I officially own the coolest toy ever invented… the iPhone. Ever since I got it two weeks ago, I can’t keep my hands off of it.
It’s great because there’s always something new to discover. Just today, Apple updated the software adding several new features including a way to find out where you are by triangulating your position through cell towers.
The first thing I did was customize an iSee case to create a protective, yet functional shell. I’m pretty rough on my hardware, so I needed something that could accompany me just about anywhere.
The iSee case adds a tough, yet sleek layer of rubber and plastic to protect the iPhone. It’s curves are aesthetically pleasing and don’t add too much bulk. I actually prefer to use the phone with the case because the rubber adds a nice grip.
Another great feature of iSee is that the holster can clip onto either side of the phone, adding a strong layer of protection to the glass face if you choose to clip it face-down. When my $400 pride and joy is locked in this fashion, I don’t think twice about throwing it into a pocket full of loose change.
The part I didn’t like about the iSee cover was the bulky belt clip attached to the holster. I solved this problem by breaking it off and flattening the plastic nub with a power-sander.
To get rid of the scuff marks caused by the high-grit sandpaper, I wiped it down with black shoe polish. I covered the former clip holder with one of the two signature Apple stickers that came in the iPhone box for the cherry on top.
I might have just found the replacement for my pre-historic day planner. iPhone is like a little computer in my pocket that helps facilitate my life.
Before now, I never really found the perfect balance between the digital and analog worlds when it came to organizers. Although it has flaws, the iPhone comes close. Plus, it’s upgradable, so it can continually be improved.
Productivity Web Apps
Another great thing about the iPhone is that people can develop web-based applications designed specifically for it. Some of the web apps I uncovered are fantastic, adding an amazing amount of functionality in the palm of my hand. Here are just a few:
Buxfer is like Quicken for the iPhone. It allows you to track your income and expenses as they happen, instead of having to wait until you get home to your computer, and most likely forgetting all about them.
Like Quicken, Buxfer can communicate with your bank accounts to make updates easy. Direct connect is available for those banks that offer it, and Buxfer can also read all the popular download formats.
The analysis features are still pretty basic compared to Quicken, but the service is free and the service is rapidly developing.
The iPhone calendar feature is a bit of disappointment; luckily, web app developers have filled in the void. Toodledo is a powerful to-do list program that fits nicely on the iPhone.
Tasks can be organized by category, priority, due date, tags, and context. Your to-do list is organized nicely by the criteria you provide in a “hot list” and even emailed to you daily if you choose.
EditGrid is my favorite web app at the moment. It’s an incredibly powerful spreadsheet program that works on the iPhone.
EditGrid is so powerful, it can do almost anything that can be done with Microsoft Excel; except it’s free and available anywhere to you online.
You can even share your spreadsheets with other people and update them remotely in real time.
I’m a spreadsheet freak, so finding this little gem has made my year. My only complaint is that it can be a little slow, especially when you’re not connected to a wireless network.
I can’t go anywhere without my sports scores, and Live Scores allows me to access them easily from anywhere. It displays the most current NFL, NCAA Football, NBA, NCAA Basketball, and NHL scores in an easy-to-read format that updates automatically.
Best of all, you can click on a specific game and see a graphic display of the game progress.
The Weather Channel has developed an impressive web app that goes far beyond the weather function that comes with the iPhone. It gives you access to multiple maps, forecasts, and weather data that will quench your thirst for data.
More to Come
Like I said, the great thing about the iPhone is that it’s upgradeable. That means that there will always be a great new web app and productivity booster to explore.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated.