The blog formerly known as The Dobbs Method

iPhone: 5 Cool Uses

Posted in Technology by Taylor Dobbs on 04/30/2009

So, it’s been a long while since my last post, and this is mostly to blame on Killzone 2 (review to come), end-of-the-year college madness, and my new iPhone. Yes, I have an iPhone. This thing is amazing! I’ve had it for about two weeks now and the thing is just about perfect. All the common complaints are there, of course: Not enough apps switch to landscape when you tilt the phone sideways, the keyboard can be hard to use, etc. But let’s not forget, I just posted a Twitter update from my phone. It’s easy to get caught up in what this technology can’t do, but did anybody complain that Michael Jordan couldn’t jump fifteen feet? No. So let me be wowed by the amazing abilities of my iPhone. This may be old for any of you iPhone users out there, but I still enjoy it.

1. Flashlight – Simple enough, but one of those “Now that is an awesome idea!” moments for me. This app simply whites out the screen (you can change color simply by sliding your finger across) and turns up the backlight. A flashlight, just like that! You can change color, pattern, or even have some flashing going on. It’s very simple, but pretty cool.

2. Social Camera – As with any phone, the iPhone’s camera won’t out-do your Canon Rebel, but it’s good enough. The difference here is the connectivity of the camera. Other camera phones were fairly worthless for all but pix messaging a small group of friends. While the iPhone can’t get picture messages (wait, what? Yeah. Seriously, it can’t. That’s like a Nuclear Control Center without a clock), it can post to just about anywhere I want to post. Using Tweetie, I can show my twitter followers what an awesome night I’m about to have. Using the Facebook app, I can post any random pictures I want. Sure it’s not as nice as a point + shoot, but it beats carrying one around just for those few moments when you want a camera on hand.

3. GPS – When I got my iPhone, I didn’t actually know it would have GPS, but I’ve had a blast with it so far. I got myself un-lost on a long bike ride, I showed my buddy where the University Health Center was from where we were using Google Earth, and I tweeted where my photo was taken (don’t do this at home or people will have enough information to put a smart bomb in your bed).

4. Games! – Cell phone games, at least on the phones I owned, seem to be a dying breed. They were either altogether not there or they weren’t worth playing. The iPhone put an end to that. With relatively easy programming and a wide user-base, games are coming out for this phone left and right. Not all of them are rock-your-face-off good, but they kill time just fine. My favorites: Sudoku and Mafia Wars (it’s actually not that violent – lots of buttons and no actual action).

5. Connectivity – This is the most obvious and most useful trait of my iPhone. With a girlfriend back home, a fairly dynamic college lifestyle, and lots of idle time on buses or in boring classes, the added connectivity of the iPhone makes every day a little better. No, I don’t need to check my Facebook on the bus or post a tweet walking down the street. But I can. Some would say this is a sick, twisted side of American culture. I would not completely disagree, but what can I say? It’s comforting to know that when someone wants to reach me, they can. Plus, it’s not like the thing has no off button. I can flip it to vibrate, put it in my bag, and use it like an iPod, or I can just switch it off completely (yeah right).

Whatever flaws it might have, the iPhone is an awesome addition to my ever-growing fleet of electronics. Now I don’t have to lug by laptop to boring classes where I might need the relief of a friendly screen. It’s fun and incredibly intuitive to use, not to mention the coolness factor. I love it.

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