Our family got our first new iPhone (we actually got three) one year ago this weekend. It has been a fantastically interesting and fantastically fun ride since then.
I wanted to take a post to reflect on the changes that I have experienced in using the iPhone 4s, and to mention some of the accomplishments, and the apps that helped get me there.
I confess that the longer I use Apple products, the more I become a fanboi. Well, it’s worth the criticism: Apple products are simple and elegant all at the same time.
Nothing more so than the iPhone.
So what is different?
Exercise – Among the first apps I installed on my iPhone when I got it were apps that helped me with health and fitness. I have been exercising for the past 7 years, virtually all of the time with some type of Apple device to listen to music. Yes, you can listen on other devices, but I bought iPod Shuffles, and Nanos (actually I won the last one I used), and even purchased the Nike + accessories to go with my last Nano.
Still, when I exercised with the Nano, it never quite felt like my distances were correct. In the earlier versions of the Nike+ accessory for running you had to “train” or “tune” the device to track your steps (length of your stride while running x steps = 1 mile).
But when I got the iPhone, a 4s, the device itself had all the tools needed to get more accurate with distances: GPS. At first I used then MapMyFitness app, but I grew to dislike it the more I used it.
So I purchased the iPhone version of the Nike+ app. I have really enjoyed using it with the iPhone. I’ve logged almost 200 miles (not a great deal really) since I started with the app in June.
I have maintained my own exercise program, but have moved to a better experience by using these iPhone apps.
Weight - The second app I installed when we first got iPhones was Lose It. I really enjoyed using the app, and found actually being aware of how many calories you are consuming in a day is a great start to losing weight.
While I have had a complete rethink about what causes weight gain and how to lose weight (after reading “Why We Get Fat, And What To Do About It”, I am pleased with what I have accomplished in the past 12 months. I have lost 32 lbs since October 2011, and weighed in at 185 lbs yesterday!
Productivity - The iPhone puts all your data in your hand, virtually where ever you go. I have become more productive by using great apps like Scanner Pro, Evernote, Text Grabber, Box.com and Dropbox.com. I also make use of Chatter for iPhone, as well as IMO.im’s iOS app.
Photography – I have always liked to take pictures, but the iPhone has made it amazingly easy to grab great shots of things I might have missed otherwise (because I would not have had a DSLR with me while out for a run, but with the iPhone I was able to grab some great photos while running. Aside from the excellent camera app native to iPhone, I particularly enjoy an app called Camera+.
Maps – The Apple iOS 6 maps problem notwithstanding, I cannot remember when I last printed a map to go somewhere. With the iPhone I just used the phone (so I guess it has been at least a year since I printed out a map).
Reading – While we were on our trip to Taiwan in late June, I used the Kindle App for iPhone to read several good books. I enjoyed the experience enough to buy a Kindle! iPhone is a great device for reading for much the same reason it is a great camera — you have it with you pretty much all the time.
So, has life improved immensely? No, probably not. But I have enjoyed the experience and have continued to find new uses for the iPhone. Well worth the expense.