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I have joined the ranks of iPhone evangelists now!

If you know me at all, you know that I am the type of person who tends to wait awhile before making any "big" purchases.  I have had my vehicle for 8 years now (it has over 160,000 miles on it).  We were recently forced to replace our refrigerator after 14 years of solid use.  I also don't like to move, frankly.  We built this house 6 years ago, and I think we'll probably be here a good while longer.


On the flip side, I am also someone who really enjoys gadgets, especially if they can make me more productive in my business.  The iPhone meets both of these criteria.  After having a Treo for the past four years, I was ready to make a move, so in December, I did.  I bought a black 16GB iPhone at Best Buy about a month ago, and I am a raving fan.  Okay, maybe not "raving", but a big fan nonetheless.


To say that it's been life-changing might be a little bit extreme, but I am VERY pleased with this phone.  The only bothersome thing has been the fact that it can't also serve as my MLS key, which my Treo did, so I have to keep up with one other device now (updating, etc.). 


So, what do I like about it?


The Safari browser is pretty fast, and the screen is large enough to easily read web pages.  You can also zoom in and move the image around very simply.  It has made it much less necessary for me to have access to a computer when I'm out and about.  It automatically senses how you are holding the phone by using a accelerometer and adjusting the display accordingly (horizontal vs. vertical orientation).  This is the same type of technology found in the controller for the Nintendo Wii. 


It downloads very quickly, and I've been able to receive PDF and other email attachments much more easily now.  As with the internet browser, this has made my mobility much better lately.  I don't have to worry about returning to my home or office or having a laptop with wireless access.


Where to begin here?  I recently read that the iPhone has some 10,000 apps now, all of which are accessible from the phone itself (i.e. no external device needed to acquire them).  Most of the apps I am currently using, including TwitterFon, the Facebook app, and Shazam, are FREE.  I'm not sure what the most expensive application is, but the non-free apps seem to range from 99 cents to around $9.99.

I think Shazam is one of the coolest apps I've found so far.  Have you ever heard a song on the radio or in a restaurant and wondered about the title and/or artist?  This application allows you to hold the phone up to the speaker and find out very quickly, with its tune recognition abilities.  I tried it out one night while my wife and I were at dinner.  "Is this Steely Dan?", she asked.  I was able to confidently answer, "Yes, it is, and here's the song!"

SnapTell Explorer is another one I've used a bunch.  It enables you to take a photo of a book, DVD, or CD cover, then find out where you can obtain it online, along with pricing from eBay, Amazon, etc.

Overall, the applications seem to offer a virtually never-ending source of entertainment and productivity.


The camera is decent, but not stellar.  I wouldn't necessarily use it to replace a good digital camera, but it works for taking pictures on-the-go.  I don't actually like the fact that both I and the subject have to be extra-still in order to get better shots.  However, the pictures that turn out well are suitable for blogs and sharing via email.  I think they sacrificed the megapixel quality in favor of other applications.


Since it serves a double use as an iPod Touch, the iPhone is exceptionally easy to use as a high-quality MP3 player.  The sound quality of the headphones (ear buds) is terrific in my experience.  Also, nothing beats showing off the music part to friends, when it looks like you are quickly scanning through a catalog of CDs with the flick of your finger. 


Let's face facts for a second.  Even if someone doesn't have an iPhone, they have to admit that this device is pretty darn cool.  From the unique ringtones, to the sleek design, to the ease and versatility of use, this is my favorite tech purchase yet (that is, if you don't include my HDTV). 

To sum up, if you're looking for a new phone, you really can't go wrong with the iPhone.  I highly recommend it.

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