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Old 11-18-2009, 06:20 AM   #21
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Don't forget that the iPod Touch (essentially the iPhone w/o the phone or camera) will handle many of these apps as well. For the internet access ones, you need to be connected via wifi.

You can have a lot of fun, w/o the $60/month data plan.

-ERD50
FYI Unlimited data on the iPhone is 30/mo not 60

As for Apps, my favorites are

Opentable - Lets you make restaurant reservations. I use this a lot for work.

Dropbox - Lets you drag and drop files from your desktop and access them on the iPhone.

WSJ - Now requires a subscription
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:26 AM   #22
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Hey y'all - check out this iPhone app!

How to drive a car with an iPhone - Fortune Brainstorm Tech

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Old 11-18-2009, 07:46 AM   #23
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FYI Unlimited data on the iPhone is 30/mo not 60
Correct. I think I was recalling that the $30 data plan is mandatory, and after you add that to a voice plan you are at at least $60. I just remember hearing the $60 number with data.

Quote:
Dropbox - Lets you drag and drop files from your desktop and access them on the iPhone.
That sounds cool (well, it is actually basic functionality that should be there anyhow), I'll see if I can load it on the Touch. Thanks.


-ERD50
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:39 AM   #24
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These comments on what's available for these phones are really helpful to me. I might have to get myself one of them.

So we're watching an iPhone commercial last night showing some cool little apps and I turn to DH (who actually will be happily surprised to receive an iPhone as his holiday gift from me and will learn all its tricks quickly) and ask him which app does he think is the best. He says, "Is the App a kind of phone?"

I hope I (and the Apple store where I plan to buy the phone) make it through his learning curve.
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:14 AM   #25
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One of the pleasant surprises with this phone has been how intuitive it is to use. Frankly, I haven't gotten past the 2 page quick start pamphlet - there's just no need. The down-loadable full manual is huge; I still intend to read it.... sometime ...
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:09 AM   #26
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Some of my favs in addition to those mentioned:

- NPR News -- shows like Fresh Air and Car Talk on demand, and live streaming of most NPR stations. Great for that morning edition fix when traveling abroad.
- Kindle App -- your iPhone can act like a Kindle. For those times when I want to read a bit and the wife has already claimed the Kindle. Reading off the phone is not actually too bad.

Slightly OT, I think we are really just at the beginning of the impact of smartphones on our lives. I think the transformation will prove to be more significant than the PC. This hand held computer is always with you, is always connected, has a wider variety of sensor input. These apps are just the start.

The other interesting question is whether AAPL can stay ahead this time after pioneering a new device, or, as in the case of the PC, loose the lead to someone else. I have to say my money (literally) is on AAPL this time. I think they've learned some lessons from blowing their lead in PCs, and I think the competition underestimates the amount by which Apple's leadership in music distribution, mp3 players, retail stores, (and even technical, if not marketshare, leadership in PC software/hardware technology) all support the iPhone effort.

(full disclosure, long APPL for 10+ years and counting)
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:58 PM   #27
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Just bought a Palm pre. Too much tech for an old codger like me. Any tips on how can I install a good American/English dictionary on it. It would be really handy as I listen to audiobooks a lot.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:19 PM   #28
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After two weeks with the Blackberry I am hooked on the always-on element mentioned by Dizzy. It is remarkable to have such power with you all the time. I am not required to answer work emails after hours but it is nice to know if there is something that I need to take care of first thing in the AM by checking my mailbox at home or on the way in.

I love being able to read the pdfs of my school textbooks right on the Blackberry so I can catch up on my reading anytime I have a wait. Nice!
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:13 AM   #29
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Just bought a Palm pre. Too much tech for an old codger like me. Any tips on how can I install a good American/English dictionary on it. It would be really handy as I listen to audiobooks a lot.
Yesterday, I saw one that interested me but a frantic search of my memory banks showed no reponses as to where that was. I, therefore, fell back on Google and found a plethera of this application for many SmartPhones.

Let me google that for you
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:31 AM   #30
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DW uses an iPhone and will likely not get another one after her contract ends (her decision). She is technophobic and just wanted the cool factor. After leaving it on during a weeklong overseas trip (not realizing she had to turn off the fetch function else data charges would build up) and an $800 charge for not even using the phone, she was shattered.

She does use it for skype and facebook (to chat with the kids who are at university). I put one on he phone called Shotgun...cocks and shoots like a real gun, without the projectiles. Got it as a joke to keep the flies (aka boys) away from DD.

I use a Windows based smartphone from HTC. It does fine, but just does not have the cool factor. My day starts at 530am, with an email and schedule check, and ends the same way. I enjoy having Excel spreadsheets on it, since I'm and ER nerd and always calculating something. But, when it is time to FIRE, both of us will probably go with prepaids for a year or so. When this is done, I don't want to be accessible 24/7/365 anymore. I can do without cool phone for a while, maybe for good (but will probably get an iTouch at some point in the near future).

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Old 11-20-2009, 07:04 AM   #31
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DW uses an iPhone and will likely not get another one after her contract ends (her decision). She is technophobic and just wanted the cool factor. After leaving it on during a weeklong overseas trip (not realizing she had to turn off the fetch function else data charges would build up) and an $800 charge for not even using the phone, she was shattered.
Good grief, that is outrageous. Is that a standard feature? Did she complain to the carrier? I would expect they would wave fees on what is clearly an unintentional use. You would expect users would have to knowingly turn on out of system data services if there are humongous charges like that.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:10 AM   #32
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If you have the fetch feature on, you have to turn it off if you go overseas, or switch it to manual download, otherwise it is checking the server every few seconds. She complained, etc, to no avail. Now that we have it figured out, she is turning the cool gadget part of the phone on again when we go overseas, but leaves the email and internet off. We don't have AT&T here, it is a Softbank contract in JP.

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Old 11-20-2009, 08:48 AM   #33
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My Verizon aircard contract is up in March. I pay $60 a month in data charges for the card. I am thinking of going to a blackberry plus data plan. Verizon told me that the cost will be $30 for the blackberry data plus another $30 for an "unlimited" data plan where I can tether my blackberry to a computer, much as I do the aircard. So, the total cost is the same as my aircard alone and will do the same thing as near as I can determine. Anyone ever explore using a blackberry that way?

This is maybe too much of a highjack, sorry OP.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:00 AM   #34
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My Verizon aircard contract is up in March. I pay $60 a month in data charges for the card. I am thinking of going to a blackberry plus data plan. Verizon told me that the cost will be $30 for the blackberry data plus another $30 for an "unlimited" data plan where I can tether my blackberry to a computer, much as I do the aircard. So, the total cost is the same as my aircard alone and will do the same thing as near as I can determine. Anyone ever explore using a blackberry that way?

This is maybe too much of a highjack, sorry OP.
Ahh - but therein lies the secret shame of the i-phone - can't tether with the blessings of Apple. If you put a parrot on one shoulder and wear an eye-patch its doable, but you can't attend the church of Apple while tethered. Blame could be AT&Ts instead - they keep saying tethering is on the horizon, if you just extend your contract two more years.....
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:23 AM   #35
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My Verizon aircard contract is up in March. I pay $60 a month in data charges for the card. I am thinking of going to a blackberry plus data plan. Verizon told me that the cost will be $30 for the blackberry data plus another $30 for an "unlimited" data plan where I can tether my blackberry to a computer, much as I do the aircard. So, the total cost is the same as my aircard alone and will do the same thing as near as I can determine. Anyone ever explore using a blackberry that way?

This is maybe too much of a highjack, sorry OP.
Martha:

I do this with my Blackberry Storm for access at my weekend house where there is no other Internet access available. It is a bit of a PITA, but I call Verizon and turn on the $30 tethering feature when I am down there (only when I need it) and call back and turn it off when I leave. Verizon pro-rates by the day so it only costs me $1/day. Unfortunately, they don't let you turn the service on and off on their web site you have to call. If you know in advance how many days you want you can tell them to set the turn off date when you call to turn it on.

By the way, it works very well. I hook it into a wifi router and anyone else visiting with a laptop can connect. Gets 250K - 450K. The feature to turn on and off is called Blackberry broadband connect or something like that.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:08 AM   #36
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If you have the fetch feature on, you have to turn it off if you go overseas, or switch it to manual download, otherwise it is checking the server every few seconds. She complained, etc, to no avail. Now that we have it figured out, she is turning the cool gadget part of the phone on again when we go overseas, but leaves the email and internet off. We don't have AT&T here, it is a Softbank contract in JP.

R
You don't necessarily have to turn "fetch" off when you travel overseas. The "data roaming" feature on the iphone is turned off by default (manufacture setting), and unless you turn it on manually, the phone won't be able to fetch while you are overseas, unless you are connected to a wifi network.

So before going overseas, just make sure that the "data roaming" option in settings>general>network is turned off. But really, this option should remain off at all times and Apple set it up so that it would remain in the off position unless you accept to pay for international data roaming charges and turn it on manually. Apple even has this warning message when you tinker with the "data roaming" option: "turn data roaming off when abroad to avoid substantial roaming charges when using email, web browsing and other data services".

From a carrier's persepctive, it means that, by turning the "data roaming" option on, you have understood and accepted the possible costs of international data roaming and that's why most carriers usually refuse to wave "accidental" international roaming charges.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:45 AM   #37
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Redlaser - this is a cool barcode scanner that reads bar codes and then searches online for a better price. Very cool for on the spot major purchases - no need to go home to comparison shop!
I just tried this one and its amazing (does cost $1.99 tho)... I was so excited I spent about 1/2 hr running around the house scanning items to see what they cost. The fun came to an end when DW caught me in her closet scanning the codes off her shoeboxes...
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:39 PM   #38
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You don't necessarily have to turn "fetch" off when you travel overseas. The "data roaming" feature on the iphone is turned off by default (manufacture setting), and unless you turn it on manually, the phone won't be able to fetch while you are overseas, unless you are connected to a wifi network.

So before going overseas, just make sure that the "data roaming" option in settings>general>network is turned off. But really, this option should remain off at all times and Apple set it up so that it would remain in the off position unless you accept to pay for international data roaming charges and turn it on manually. Apple even has this warning message when you tinker with the "data roaming" option: "turn data roaming off when abroad to avoid substantial roaming charges when using email, web browsing and other data services".

From a carrier's persepctive, it means that, by turning the "data roaming" option on, you have understood and accepted the possible costs of international data roaming and that's why most carriers usually refuse to wave "accidental" international roaming charges.
Thx FIREdreamer. It seems as though the initial settings in Japan may be different, either that or DW unintentionally changed them (been known to happen). We have a friend though who had the same problem. There appears to have been no warning in either our case or theirs. Of course, we are on a Japanese carrier, not a US carrier.

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Old 11-20-2009, 09:49 PM   #39
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Thx FIREdreamer. It seems as though the initial settings in Japan may be different, either that or DW unintentionally changed them (been known to happen). We have a friend though who had the same problem. There appears to have been no warning in either our case or theirs. Of course, we are on a Japanese carrier, not a US carrier.

R
Yes, the fact you are in Japan could explain why this option was turned on. In the US, the iphone plan with AT&T has nationwide coverage, so you never need to turn on data roaming unless you are going overseas. But in Japan (and other countries), data roaming might be necessary when you move from one part of the country to the next and that's perhaps why the option has to be turned on. In that case, I can see how it would be quite easy to forget that the data roaming option is turned on and rack up a huge bill when you go overseas.
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:05 AM   #40
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Here are some iPhone apps:

11 iPhone Apps for Stress Free Family Travel
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