Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The iPhone Revolution

~ I’ve finally joined the iPhone revolution. Yes, I know I’m a bit late, but then again, considering that 99.99% of the world’s population doesn’t have an iPhone, you might also say I’m an early adopter of this amazing device.

I’ve been researching the pros and cons of mobile devices for some time, and was trying to decide between an iPod Touch or the iPhone. Another device I was considering purchasing was one of those lovely lightweight, compact Netbook computers that have been appearing in stores over the past year or two. In the end, I opted for the iPhone because the opportunity presented itself to acquire one at a very good price.

In anticipation of my eventual purchase I’ve even been downloading lots of apps from the iTunes store. These are mostly travel-related applications that I intend to put to good use on my forthcoming extended travels during 2010. This will see me housesitting in Melbourne for 4-6 weeks before returning to Greece and other parts of Europe, and my eventual return to America for another extended stay.

iPhone Apps by The Bucketful: Apple claims to offer around 100,000 applications for the iPod and the iPhone, and I’ve been doing my best to try out as many as I can before I take off next year. To that end, I have been downloading a mix of free and paid applications that cover language assistance, mapping and travel guides, and other general travel information.

Among the language guides, I have selected some of the free World Nomads apps for Spanish, German, French and Italian. Each download contains hundreds of common words and phrases to help you communicate with the locals, and if these are not enough – and they almost certainly won’t be – you can pay for the full version of each application and get hundreds of additional words and phrases.

I’ve also downloaded several city guides, which for just $1.19 each per download, are packed with information, maps and images to guide me through New York City, Rome, London and Paris. These apps use information sourced from Wikipedia, and best of all, all the content is saved to your mobile device, meaning you don’t have to log on to any website to access the information.

All work and no play, makes Jim a dull boy – or words to that effect, so I have also downloaded a selection of favourite games to keep me amused while standing around in airport boarding queues! I’ve selected backgammon, draughts/checkers, Reversi, solitaire, and one of my all time favourite computer games – Myst.

By the way, many of these above applications are available for both the iPod Touch and the iPhone, so don’t feel you have to ditch your iPod and buy an iPhone to take advantage of all this amazing technology. I will be road-testing many of these apps while I’m in Melbourne, so it will be interesting to see which ones become permanent additions to my iPhone, and which fall by the wayside.

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