I’ve been a huge fan of the iPhone user interface for a long time – and a big believer in how effective and impressive it is in providing a user experience that is so compelling that users end up getting tons more out of their device and out of the many applications for it than they do on any other mobile platform.
Recent months have hammered this point home to me more than ever – as I’ve watched my daughter get to know the iPhone, and rapidly become a very adept user of it. At the age of 6. In fact, she became so adept so quickly that when I upgraded to the iPhone 3GS in June, my wife took over my 3G, and my daughter (Zoe) took my original V1 iPhone, with the phone service turned off.
Here are just a few of the things she does with it and is very comfortable doing:
- Takes screencaps
- Takes pictures and sends pictures via email to her parents and grandparents
- Use a Gmail account to send and receive email from family - and manage switching to her own account when the mail app opens to her mom's
- Browses the web, and uses Google's native app and via the browser to search for things and research things
- Sends text messages to her cousin
- Browses the App Store, researches apps, and presents her dad with ones that need to be acquired
- Creates, chooses, and selects different wallpapers for the lock screen
- Creates paintings with the amazing Brushes app, and other similar ones
- Plays and enjoys many games - from Disney fairies to catapulting penguins and many others
- Reads and enjoys ebooks, from classics to animated stories and new creations specially for the iPhone
- Uses Nabbit and Shazam to identify songs on the radio
- Moves apps around between home screens
- Searches for things via Spotlight
Zoe rarely has many questions or needs much help in any of her iPhone activities. Her iPhone has 5-6 screens worth of apps that she happily navigates through and gets great usage out of.
I’ve used PDAs, converged mobile devices, and smartphones for many years – but I cannot think of a single other device that could’ve offered anywhere near this level of experience to a six year old. I’m continually amazed and pleased with how much fun Zoe gets out of the iPhone, and how effective a learning tool it is for her as well. I really can’t imagine another mobile device that could offer so much to her.
How about all of you? Do your kids use your iPhone? Have their own, or an iPod Touch? Are there other mobile devices that your kids are getting great mileage out of?
Everybody's getting into app development these days. What if you're a trash collector and you have a great idea for an app that lets people get help for their problems? Rob Shoesmith was that trash collector (though called a "bin man" in the U.K., where he lives). He took his idea to the MEDL Mobile's App Incubator, and it was one of 8 out of 12,000 proposed apps that were selected for development. You can see an entertaining video of Rob on his website.
Please see the just-added “UPDATE (08/22 19:52 CET)” section (at the bottom; use Ctrl-F to quickly find it if you want) in my iPhone/iPod Touch Multiplayer Gaming Bible at http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/87/iphoneipod-touch-multiplayer-gaming-bible .
Also note that, lately, I’ve added several other updates to the same roundup before this one.
Essentially everyone who has so far commented is a winner in the Turbo Subs giveaway, and in fact I have an extra code, so if you still want a chance to win, I will extend it for 24 hours for the final code (simply comment on this post). The current winners (see below) can claim their codes by following the instructions after the break.
I'm sure my lovely little iPhone wouldn't do this to me, but apparently some of them have, well, exploded. CNet reported a few days ago that the European Commission is looking into reports of exploding iPhones. The account in the New York Times says that one person so far has been slightly injured when his iPhone overheated and shattered, sending debris into his eye. So far it seems like the incidence is rare, so you likely don't have anything to worry about. But do be cautious if you're iPhone or iPod touch feels real hot.
First of all, if you have an iPhone 3G, you don’t need to read further – games are just too slow. The situation is somewhat better on the second-generation iPod Touch because of the faster CPU.
Very handy way to discover apps that have gone wild and most importantly FREE, check out the web-site freeappalert from either your iPhone/iPod touch or PC. The site also has the usual tracking services (RSS, Twitter, Facebook, etc) and subscription via e-mail alerts. You never know when you might find that rare free gem that you were prepared to pay 99 cents for...
Tomorrow, Friday the 21st is the last day in our Turbo Subs giveaway, so don't wait to add your comments here (or to the previous-related posts) to win an iTunes code. Check out Eric's excellent review here, or read on for full contest rules/info. Winners will be announced this coming weekend.
When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at MacWorld on January 9, 2007 he called it “an iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator” – three devices in one. The subsequent evolution of the iPhone into a computing platform with the launch of the app store a year and a half later meant the functions an iPhone could perform were limited only by developer’s imagination. There are many excellent apps that enable you to track the news, sports, the weather, or find restaurants, movies, your friends (and even public bathrooms), play games or listen to music. And there are many not so excellent apps; I am talking about you, iFart.
Kim Komando, the popular syndicated radio host, has a great article on backing up your iPhone. You likely know that it's backed up automatically to your computer. But what would you do if you wanted to restore your files? Or if you bought a new phone and wanted to move your old data and settings to it? Or if you wanted to also have a backup on an external drive or remote server? Kim tells you all of this, and more. She begins by explaining the basics — the difference between synchronizing and backing up — and then gives a lot of useful information.
When I first looked at Take A Note ($4.99) I was interested in it as an educa tion tool since it has multiple options for taking notes; typing, using the voice recorder, snapping a photo or even your own doodles and drawings as such is an invaluable tool for any student. I found the layout to be well thought-out, and logical and I appreciated that visually it resembles a paper notebook, for me the visual queue with the functions was practical.
For me personally, Clickgamer hasn’t had the best track record with games on the iPhone. You can check out my review of Enigma to see what I consider a low point for them, but other titles such as IO, Tankz and Hacker Evolution didn’t really work for me, either. On the other hand, they’ve managed to have a few slam dunks, such as Dragon Panic, Gears Of Gravity and most recently Zombie Vs. Sheep. Thankfully, Touch Magic does a pretty good job of fitting into the later category. I think it’s missing one key feature, which I’ll get to in a bit, but what’s there is a nice take on puzzle games that I’ve not experienced before, and I quite enjoy it.
Fluent News is a new free app that aggregates news from many sources, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Plus, it claims to be the first app to let you do keyword searches across many sources. Version 1.1, released yesterday, adds the ability to save articles to a Saved section in the app. It also has in-app e-mailing so that you can send interesting news stories to your friends and colleagues — without leaving the application. You can also share news articles via Twitter and Facebook without leaving the app.
Eric wrote a complete and excellent review on his blog, so I decided to simply add my own succinct endorsement, and host a giveaway for this cool time management game. I have to say when I first saw the game start up, I was a little skeptical. I wouldn't want to run a real sub shop, but playing at it is admittedly pretty fun. Read on for blog contest rules and my added impressions of the game.
Multiplayer games (see my all-in-one roundup & bible
A brand new Scorched earth / Worms clone, KIL.A.TON, has just been released. It has lounge-based multiplayer (albeit, at the time of writing, it’s still empty, which may change in the future). A decent alternative to, for example, Star Hogs by IUGO and Iron Sight by Polarbit; particularly if you take into account that, in KIL.A.TON, you can have up to six players (while in Star Hogs “only” up to four, and, in Iron Sight, only two) . See THIS
for more info.
i.TV today announced the imminent availability of version 2.0. Already this app was promoted as "the only movie, DVD, and TV guide you'll ever need." Version 2.0 includes the "i.TV Remote Control Framework," which allows third parties to integrate functionality into i.TV. And the first to do so, is TiVo. You'll be able to use your iPhone to change the channel, fast forward, record, and play your favorite shows and movies with just a tap on your iPhone or iPod touch.
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Juggling school, work, volunteer activities and personal time is not easy. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for a better way to prioritize and manage my time. I recently received a review copy of the OmniFocus iPhone app (Omni Group (http://www.omnigroup.com) along with the OmniFocus desktop application for Macintosh. After working through the tutorials and using the OmniFocus system for the last three month, I’m delighted to say I’ve found the perfect solution for me!
Push GMail notifications have arrived for the iPhone. While not a true Apple application like we might expect by now, a new App Store application named GPush fills the bill for GMail addicts.
For a mere $.99, you can install GPush and receive notifications when new mail arrives to your GMail account. Of course, if Apple does implement true push notifications in the near future, this app will be short lived. However, for those of you who have been waiting and really, really need to know when email arrives as it arrives, GPush is a simple and affordable solution.