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James Clay

However there is a big BUT and this is why even though I have an iPhone 3GS and concur with your post, the big BUT is battery life.

If I use my iPhone 3GS as a converged device, I either need to use a power supply, connect it to my Mac to keep it going or use a supplemental battery.

This BUT is the reason I carry an iPod in addition to an iPhone, why I will carry a portable video camera and my eBook Reader...

Yes the iPhone is more convenient and great, BUT battery life means that as a converged device, for me it fails.


David J A Lewis

although I am not an iPhone user myself, I have heard tell that the big thing that is missing is that it isn't a very good phone - poor quality, dropouts, etc. You also forgot calendar and email.


The other "but" is about reliability :) My perfectly reliable, undropped, unrooted Android phone ceased to boot on Christmas day. I've now got a temporary replacement from Vodafone, but it's some kind of old thing that does calls and texts, but that wasn't what I used my android device for!

So I am now without timers, tweets/email/google on the move, local live bus times, satnav, my ebooks, a way to find local eateries, google sky, etc...


@James - I haven't found the battery life too limiting - I listened to podcasts and played a footie manager game most of the way on a transatlantic flight recently. I do take a little dock charger though (which also acts as a speaker), so can charge often.
@David - I haven't had any problems with the phone but I'm not a heavy phone user. But like many of these things, if there are problems they're temporary, not deal breakers. I didn't include calendar/email etc because one almost takes those for granted, but you could argue the iPhone is a semi-replacement for a laptop if what you do is email, blog, twitter, etc. I've changed the post to reflect this
@Laurie - yes, the more you give over to a converged device the more vulnerable you make yourself if it goes wrong.

Diane Brewster

Totally agree - I have now attended a few conferences and other 'away events' with just the iPhone. Yes battery us an issue - but the new little plug charger that came with it is always in my bag - and a quick top up in a cafe or on the train us not a problem. I now have the morphie juice pack case - which doubles battery life and should give me 18 months of use at current rates - less than £1 a week. I was very sceptical about convergent devices and do still carry a 'better' camera around - but the iPhone camera has been the most useful in many situations.

Joel Greenberg

I go to lots of events and almost everyone with an iPhone/Android phone still has a laptop with them. Heavy email users also have Blackberies (that's why emails from these devices always have a "sent from my ***" at that bottom, ie I'm using a mobile device so don't expect a long response.) The problems remains the keyboard/screen size and BATTERY. I have an Android phone (HTC Magic) and there are loads of apps, etc. The battery lasts 24-36 hours if I don't use it! The reality is that these devices require charging daily. My MP3 player (Creative Labs Zen Vision) plays for 12 hours and I have 30 GB of MP3s, all encoded at a very high bit rate. Its small and no more hassle to carry than a spare iPhone/Android battery pack. Good luck putting all of this great music on an iPhone. My kids (25 and 16) have no interest in an iPhone on the basis of not wanting all their eggs in one basket and they view phone cameras as good enough for Facebook but not much else. So, my conclusion is - we are not there yet. Roll on the new tablet devices about to emerge - they may provide the answer, at least for people like me.


@Joel - I think the battery thing is just a mental shift, I don't think of it in the same way as a phone, but more like a laptop, so I need to charge regularly. It's battery life is better than my MacBook. Sure, it's not going to used for any heavy duty keyboarding, but if I'm away for a weekend then it is enough of a computational device. As for music - it's double what I had on my iPod, so at the moment there's plenty of room.
I reckon if your kids got an iPhone then they'd begin to see the possibilities - it took me having one to find out what the app store could really offer. Maybe we're not there yet, but we're very close - that list above is a real list for me of devices it is replacing.

Joel Greenberg

Martin - fair points but as far as my kids are concerned - you have to understand that the phone is the main thing! The other functions are secondary. The only additional function my 16 year old daughter wanted with her latest phone was the ability to post messages on Facebook. In October she sent 2300 txt messages! So there is a generational thing kicking in here. The first people I saw proudly walking around with iPhones were middle age guys. Maybe there is never going to be a universal solution which I don't see as a problem. BTW, maybe you should have bought a Creative Zen Vision rather than an iPod! And maybe a Toshiba Protege (6 hours battery life in full use) rather than a MacBook!

I think this discussion could run and run for a while yet.

Lindsay Jordan

Martin, I'd agree with what you said about the functionality of the iPhone in terms of the different apps (my fave is Qik - take a video and store it on the web). For me - I've never had an internet-ready phone before - the 'convergence' is around the issue of logins; I can be permanently logged in to a number of different web tools, which means I can drop into them instantly; mail, twitter, blogs, nings, FB, Runkeeper, etc etc. It's just like having single sign-on for... well, everything. It's my dashboard.

@James... you gotta remember that you are possibly the country's most enthusiastic mobile learning bods and most prolific users of portable gadgets, and therefore a slightly different animal to the rest of us in terms of usage patterns. I use my iPhone as an iPod, video recorder, stills camera, GPS and God knows what else... I have even been known to use it as a guitar... and I still find charging once a day is sufficient :-)


Who needs an actual phone when you can text someone / send an update via Facebook or Twitter? If I call my eldest daughter on her iPhone, she doesn't pick up. But if I send her a text message, she answers right away. It's irresistible!

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As we begin 2010, there are over 100,000 iPhone apps available for download — an overwhelming array of choices, but plenty of gems if you know where to look. To help you out, we’ve compiled all of Mashable’s iPhone app reviews in a definitive list to kick off the year. From social media, to business tools, to just plain cool, the iPhone does it best with these App Store standouts.

Christopher Kennedy

A lot of people forget that certain things affect battery life. Try turning off the location finder and bluetooth functions when you're not using them. Make sure your backlight isn't set to stay on an unnecessary length of time.
These can make quite a difference to battery life.

As a developer of reading based apps for children, I would highly recommend the iTouch as a device to read on or be read to on. What a great device that and the iPhone are as a way to encourage our kids to read more. Perfect as the distraction helper at the dentist, out to dinner or on a plane. There are some fabulous choices for all age groups and more appearing every day with bonuses like dual languages or puzzles. Check them all out iin the app store. And then get an iPad for an even bigger screen and all the same apps!

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