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The Definative IPhone overview Guide with Tips, Tricks, Apps, and Dev resources

Well, after living with the Iphone for a little while now I am able to offer some thoughts and a whole host of other advice on this wonderful technology device. I'm currently using firmware 1.14. Even Gartner now seems to be onboard  describing the Iphone as a viable corporate device based on the 2.0 software.  Believe me, even with the sub 2.0 software, it is.

I won't go into details on the device itself, there are plenty of resources on the web that have done this, suffice to say that in the UK it officially works on the O2 network, and in the US it officially works on AT&T. 

As we all know by now the device itself can be "jailbreak'd" so that it can work on  other networks, something I did for this review, using the Vodafone network.  This is all pretty smooth with one of the various unlockers that are available freely on the internet.  One of the issues I had after unlocking was the getting the voicemail button to work.  Note this is not visual voicemail, as this only works with AT&T, but actually getting the phone to dial Voicemail when the button was touched. The easy way to fix this is to input the following code *5005*86*xxx# into your keypad. Here xxx would be your voicemail number. In the case of Vodafone this is '242'. After entering the code tap call and then the voicemail button to be set.

 The phone works on WiFi or the slower Edge network rather than 3G.  To be honest I did not find this a huge bind although obviously 3G support would be better. Whilst on Edge when I am out and about, to keep data costs down and also for speed for certain applications I use iPhoneiquity . This compresses any website, allows me to choose whether to display images or not, and formats it for the iPhone, giving me a unique url to bookmarks, which I do under and Edge folder - works great. Check out the video .

The Iphone has a 2 MegaPixel camera and has the most amazing email, Browser and YouTube support.  This is best seen rather than talked about so check out the video here .  The Phone also has Bluetooth but to be honest this only seems to be useful for a bluetooth headset as even pairing this with a Mac, whilst it works, does not allow you to share files or use Bluetooth in any meaningful way.  The headset I use is the Aliph Jawbone , which it has to be said really compliments the IPhone. To find out why this is such an amazing headset, watch the video .

 Aliph Jawbone

The only issue I have found with this is that when you reboot the phone, even though the headset appear paired when turned on, it isn't, and you have to delete the pairing and re-pair - it's painless but a pain.

Email on the phone is fine under Wi-Fi but a little slow under Edge. One of the issues is that once email is downloaded it does not stay on the device.  The Email client is but a browser window to email, and whether it stays or whether it goes does not seem to have any rhyme or reason to it, and this is potentially a big issue for those users who would want to use an IPhone as a corporate device.  Initially the instinctive reaction is to setup email manually on the phone but it is better to sync it via ITunes (Check the 'Sync these mail accounts' option and then choose the mail accounts you want on the phone). One issue I did find is that for a couple of the email accounts they would not send.  In my case this was because they had been installed with SSL on for send.  Go to setting, email, and edit the account and take SSL off an you should be fine.

Another way to use email, if you have a corporate Exchange account, is to use Outlook Webmail directly within the browser.  This is really snappy, even under edge - I use email like this all the time whilst on the road. You can change the email "Sent from Iphone" Signature under the mail settings, but if you want to add a custom signature (with photo) check out the article here .

Ringtones is another bone of contention, and how to get them onto the phone.  On firmware 1.14 you can use GarageBand 8 on the Mac to create a ringtone and send it straight to ITunes for use on the IPhone (under the Share setting on Garage Band 8). Another way of doing this is to create the ringtone using this service  which will give you a ringtone AMR file. 

You cannot use the Phone to connect to the Internet from our laptop by default, but if you use a Mac there is a good article  that outlines that how to do just that. 

The battery life is actually OK but as with most mobiles, heavy use will leave you running low.  I recommend Power Monkey - a really great way to top up your phone.  If I go on trips abroad now I just take this and I've managed to go almost a full week with just one Power Monkey charge.  To see more on Power Monkey check out this video.

Power Monkey

 One of the great things about the iPhone is that if you travel you can genuinely get bye and leave your laptop at home.  The one bugbear I did find was that a lot of hotel rooms still have ethernet only connections and of course the iPhone is Wi Fi only. No problem !  Use the Linksys Wireless-G travel router - converts anyt Ethernet connection to Wi Fi on the fly - absolute must if you have an iPhone.

Travel Router

 IPhone 1.14 has some nice new functionality including the ability to have web clips directly on your phone.  Effectively this means storing icons for websites you regularly visit on your home screen.  You can do this from the plus icon on Safari.  To remove these icons, hold them down on the home screen for a second or so and then click the 'x' that appears.  to stop the phone wobble effect tap the Iphone's home button. To get really amazing images try HSIcon.

If you ever need to reset your IPhone hold down the power button and the home screen for about 5 seconds and it will reboot.  To exit an application that is not responding just hold down the phone button for about 5 seconds. If the app does not close you will need to reset as described. 

 There are many IPhone native applications now and with the launch of the IPhone SDK no doubt many more - some of my essential business applications are below:

 SmartRSS: Amazing native RSS reader application, very slick and needs to be used to be appreciated - not always easy to find, so to install from the installer application from your unlocked phone then add the repository to the installers app sources (http://rep.sosiphone.com) and then you will find a new category in in the installer categories - SOSIphone - from here choose SmartRSS (don't worry about the French) and install. Watch the video .

 SmartRSS

 SMEScheduler: SMEScheduler is a Very smart business web application in which you can organise meetings via your Iphone and have the whole process automated.  The meeting participants vote as to what is the best time/date to have meeting and the whole things is automated, right down to the emails and calendar invites everyone receives.

 

Beejive:  Beejive is a multi-IM web application that handles AIM, MSN and MSN - essential for your mobile office ! Watch the video

  

 SMEStorage - SMEStorage Allows you to access your documents (PDF's, HTML, E-Books, Word, Powerpoint, Excel etc) stored on the SMEStorage service on your phone.  It's a web application that also integrated with Zoho Office online so your documents can be loaded directly into the Zoho platform from your phone.  It also allows me to shared documents either via collaboration groups or over email, again directly from my phone which is useful. Watch the video .

 

 Fring:  Fring is a native application that aggregates all the various IM services including those that provide VOIP and allows you to use the VOIP parts of the services as well as the IM parts (as well as providing connectivity to other VOIP services such as Skype ) - its very slick and I'm glad they finally released a native version for the Iphone.

 Fring

 

 Terminal App: Terminal is actually Terminal for the Iphone which is installed using the Installer app.  Using the installer you can also install SSH, DNS, WGet etc etc.  If you need to be able to remotely administer systems then this is more than useful.

 Grid Iphone

WildEyes: WildEyes is a document image viewer for the iPhone.  It can be installed using the Installer App.  It basically works in conjunction with the LightHTTP web server to serve up documents from your local drive. You can use an FTP program to FTP into your iPhone to upload documents

WildEyes

 WeTool:  WeTool is installed from the installer app and addresss some of the inefficiencies that will no doubt be addressed in the second generation version of the iPhone. It enables you to delete individual SMS's, search SMS's and also to forward SMS's and forward contact details.

We Tool

  Search:  Search is installed from the installer app and it allows you to search contact and calendar items - it works very well and is very useful

 Search

 

VNotes: Vnotes as the name suggest is a Voice Notes application.  It is a native application so has to be installed from the installer and is very solid.

VNotes

Telekinesis:  Telekenisis is a really great open source project that allows you to access your files and PC/Mac from your iPhone - amazing !

 Telekinesis

 On the development side there are so many initiatives / open source / development tools that its hard to know where to start.  A nice site to keep up to date with iPhone Dev stuff is the TheIphone DevPlace which of course has an iPhone site !

TheIphoneDevPlace

Also you should check out the iUi web development framework by Joe Hewitt, and the Wordpress iPhone Theme.  There is also an iPhone admin plugin as well as the iPhone App Builder which allows you to enter your RSS or Atom feeds and will generate an iPhone application from this and give you a unique url you can use in your own site.  Here is the one for Vehera.

The iPhone is an amazing piece of kit and has completely re-defined what a mobile device should be and how you should interact with it - you don't have to wait until iPhone v 2.0 to get the best out of it though !

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