THE iPhone. It’s been around for a while, yes. Even the 3G version has. But I’m going to be reviewing it as a journalistic tool.
As a phone, it really does work well. As you can see from the screenshot of the main screen, you have your calendar, SMS tools, photos, contacts, facebook, twitter, camera, and maps to hand. I’m sure you can think of many, many times when a map on a phone (which, to be fair, does a very good job of locating you) would come in very useful.
The mail function is also down the bottom. You can set up the SMTP and POP access for your email, and it’ll be pushed straight to your phone to read.. You can also set up multiple email acccounts, which means if your freelance, it’s a god send to check your latest emails quickly.
Twitter, so you can check your rival journalists and colleagues feeds. The camera is pretty decent. Take a look at this photo from an Al Murray gig:
It has noise in the photo, its not perfect, but it’ll do for getting the image out there. Its fairly sharp, not too blurred even though it doesn’t have spot metering, and quick and easy to use.
The only downsides to this part is that you can’t send it over MMS. Yet. You have to email it until Apple release the iPhone 3.0 update, which is set to allow MMS to be sent from an iPhone. Also, no video.
You type in the notes on the touchpad, which is fairly easy to use – you do hit the wrong one from time to time, but it does correct you if its a word you type a lot. You can make quick notes, and not only look flash, but saves you having to have a notepad at all times. Of course, all good journalists DO have a notepad as backup, but there will be the times your down the pub and a story breaks – you can make quick notes, save the number, address, etc, and not have to fumble around for paper.
The calendar is one of the best functions. It has a month view, seen here, so you know what day your doing things, but it can expand into a week and a hourly view. Using a mac, you can update the calendar on either a mac or the iPhone, and it will sync backwards and forwards. Also, you can sync with Mobileme, the Apple online storage and email server. The sync idea works with the contacts as well. That also means you can send the business card using bluetooth from your mac to a colleagues phone or bluetooth enabled computer.
It all looks good – you can update your social networks, you can make notes, take photos, make phone calls, check emails. Its an extremely good device. I think, for an organisation and quick access tool, bar a few tweaks, it’s very good. The camera can get the picture out there immediately, and the calendar can remind you where you need to be.
Its convenience, but nothing beats a pen and paper, or a laptop, or a camera crew. But you can’t carry one of those in your pocket at all times.
What do you think of it? Or are there different phones out there that are better? Let me know by commenting below:
To find out more about the iPhone, and to buy one, please go to the Apple website by clicking here