Apr 27 2009
The iPhone and iPod touch are some of the most elegant devices Apple has ever turned out. With the power of Safari under the hood and a killer multi-touch interface, we must resist the urge to set it on the mantle and stare at it all day.
But before exposing our beloved iGadgets to the dirty, unrefined world lets get them properly equipped.
Case or no Case?
The iPhone looks great, and no case is going to improve that. With a nearly scratch-proof glass screen you may ask yourself if a case is even necessary. I’d say a screen protector is a waste. I’d also recommend looking past hard cases.
For my touch, I chose a soft-pouch case. This protects the still venerable metal back while carrying it in a pocket or bag but allows me to enjoy a thin, naked iPod when surfing, watching and listening.
Check out this pouch (also in gray) for a loose, soft pouch with clip and drawstring from Case Logic ($8). If form-fitting is more your style, check out these cases from Incipio for the iPhone ($14) and iPod touch ($14).
Those fun new features like wifi and widescreen video do come at a cost – in battery life. Car chargers and wall-warts only help when you are stationary. To get your power boost on the road, look to a USB battery back like this Lithium-ion rechargeable pack ($40) or this Griffin AAA external battery for iPhone/iPod ($20). A little power boost from one of these can add hours of on-the-road life to your phone or touch.
Transfer Files without Hacking your iPhone
Our friends at ecamm were fast to bring us a solution to storing files on our iPhones. iPhoneDrive ($10) lets you save and retrieve files from the Media section of your iPhone or iPod touch. It also gives you access to your photos, music, videos and more in a fast interface, allowing you to bypass iTunes all together.
The best part for some is that it does not rely on any hacking on the iPod or iPhone. Not that there’s anything wrong with a little 3rd party app fun, but for the purists, this solution respects the Apple lock-down while opening it up to disk use.
Web App Launcher
While jail-breaking is exciting, a little dangerous and a great way to open your iPhone or iPod to the world of applications, some prefer to play it safe. And while you may eventually get bored with web apps and make the jump to 3rd party applications, that’s something we’ll look at down the road. For starters, we’ll keep with the Apple-sanctioned web applications.
There are many good spots out there for finding web apps, like Apple’s own page or AppSafari. I’m a fan of the directories that also allow you to create a launcher page. I use AppLists.com (pictured) to create to find and organize my web applications. AppList lets you shop in their directory or add your own – even share lists with friends. iPhone Apps Manager and AppMarks are both great webapp launchers.
Read the Fantastic Manual
Last but not least, you’ll want to read the manual for your iPod/iPhone. No, this is not the dinky, full color ‘getting started’ pamphlet Apple included in the box. These you’ll have to download, but are worth the read for interesting tips and tricks. Here’s the iPhone’s manual and here’s the iPod touch’s. Some tricks you’ll find in the manual? Pressing and holding the Home button force-quits a frozen application. Holding the sleep button lets you shut your device down and command-option or shift-ctrl can prevent your iPhone/iPod from syncing when connected. Did you know your phone/touch came with a sleep timer? Yep, its all in the manual.
If this is only the beginning of the fun we’ll have with your new iPod touch or iPhone, image the good times ahead. So please, take that thing out of its packaging for good.