iPhone Review: Applications

Like other phones, in addition to its main features, the iPhone also boasts some smaller handy applications. Some of these are available on other handhelds while some are unique to the iPhone.

YouTube

Specific the iPhone, this application makes it available to access YouTube on the go. Videos are fully searchable and you can still access lists such as Featured, Most Viewed, Most Recent, Top Rated, Bookmarks, and History. These lists are not exactly the same as those found on YouTube due to a time delay to re-encode videos into an iPhone-friendly format. While you can bookmark videos in iPhone, you cannot log in to your YouTube account and access your Favorites.

Video playback over EDGE can have long load times, and resolution is scaled down. However, playback over WiFi is quick and high resolution. Videos are played in landscape orientation, while video lists are displayed in portrait.

Clock

One thing that could be improved upon in the iPhone Clock is the icon, which rather than showing a static 10:15, could be changed to reflect the actual time. Other than that, Clock leaves little room for complaint. It has four functions, shown at the bottom of the screen: World Clock, Alarm, Stopwatch, and Timer.

World Clock is useful in that alongside the name of your chosen cities it displays the time in analog, digital, and whether in that time zone it is today, tomorrow, or yesterday. Cities can be reordered in the edit mode.

The number of alarms you set within Alarm seems to be unlimited, and they are fully customizable as to what days they are active, what sound should be played, and whether snooze is available. Alarms can also be named, and they can be set to on or off from the main grid.

Stopwatch and Timer are also simple and intuitive. Stopwatch and Timer will continue working when you go on to use other applications in the iPhone and even other functions within Clock. Unfortunately you can't run multiple timers simultaneously.

Calendar

Because of the iPhone's massive screen size, the calendar application is the most useful on a smart phone yet. There is enough room to display a month view and a chosen day's schedule underneath. While a weekly view isn't available, Apple makes up for this by supplanting an appointment list instead. The calendar icon also reflects the actual date.

However, some issues do still need to be ironed out. For instance, appointments sync over from your desktop to your iPhone perfectly, however, appointments made in the iPhone sometimes refuse to show up on the desktop. Additionally, Calendar in iPhone doesn't support color-coding of appointments.

Notes

Notes in the iPhone accomplishes the same thing as other phones. Notes are automatically saved, time stamped, and titled based on the first line of text. They can also be emailed where the note is the body and the first line is the subject. Annoyingly, the only way to delete a note is to open it first.

Given the size of the screen and technological aspects of the iPhone, extra features would have been appreciated. For instance, swiping the screen while looking at one note doesn't take you to the next. Notes also don't rotate with the phone into landscape mode, and there is no drawing capability.

Calculator

Calculator is simple and works the way you would expect. However, more specialized calculators, like a scientific, graphing, or tip calculator.

Stocks

When tapped, the Stocks application displays information about selected stocks. Like everything else, it takes longer to load on EDGE than WiFi. Configuration is simple, and the user gets a choice of adding and removing stocks and whether changes are displayed in value or percents. Companies can be found by symbol, full or partial name. Unfortunately there is no way to change the order in which the stocks are displayed on your screen without deleting and reentering them.

Google Maps

The Gmaps application is simple, easy, and fast on the iPhone. It is easy to search a location, and even easier to search Google local, pull up a contact card, and call that location on your phone and have Gmap route directions to it. Users can also set map bookmarks for repeat use. The only thing amiss with Gmaps is inconsistent gesturing commands compared to other applications.

Weather

Weather on the iPhone is very basic, in a good way. Tapping on the weather icon opens Safari and brings you to a Yahoo mobile page displaying weather, news, events, and Flickr photos for your selected city. Selection of your city and preferred unit of temperature is also simple, and you can select multiple cities, where flicking across the screen changes cities. You cannot, however, change the order of the cities without deleting and reentering them. The application would be that much better if the icon did not remain static but reflected the current weather conditions.

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