Living With My iPhone

Living with the iPhoneI’ve had my iPhone for a few months now and it has seen lots of use. I’ve carried it in my pocket everywhere I go, including on almost daily three-mile walks where it doubles as an iPod. It served as my pocket journalist and photographer at SMX West and it has been my personal and business telephone (no more land line for me).

So, here are some of my observations for this amazing little communications device. You might also want to read my initial iPhone review or watch the iPhone review video.

For those of you who think that Apple products don’t know what the three-fingered-salute (that we Windows users have become so accustomed to) is, think again. The iPhone has locked up on me several times over the past few months. This really surprised me the first time, but the iPhone is, after all, a computer.

To do a hard boot to get the phone working again, there is a two-fingered salute. You press the sleep button at the top right of the phone and then the home button at the bottom for a few seconds. The iPhone will reboot and get back to business. One thing to keep in mind is that when the iPhone locks up, it keeps draining the battery. Mine apparently locked up after I ended a call one day and I didn’t notice until I got home a couple of hours later. I rebooted and found my battery almost dead.

Granted, it’s only two fingers for the iPhone. Guess that’s a little improvement.


There was also a period that I couldn’t get YouTube videos to play. I can only assume it had to do either with an Apple software update (they’re almost as frequent as Windows updates) or a side effect to doing the hard boot mentioned above. After a little research, I turned on Airplane Mode for 15 seconds then off again and, voila, the YouTube videos were playing once more!

I used this baby a lot at SMX West in Santa Clara. It was still pretty new to me then, so I was finding out what it could and couldn’t do well. For instance, I used the camera to take photos of the sessions. In good light and up close, the camera is really very good. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do so well in low light and could certainly use a zoom function. I just couldn’t get close enough to most speakers for anything but distance shots.

But, what was really impressive was that as soon as I took a few photos, I could use the iPhone e-mail client to send them for instant posting to my Flickr account with titles and descriptions, while the session was going on! According to the SMX West conference site, I had the honor of posting the very first photos from the conference. They weren’t the best, mind you, just the first.

It became addictive. I found myself sitting up front in every session and address that I attended to grab some photos, send them to Flickr and then start writing my blog coverage on my laptop. I could get the article written, use the Flickr photos I had already uploaded to illustrate the article and be published within minutes, frequently right as the session ended. I started out as a journalist way back in the 1980s and I can tell you that this is a dream come true. Absolutely fantastic!

I could also Twitter quick notes out to my followers, including those subscribing to my blog RSS feed since I have the feeds connected. SMX West provided free WiFi so I had a good connection, but I could have still managed with the really slow Internet access provided by AT&T.

At home or on the road, I can catch up on my SEO feeds just about anywhere with the iPhone. Even without the rumored forthcoming broadband Internet access, I can pull up Google Reader in Safari and read the latest from my favorites like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and SearchNewz. You’ll see me sitting at many a coffee counter with my nose in my iPhone. For me, this is one of the handiest features.

And, I love the iTunes integration. I don’t buy a whole lot of music, but I am subscribed to a ton of SEO podcasts and listen to them religiously on those three-mile walks. I hate when The Daily Searchcast isn’t, well, daily! (Hope you’re reading this, Danny).

In a nutshell, the iPhone has become a very important part of my daily life. As I mentioned in my initial review, it’s not perfect. I’d still like a real keyboard, broadband Internet access and a way to share that access with my laptop when needed.

But, it’s one Hell of phone/iPod/camera/Internet appliance…well, you get the idea.


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