Debbie Mayo-Smith international inspirational motivational how-to speaker technology, time management, improving business performance
Motivational Speakers, Sales, Marketing, Time Management, Productivity, Technology, Tips

iPhone - not just for the geeks

Okay, so the new iPhone is sold out. But if you want one, is it worth the money and all the hype?

Back in March, my husband Steve and I were at David and Gail Nathan's home. David showed us his new toy, an iPhone, and as he demonstrated the features, all you could hear was "Oh my goodness", "Isn't that great" and "How marvellous". When you first see the iPhone's features in action, you can't help but be impressed. Two weeks later, Steve and I had our own "his and hers" iPhones.

I called David on Monday to ask permission to mention his name here. I asked, "David, what do you think of your iPhone now?"

"It's turned my life around, Debbie," was his response. "Before I had the iPhone, I was a complete technophobe. I've had mobile phones, but never bothered much about them. Because the iPhone has been such an easy-to-use application, it has been my eye-opening introduction to the world of technology."

While David, Steve and I have the original iPhone, the new one launched in New Zealand last week is not substantially different. The three new features are: 3G to browse the internet faster; GPS; and the phone now syncs with Microsoft Exchange for access to Outlook emails, calendar and contacts.

So if you're like me, what things would a middle-aged, technology-friendly businessperson like or dislike about the iPhone?

Things you'll love
No buttons. As David found, no matter how mobile phone or computer illiterate you are, it's easy to use. The touchscreen puts everything at your fingertips.

Legibility. Anyone over 30 will concur - the huge screen is a delight. The joy of being able to actually see the numbers and letters you type. To be able to read email in 10 point font.

Even bigger. You can instantly magnify what's on the screen simply by moving your thumb and forefinger.

Tall or wide. The phone has a built-in motion sensor. Turn it sideways and the display automatically adjusts to a wider landscape view.

Predictive spelling. The predictive text is the best I've experienced and very useful.

Text trails. If you receive/send lots of texts, you'll love the iPhone. It keeps conversation trails in "you said/they said" form. Your text shows in green conversation balloons; the response is in a grey balloon.

Email when you want it. A significant shortcoming with BlackBerries is that for those on a non-enterprise plan (for example, if you're self-employed or in a small business) you're either bombarded with emails, or you totally turn off the feature to receive them. I hated this. It is an impediment rather than an enhancement to productivity. With the iPhone you call for your email when you want it by pressing the mail icon. Only then will it check and download email for you.

Wireless first. The phone can be set to check for and use wireless internet connections before it defaults to the mobile plan internet. You can use this feature to save money. See below.

Add-ons. There are many mini-applications on the internet that can be downloaded on to the phone. I'm quite happy with one that enhanced the texting functionality. My husband has pages of icons and things he has added on.

Easily set multiple alarms. When was the last time you looked at an alarm clock or took one with you while travelling? Also there's a great little stopwatch and timer.

What you might find a pain
Surreptitious roaming. When the first invoice arrived after getting the iPhone there was a $54 charge for internet use. But I had only used the internet while connected to the office wireless. Not once had I pressed the button to browse the net. What you don't know is all the built-in applications are constantly going online checking the latest data and updating. I wasn't on a bandwidth plan, so it was charging at 1c a kilobyte. Ouch! I had Vodafone switch off the mobile internet browsing capability at their end. If surfing the internet or checking emails any time anywhere is not what you want, this is a great idea - especially if you have access to wireless internet. You can also delete applications that automatically go online. The alternative is to select a monthly plan that fits your needs.

Low volume. I often miss calls because I don't hear it ringing. The ringtones that come with the phone are short, low and mediocre with a minimal volume level. If you're planning to use it as an iPod without earphones, forget about it.

Battery. You've probably heard the battery has a short life. It's true. Be sure to buy a car charger. You'll need it.

Unwanted calls. The touch screen does have a drawback: accidentally-placed calls.    You must be disciplined to switch it out of phone or contact mode when you've completed your call.

Touch - no stylus. A stylus won't work. Touch typing only - letter by letter.

No MMS or multi-text. Unless you download another application, the texting ability is for SMS text messages only. You can't send multimedia, such as voice or photos (you must email them). Also, you can only send a text to one person at a time.

In summary, if you want to have your phone, your music, your camera, the internet at your fingertips, a mini-TV to watch on planes and at least two weeks' worth of non-stop music - then you must have an iPhone.

Debbie Mayo-Smith (BSc Hons Econ) is an International Motivational Business Speaker and Managing Director of SuccessIS! ( and a leading specialist in easy practical ways to improve business profitability, personal productivity and Internet marketing. Debbie lives in NZ and travels the world speaking, writing and training. By the way, if you'd like to get lots of neat tricks like this, plus marketing and business development tips, why not enrol for our free newsletter?

This article is copyright to Debbie Mayo-Smith & SuccessIS. You may use it for your newsletter, website or as an article. It can be reproduced - but in its entirety and with inclusion of Debbie Mayo-Smith as the author and the weblink


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