date wherever I am.

Can't wait for Android 2.0.

Posted by: Jo MacD at October 28, 2009 5:44 PM

Two words: POCKET. GOD.

PS: I luv my iPhone with the heat of a thousand white hot suns.

Posted by: Elise at October 28, 2009 6:58 PM

The fact that I have just about ZERO signal from AT&T in my home AND office speaks to how much I love my iPhone! Why on earth else would I put up with that kind of crap? I've had mine for ages and still get giddy nearly every time I use it.

Posted by: Karen at October 28, 2009 8:28 PM

10 years ago I don't think I had a laptop....
I'm constantly on mine! I HATE desktops!

10 years ago we couldn't take pictures with our cel phones!

Oh, I cannot live without my GPS unit....

Posted by: Rose Winters at October 29, 2009 12:03 AM

Thanks for the post! I love getting App recommendations from other users!

I have an iPhone (personal) and a Blackberry (work) and I wrote a post a while back comparing the two.

The iPhone is definitely a fun easy to use toy... and the Apps I use the most are:
- Flight Update
- Remote (to connect to iTunes on the computer)
- Delicious
- Shopper
- ListMonger
- Facebook
- Kayak
- iTrans DC
- Phone Flicks
- Public Radio
- BofA and MyWireless
- GD Swarm (addictive)!

Posted by: Lisa at October 29, 2009 7:52 AM

My *friends* iPhone changed my life. They're that cool. I desperately want one, but I'm not willing to pay to get out of our current contract (3 times over!), and then drop a pile of cash on a new phone.

So I bought an iTouch (for the kids!) to tide me over. And I'm looking for any crack I can find in my current contract, just so I can have the opportunity to throw more cash toward Apple.

Posted by: Becky at October 29, 2009 12:56 PM

I wanted to hate the iPhone for so long, and I actually did, because it seemed cumbersome to use. Now you have to pry that thing from my dead lifeless hands.

Funny, I actually had an exact iPhone post like this. I love to see what people are using.

Anyway, my faves:
Weatherbug (I have the free one).
WhiteNoise (great for the baby when she's tired and can't settle down)
Urban Spoon
iWant(to find things in close proximity to you)
FML (for a good laugh)
Smallspend (to give me more raging anxiety on how much money I really spend on a monthly basis. It's sad)
SalePrice (math is hard)
Paper toss(time waster)
Yahtzee (saw me through my early middle of the night feedings)

To name a few. I have like, five pages of apps. I could be here all day.

Posted by: statia at October 29, 2009 4:13 PM

I call my iPhone My Precious. I've had a 3G for a year now and it's changed my life. And by that I mean that waiting for stuff (doctor's office, oil change for the car, whatev) is no longer boring. It's quality time with my iPhone! Not to mention all the times I've been lost with the fam and simply punched in the address (or Googled it) then mapped it. And watched us drive there with the GPS.

I was so convinced of the superiority of Apple products after getting the iPhone (my first foray beyond the iPod) that 6 months later I got an MacBook. And I love it, I tell my cats it's their MacBrother (and therefore they should not step on it). I think I have a problem.

Apps I use the most are the ones you've already mentioned - Tweetie and Facebook. I like Locavore and Sportacular, but I'm thinking I watch more sports than you do. :) Pandora is worth it and Sol Free for Solitaire is pretty sweet.

Posted by: Erin at October 29, 2009 4:42 PM

I am not sure how I ever operated without my iPhone 3G. When they first came out I was completely against buying into it. I thought my Blackjack was just fine. Then I spent a very boring afternoon playing on one. I was addicted and marked my calender for when AT&T would let me upgrade. :D

These are my everyday addictions.

Evernote (Of course I find it in the final semester before graduation)...
BBC Reader
Shop Shop
Felix Notes
GRE Preps
Barnes & Noble
Health Coach
iTranslate Danish
Cooking / All Recipes

There are also plenty of games like connect four, matching, etc. to keep the kiddies busy when I watch them. Although, they spend most of the time taking pictures of their toys and the television. :D

Posted by: Jenn at October 29, 2009 11:14 PM

I love my iPhone too. Luckily I get pretty good service where I live. I have and use all the basic apps (Facebook, Echofon, Shazam) but I'm addicted to Sol Free (Solitaire). I love Yelp, Craigsphone, Target, Amazon. Have Kindle, Stanza and loads of recipe apps. I do have a whole page of apps for my 3 year old too. Shapes, Spongebob, Dora, Veggietales. He also loves Lightsaber, Bubblewrap and even Paper Toss.

To those who say they want an iPhone without the At&T service - I say get an iPod Touch and have the best of both worlds. A phone service you like and a device that runs the awesome apps everyone raves about.

Enjoy your iPhone!

Posted by: Bea at October 30, 2009 1:55 AM

I'm also a recent convert. I've had my phone for less than a month. When we moved to the country we had no reception through Verizon. The only way you could use the phone is if you stood on the front porch and leaned to the left. We got Verizon to release us from the contract (after a tech came out and verified that "hey there's no reception starting like 4 MILES from your house!"). We hightailed it to AT&T as soon as we were released from Verizon. And let me say I love that damn phone!

As far as apps go my top 3 so far are:

Fling It

I know someone mentioned how delicate the phone is. All I can say to that is get the OtterBox case. It's meaty but not too bulky and it really makes the phone feel less fragile.

Posted by: Jennifer at October 30, 2009 10:34 AM

I scrolled all the way through the comments to see if Emily had commented, b/c I was interested in what she might say, lol! She was my Blackberry guru when we both had BB's, and we both got the 3GS on the day it was released, and she's still my phone guru!

Posted by: Maggie at October 31, 2009 7:18 PM

I scrolled all the way through the comments to see if Emily had commented, b/c I was interested in what she might say, lol! She was my Blackberry guru when we both had BB's, and we both got the 3GS on the day it was released, and she's still my phone guru!

Posted by: Maggie at October 31, 2009 7:21 PM

I scrolled all the way through the comments to see if Emily had commented, b/c I was interested in what she might say, lol! She was my Blackberry guru when we both had BB's, and we both got the 3GS on the day it was released, and she's still my phone guru!

Posted by: Maggie at October 31, 2009 7:21 PM

I love my iphone. Unnaturally. My favorite ap is the kindle ap. It allows me to buy books from amazon.com, who has a better selection that amazon.ca, and instantly read them up in canada. No wait for shipping. It's probably a bad idea to have it on my iphone financially, but...

Posted by: Jodi at November 1, 2009 1:49 AM

One acknowledges that life is expensive, nevertheless we require money for various stuff and not every man earns big sums cash. So to get some business loans or secured loan will be a proper solution.

Posted by: VelazquezNaomi at March 19, 2011 12:03 AM