iPhone: Don't Leave Home Without It

by Derrick Story

Just in case you're worried about the glass screen, don't. The iPhone is designed for the road. I slipped mine into an InCase sleeve that provides protection on the corners (which is where my devices always land when I drop them) and hit the road yesterday. I had a great day, and the iPhone helped facilitate that.

First of all, I'm not a fan boy here. Over on The Digital Story, I published a post yesterday titled, Lots of Reasons to Buy an iPhone: The Camera Isn't One of Them. I think the iPhone camera suffers from too much simplicity. But then again, I'm a photographer.

Where I am thrilled is with email, web, and maps. I've been waiting for years to have a mobile email experience like this. The "Mail" app on the iPhone is stunning. I'm testing it with both my IMAP O'Reilly account and a personal POP account. It is fast, beautiful, easy to use, and did I mention beautiful? I have the iPhone set to check mail every 30 minutes. While I was on the go yesterday, I was easily able to keep a few plates spinning with work-related issues using this device, and I had fun doing so. In my opinion, the iPhone is worth the purchase just for the email client.


Another big joy was Safari RSS. On my Mac, I have an RSS Feeds folder set up on my Bookmarks bar. The iPhone grabs all of this stuff on its first sync. When I had a few moments to kill, such as waiting in line, etc., I'd hit the "Safari" button on the iPhone, then check out the news from my RSS sites. It's fast and easy to read. And the EDGE network is performing much better than I had anticipated. I'm guessing there is some network optimization in the iPhone.

I then needed directions. I hit the "Maps" button, entered my starting and ending points, and was treated to written directions, street map, and satellite view -- easy to read, easy to use, and once again (I know), beautiful. I arrived to my destination with time to spare.

I'm having good luck with most of the other features too. The battery life is great (I'm on the second full day of use and still have half a battery to go). And this thing is a joy to use. I know we like to pick apart highly-hyped devices when they hit market. It's human nature. But I have to tell you, the iPhone is worth the investment. And thanks to Software Update, it's only going to get better.

At the top of my wish list: iChat for the iPhone.