Thursday, July 02, 2009

iPhone 3GS

So .. I got an iPhone. I've caught myself a couple of times wanting to talk about it in conversations and idly playing with it in the presence of others. It's not glory seeking, but because I'm finally seeing a device that can really track what's happening in my life. Multiple email accounts? check. Work and home calendars? check. Auto wifi preference? check. Twitter / facebook? check. Blogging from anywhere? next thing to check.

It's like that Skype feeling. I've used a fair amount of phones to set up mail and calendars, but they all seemed to be a kludge. Finally it feels like it's easy to do, easy to check, like the phone is working for you as a tool rather than having to spend effort forcing it to what I wanted.

That said there have been some oddities that had me scrabbling for google to find the answer.

iPhone things I wanted to know:
How big is the video I just took?
- So far the only way I can find out the size is by hooking it up to a PC and browsing the DCIM directory. What if I wanted to MMS it on the fly? To me this is a problem of intentionally cutting off access to the real OS and just giving buttons as an interface. There are other things leading from this too. It asked me whether I wanted to location tag the pictures I took, but there's no way of seeing those tags in the picture viewer, or the time, or the size, etc.

How do I add another Calendar on the iPhone itself?
- I had initially linked up to my work exchange and was quite happy to see 2 different calendars appear (although one was a temporary one I use for tranferring bookings). Now I wanted to add another calendar for my personal stuff. In other apps there's an 'edit' button in the top right corner of the display to change things like that, but alas there isn't anything like that in the calendar. Not sure if it removed the ability to have multiple calendars because I had already hooked up to exchange? It also clobbered the existing calendar on the phone with my default exchange calendar too. Interesting assumption. Finally made up a personal calendar on google and linked it in, which in the end was my preferred solution, I was just a little miffed that there wasn't an alternative for people without multiple calendars already.

How do I change the colour of the calendars?
- After bringing in my Google calendar, it chose a maroon colour for its appointments. The only thing is that the existing calendars are red (main one) and orange. The colours are distinguishable when seen on the same screen, but close enough for confusion if there is an appointment by itself. In the end some troubleshooting revealed that the colour should be picked up by iCal. Sure enough Google's colour was red, and changing it to green synced up fine. Problem solved!

How do I subscribe to a podcast on iTunes on the phone?
Fiddling around with iTunes on the phone I realised that I could potentially do away with another annoying issue. Since I have both iTunes at work and at home and I susbscribe to slightly different podcasts from both machines, I've had to manually sync my iPod to each machine and take care not to overwrite a 1/2 listened to episode. If I can subscribe to the podcasts I want to listen to straight from the phone and gather the downloads over wifi, I don't have to worry about iTunes on the dsktop any more! Sadly I still can't find a way to do it.

More questions to come I'm sure ...