Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More about the iPhone 4

I am now getting used to my new iPhone 4 and I am even more impressed than I was initially. As a side note, this particular cell phone (if you can still call it that) is not for everyone. The iPhone is currently supplied only through AT&T and a required data plan, plus phone service can cost over $100 a month. We use our phones for our business and can justify the price for the convenience. I receive calendar items, E-mail and telephone messages instantly from my office. Essentially, our entire office, with some notable exceptions, has converted over to iPhones.

The iPhone 4 has a solid feel to it. It weighs only slightly more than the old phone, but seems like it is more solidly built. 

But how will it help me with genealogy? I already mentioned the increased resolution of the built-in camera, to 5 megapixels, but there are a lot of other benefits. One of those is a selection of Apps for maintaining your genealogy files on the iPhone. I use Reunion on my iMac and have taken advantage of the mobile version of the program. I can have my entire database at my finger tips. I also have several other genealogy apps on the unit.

Now, let's suppose I go to the library to do some research. I take my phone. When I find something in a book of interest, I take a picture of the page. When I need to add something to my database, I have the mobile version on my phone. If I need to look online and don't have access to a computer, I have Google at my fingertips on the phone. On and on and on. In short, the iPhone is a general use tool, really a small but very powerful computer only limited by its small size and the available software. Of course, I could not do much typing on an iPhone (I am not a text master) and there are other physical limitations, but having a computer you can carry in your pocket was not even something I dreamed about when I was young. No one really thought that computers would become that small and that powerful and that pervasive.

What about the Android phones? Yes, Google is giving Apple a run for the money. No one company really has a complete lock on small phone/computers. I like the idea of Google pushing Apple to keep innovating. I also like the idea of having options.

Since the new iPhone 4 comes with both video and still imaging, I imagine that YouTube will probably get even more uploads as the phones begin to proliferate. Since there was such an increase in photographic quality, I checked out two of my favorite Apps, RedLaser and SnapTell. RedLaser reads any kind of UPC symbol and looks up the results online giving you an instant price comparison for the product. SnapTell does the same thing with ISBN codes on books, CDs and other media. I guessed right, the new higher resolution camera makes both applications much faster and easier to use.

When I got my first Apple II computer, I did not image the uses I would have for the machine. With each new computer, the possible uses have continued to expand. I am sure with the capabilities of the new super phones, we will be able to do things we presently cannot imagine.

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