Thursday, May 13, 2010

App Happy

App Happy

As if Tap Happiness was not enough, my iPhone provides another seemingly endless stream of satisfaction – the App. At first, I’ll admit, all the icons on my iPhone were of little interest to me. The whole app conversation elevated my anxiety. I wanted to keep it simple, so I began by learning one application at a time.

No, I did not read the manual, in fact, it doesn’t come with one. I did it the easy way – One-to-One Training at the Apple store (on Fifth Avenue). They make the learning as good as the knowing. This is real empowerment!

App by app I began to see that making calls was just the tip of the iceberg. There are over 100,000 optional apps available for the iPhone, but much of my happiness, so far, has derived from the standard apps that Apple loads on every iPhone.

Contacts: The perpetual home for all of my contacts. It all goes into the iPhone: names, multiple phones and emails, addresses; and it’s synched to my computer, so I won’t ever have to start up a new phone book again.

Messages: For text messaging. Yes, I am a texter – did not even think it would appeal to me – but it does.

Camera: I can – take a picture, email, text it, or save it to my photos.

Weather: Love having the current weather and the forecast for home, and as many other cities as I wish.

Voice Memo: This is my big bonus, a voice recorder for reminders, instructions, meetings, interviews. I have recorded One-to-One Training and travel directions. It is both usable and useful.

Notes: This I totally love too. It’s simply a yellow-lined pad that you type notes into. I am a compulsive list maker (who was having a hell of a hard time reading her own scribble). Now I have all my multiple lists stored in the phone. At this moment, there is a list for Whole Foods, Target, Things to Discuss with My Sister, Books to Read, and naturally, the general To Do List. Notes can be emailed and are simple to create or delete. Editing I have not completely figured out, but I will.

Clock: World clock is the best reference – no more counting on fingers what time it is in Rome. There is an alarm clock with snooze, and a timer--all things I use.

Calculator: A fabulous, simple to use, talking calculator built right into my phone. I can figure 40% off at Bloomingdales, or divvy up a restaurant check among friends, in a matter of seconds. It’s one of those apps I use every single day.

iPod: The iPhone battery seems to have a life of its own and there is often no telling how long the charge will last, so I tend not to listen to music or read books on my phone. A One-to-One Trainer suggested creating a playlist of my favorite tunes, and I do use it from time to time on the treadmill, when I can plug into a charger.

Compass: I was in Chinatown shopping the produce markets, when I realized I was completely lost…no idea how to get back to Canal Street. I had ventured into unknown territory and could not read the street signs to get myself out. Then I remembered the compass and pulled out the iPhone and clicked on the compass and kept moving in the direction most north. I found my way back to Canal, got my bearings, and felt a little like Dora the Explorer.

All of these apps will talk to me with Voice Over, or they can be magnified with zoom. They can be used, equally as well, with whatever vision you have, or don’t have. Everybody gets these apps. Anybody can use them. That’s what I call Happy!