July 16, 2008

5 Tips for iPhone App Users

Filed under: Uncategorized — tsladmin @ 5:47 am

As a long-time Palm OS Treo user now on a Centro, I’ve been able to add any third-party application to my cell phone for years. In fact, before my Centro, one of my biggest problems was fitting all of the apps I’d downloaded on the phone and SD card. So it’s with a high level of amusement that I’ve watched iPhone users extol their new ability to add Apple-sanctioned apps to their phones.
Yes, these folks are having a blast extending the usefulness of their devices because they can finally install non-Apple-produced software. While I am indeed chuckling to myself a little, overall this is a good thing, even if it does work only in a closed system. Why? Because it’s raising the bar for a larger percentage of the population. Expectations for interacting with information are again changing for millions of people, and that’s going to change how they expect to interact with their libraries, too. It’s great to see folks like Peter Brantley thinking about what this means.
But back to all of the new iPhone app users – welcome to the world of being able to truly customize and personalize your smartphone. You no longer have a one-size fits all information device; instead, you now carry with you everywhere a miniature computer designed just for you. Your life will never be the same again, kind of the way things changed when you received your first email message or surfed the web for the first time.
In the spirit of welcoming you into the fold, I offer you some time-tested advice about your new best friend that you just can’t seem to put down.

  1. You’re in that “wow, look at this app” and “wow, look at that app” phase, which is totally cool. I’ve been there myself, and the wow factor is difficult to resist. You should be having fun now that you can finally add functionality to your phone. I haven’t looked at the iTunes App store myself, and I don’t have an iPhone, so I’m taking a guess these are available, but take advantage of the trials to find out if you’ll really use an app before you purchase it. Experimenting is a good thing.
  2. Inevitably, you’ll install some apps now just because you can, and a few months from now you’ll realize you’re never actually using some of them. It’s okay to delete them. Really. They’re just taking up room and cluttering up your interface. If you really miss it, you can always go back and add it again.
  3. Games are a good thing, and I’m thrilled that you’ll finally be joining the portable gaming world. Having one or two games is a great thing, especially if you have kids. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been standing in a line, blood pressure rising because I hate waiting, and then I started playing a game, which helped pass the time much more quickly. My stepkids loved using my phone to play games while waiting in long lines, thereby maintaining everyone’s sanity. I’m looking forward to seeing what innovative games appear for this new platform, so keep us posted on the best ones as they start appearing.
  4. As many of you are already finding out, that device in your pocket is now like having a mini-laptop attached to your hip. But the same way laptop batteries drain with constant use, so will your iPhone. So all those apps that are constantly checking the web – see suggestion #2 above. If you’re not using it and it’s draining your battery, delete it. Ask yourself if you really need to check email every minute or if it’s better (and healthier) to check it every hour or even less. Trust me – all of that email will still be there.
  5. Or, as Steve Rubel has suggested, turn off the wireless. You don’t need to be hyper-connected 24/7, and it’s okay to put down the iPhone and walk away from it for a while. It – and all of your apps – will still be there when you get back. As Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” You’re carrying around a lot of power with you now, but you need to control it, rather than letting it control you. Don’t get so caught up in the fun and new-found productivity that you lose the ability to disconnect, or worse yet, focus on the people you’re with. Basically, remember the axiom that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. 🙂


  1. […] Go to the author’s original blog: 5 Tips for iPhone App Users […]

    Pingback by 5 Tips for iPhone App Users — July 16, 2008 @ 8:24 am

  2. […] Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian and the Voice of Experience has a few tips for iPhone users. […]

    Pingback by Staff Blog » Blog Archive » Enjoying your iPhone? — July 25, 2008 @ 7:15 am

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