Friday, July 3, 2009

iPhone Explorations

Hey folks!!

I've been looking at reducing the apps on my iPhone but making sure I still have all the "power" I "need" to stay in contact with folks. Now maybe I'm one of the few that is just getting around to this, but I have totally shuffled up the 4 apps that get that sweet-spot that is static at the bottom of the screen.

Before it used to contain the Phone, Messages, Email, & iPod. Does anyone still use their iPhone as a phone? Sure I still make a few calls, but most is done via Twitter, FB, Texting or email.

Email is still a big component of my communication, so it was the only original native app that got to stay in static section. I use it for work, personal, church activities, etc. So I still feel it has enough importance to keep. The Phone, Messages & iPod apps found a new home - not far away, still on the first page, near the bottom.

So what are the new apps that were worthy of the static spot?

First, Twitterfon. It's a Twitter app that has all the Twitter features you'll ever need. What I like about it is its simple format but still comes with all the features I need. One such feature is multiple accounts. I not only update my own Twitter, but I also do all the tweets for my church's Twitter account. So multiple account handling was very necessary.

Second, an app that came to me via a friend - Kevin P. I saw him using this odd app to update his Twitter status - called BrightKite. If you've ever used Loopt, it is similar to that app. It allows you to "check-in" to locations chosen by your or the GPS, and you can allow it to update your FB and/or Twitter. Now I have been an ecstatic user of Loopt, but the drawback with it is that you have to use a cell phone # in order to add people or give yours out in order to have people add you. You would think with all the information we're allowing people to have, giving them our cell # would not be an issue - but it's still a bit weird to do so - I think because you can't simply block people from calling you, but it's very simple to block someone from Twitter, Loopt, etc. That said, BrightKite does NOT use your cell # for social contacting. You can see activity or people within various ranges of your location. You can also post pics and other comments with it.

The final and newest app I've found is VR+. It is a voice recorder that allows you to share the recordings via email, FB, Myspace, Twitter, or Blogger. You can also log them all on their website. I'm not sure if this one will catch on, but I thought it would add a new media dimension to the social interacting experience. We'll see how she goes.

I'm still searching for that perfect app that allows you to do FB, Twitter, and Blogger all in one. ShoZu was promising but it has lots of bugs which hang up the program a lot so I've not been happy with it. If someone has any suggestions, let me know.

What does any of this have to do with Independence Day (4th of July for those too young to remember what this holiday really is)? Well... look at Iran.... and the impact Twitter, FB and other social networking apps have had on their freedom and revolution recently. And people think these things are just for those tech-obsessed types like me? ha! Viva la Revolucion Technologia!

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