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FF Sparks (Casual)

[Life] iPhone Usage

So this morning, I get my first incoming call on the iPhone. It is an unfamiliar number, but when I pick it up, it is Jen. She'd left her phone at home, it turns out, and was calling from a bystander's cell phone.

I didn't know that yet, all I knew was that my roommate greets me with, "Where's your insurance policy information?"

Never a good start.

Turns out there was a light out, and some older guy had run the intersection without noticing. Hit the Beetle square on, on the passenger-side front wheel. Jen is seemingly fine (though we're going to make her go get checked), but the Beetle's not steering properly and is leaking something.

So Brent and I drive over to check the car out. I call Geico. We sort out the claim and all, and I have the claim officer e-mail the claim information to my Google Mail account (which has it thus show up on my iPhone as a mail). When all of that is done, I enter the name of the body shop they're towing it to into the iPhone maps app, find the body shop's info, and 'bookmark' it. (Storing the address and phone number without having to make it a permanent contact.)

A bit later, the other guy's insurance calls; he's admitted fault, they'll cover everything, including a car rental for me. I get that information sent to me to Google Mail, thus having it on the phone. Then I enter 'Enterprise' on the iPhone, and it finds the nearest Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I click the phone number, it calls, I get an e-mail to send the insurance information to so that they can charge the rental; I go click on the insurance mail I was sent, forward it on, and the car rental is arranged for pickup at 11am tomorrow.

Then I get a call from the body/repair shop, and they say they're overbooked, but they'll send the car on to another nearby body shop that both insurance companies work with. I thank him, enter that body shop's information into the Maps app, bookmark it to have directions and the phone number, and voila.

I get another call from my insurance, saying the other guy's insurance has admitted liability, and so on. I send a quick e-mail to them (again from the phone) containing all the information, including the car rental agreements, and that's taken care of. La!

Suddenly, the iPhone has gone from 'shiny' to 'incredibly damned useful,' as it really kept me sane during this. None of this was stuff I could not have done on the Windows Mobile PDA-phone, but it would've been a struggle. Painful, involving some swearing and much stylus tapping. This? It was easier than walking over to the laptop to look up information and write it down or whatever. I was able to do everything from right there in the parking lot, or in the passenger seat of Brent's car, or whatever.

I've gone from 'shiny toy' to 'wow, this thing is really useful.' More to the point, Brent -- who watched all of this -- has gone from 'yeah, whatever' to 'I think I want one.'

Count me a convert. It's not a perfect device, but damned if it didn't keep me sane today!
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that's the first post I've read that's acutally made me interested in one.

That, combined with the realisation it would synch with iCal (duh, I know), has me leaning more towards the "someday". When the price comes down and I become less prone to dropping my phone while crossing the street...
As a PDA in the sense that people use Windows Mobile smartphones -- wanting to enter Word apps and dash off full lengthy e-mails and so on -- it's kind of a failure.

What I didn't realize until this morning is that it's not trying to be a palm-sized laptop. It is trying to be a COMMUNICATOR. It gets you information you need to communicate (maps, phone listings, etc.), and provides easy ways to share information (e-mail, SMS, etc.).

I can't SSH from this thing. I can't do sysadmin maintenance right now, etc. But what I can do -- and do WELL -- is communicate. No trying to look up numbers and then dial them, I just do Google Maps, boom. Etc. As soon as I realized that, my understanding of this device flipped around.

Like I said, none of what I did could not TECHNICALLY have been done on my old PDA-phone. But it did not integrate seamlessly and make it a pleasant experience with the old PDA; in general, I would use it to look up things only as a last resort if no computer was handy. This? This was just part of the natural flow of dealing with everything.
A knowledgeable friend of mine was handed one at dinner on Sunday, and managed to look up several things on the web, including maps, and call one of the numbers found, without any help. He was impressed by the learning curve.

Yeep. I hope the Bug will be OK... and glad Jen seems to be, too.
The bug is either not-badly-damaged, or really hosed. It doesn't seem likely that there's much in-between; I'll hopefully hear by tomorrow what's going on.
So how's the bug? Hopefully you're not going to have to go car-shopping...
They've finally got poor Skuld dismantled, and supposedly I'll hear back this afternoon what the diagnosis is.
So sorry to hear about your car, but yeah, the iPhone sounds insanely handy!
I'm glad everyone is okay. :)

I'd get an iPhone, if only they didn't require AT&T. The contract is murder. It really is like selling your soul - check the fine print sometime. ;)
Not much more so than any other company, I'm afraid.

I haven't changed over my real number's service yet, though; I've just got the number forwarding, for now.
Oh, more so than any other company. AT&T thinks it owns you, and from what I've read of excerpts, they may be right.

Recently, AT&T threatened anyone who bought an iPhone but didn't register it with an AT&T 2-year service plan with "appropriate action" and promised to "monitor the situation closely." ;) I understand they may be seeking to deter those who wish to unlock the phone (and therefore break the 5-year exclusive between Apple and AT&T), but the kind of language they use makes me nervous.

(And the fact that the user has no contractual relationship to AT&T prior to activation so I don't see what right AT&T has at all in this situation. I'm intrigued to hear about their legal theory. Additionally, I wonder if the Apple terms of sale makes the iPhone more of a leased product (like software licenses vs purchase) - otherwise they can void your warranty but can't legally (afaik) force anyone from modding or otherwise unlocking their iPhone - also note that this isn't legal advice and all legal questions should go through proper counsel, etc, etc.)