iPhone Life magazine

Switching from Palm to iPhone

Settling into a new relationship

Ending a long-term relationship is always difficult. You wonder if you have good reasons to leave the relationship and ask yourself if the grass is really greener on the other side. So itwas with some trepidation that i considered ending my long standing relationship with Palm OS smartphones

I'd been eyeing the iPhone since it was released over a year ago, but my flirtations became more serious with the release of the iPhone 3G. Its new lower price was a head turner, and its sleek, sexy design was very compelling. On top of that, it had a mobile Web browser that was head and shoulders above the rest

In spite of the inevitable limitations, I made the switch to the iPhone three months ago. Yes, there were some adjustments and sacrifices to make, but the transition has been pretty smooth

The day begins...

As my day begins, I wake up to the ringing of an alarm set in Calendar. It serves as my early warning system--15 minutes after it rings, my morning playlist is cued up on my iPod Classic and played through my iHome iP9BR Clock Radio

Next, I check out the weather forecast for my home and job locations using The Weather Channel or another of the weather apps available for the iPhone. I also check my personal e-mail as well as my corporate mail and calendar thanks to Microsoft exchange, which was incorporated into the iPhone OS with the release of the 3G

I'm a diabetic, so there are health-related issues I track on my iPhone. I record my blood sugars using Diabetes Log and record my weight using WeightMan. Then I take my medications, checking them against an app called Meds app. If i have questions about any new medications, I can check Epocrates or search Medline's online database using PubSearch or Web MD. Finally, if I've got time before going into the office, I can look at news headlines using NYTimes or log into Linkedin to answer a former colleague's request, that I join her network.

A number of applications help me track health-related issues. From left to right they include Diabetes Log, WeightMan, and Epocrates.

At the office...

If I'm in the office, I check Evernote, an app linked to an online service that lets me access information and ideas that I've entered into the system. I also check iProcrastinate Mobile, a simple task management app, for any to do's I've entered.

Evernone (left) helps me access information and ideas; iProcrastinate Mobile (middle) lets me track to-do's; SplashID (right) helps me remember network passwords.

I have to log onto a number of networks for work related activities, which means I have to keept rack of a number of IDs and passwords. If I can't remember one, I look them up in SplashID, a password manager app I use to keep track of them. And when the network gods tell me it's time to change my password, rather than rack my brains for a suitable password, I use SplashID's password generator or the SplashKey app to create one quickly

Towards the end of the work day, I start thinking about my plans for the evening. Yelp helps me decide where I want to eat, and if I want to torture myself I can check the weight watchers point values for my food choices using PointsCount. If I'm in the mood for some entertainment after my meal, I check out Now Playing or i.TV to check out local movie times. YPmobile and Google Maps help me get directions to the theaters.

 Yelp (left) helps me select a place to eat. Now playing (middle) or i.TV (right) gives me local movie times.

 

I take care of misc. life management tasks on the weekends. CarCare reminds me when maintenance is due on my car and SplashMoney helps me stay on top of bill paying. I also do most of my shopping on the weekends, and keep a list of the things I need to buy on my iPhone using the SplashShopper List Manager.

The weekend is also time to relax and have some fun. In addition tot he movie apps mentioned above, I love to browse YouTube on the iPhone. When I'm in the mood for a good book, I cuddle up with eReader. Finally, I have a plethora of games on my iPhone.

Getting used to my new friend

As with any new relationship, there are some small things about the iPhone that I find annoying. First, my favorite Bluetooth headset wasn't compatible and I had to replace it. Next, I had to get used to the temperature sensitive, finger-only onscreen keyboard. You see, the iPhone doesn't come with a stylus and most third-party styluses don't work with it. Afew developers have come out with ones that do work, but I don't know where to store one so that it's easy to get at. Also, I wear mittens when the outside temperature drops. That means that I have to go through the hassle of taking one of them off to tap on the screen. Fortunately, I switched to the convertible mittens that leave your thumb covered but not your finger tips, so that my fingers will be able to stay warm while I use my phone

WeeeeeeEEEEEEEEE:EwwwwwEEEEEEE  Care Care (left) helps me with vehicle maintenance; SplashMoney (middle keeps me on top of my bills; I use eReader (right) when I'm in the mood for a good book.

Finally, I've added a number of third-party apps to my iPhone and have organized them loosely into the following categories: Productivity, Health, Reference, and Entertainment. Unfortunately, placing the app icon on the desired Home screen page is a bit cumbersome. I have to manually drag them over several pages to get things the way I want

We're still in the honeymoon phase of the relationship, and I'm still very content with my new friend. But there are some things apple can do to improve the long-term potential os this relationship. First, add some sort of category feature to the home screen to help me organize my apps. I'd also like to see copy-and-paste and video recording capabilities added to the next version of the iPhone software. With just a few minor changes, I see myself settling into a commited relationship for the forseeable future!