iPhone Frenzy Underway

Posted: July 10, 2008 in iphone, smartphone, sms, text messaging
Tags: , ,

Throngs of happy consumers are eagerly snatching the iPhone 3G off the shelves now that the feeding frenzy has begun. I have a couple of friends who will probably wind up with one, so I’m keen to hear their opinions of the new device. Actually I’m mostly interested in hearing about the app store. When the original iPhone came out, I had two primary concerns: the inability for users to install their own applications, and the inability for users to replace the battery. Well . . . at least Apple is solving one of those problems on the new iPhone.

I’m starting to find fault with my current cell phone. (Perhaps I just want to replace it.) The iPhone is looking a bit more appealing to me for a number of reasons. A real web browser would be a huge improvement over my current phone. More screen real estate would be a nice upgrade as well.

I have a few apps that I’ve grown quite attached to: ListPro, iSilo, and SplashID. In addition to the text messaging utility, these are the three applications that I use most frequently on my phone. In fact, I use them so much that I probably spend more time with these than actually talking on the phone. The software developers for these products are supposedly working on iPhone versions that will be available through the app store. I’m waiting and watching.

ListPro and SplashID both have desktop components that extend the functionality of the programs in addition to making the data entry easier. I’m curious to see when or if the iPhone-compatible desktop software will be available. I’ve heard that the iSilo implementation will be somewhat clunky. Apparently there is no way for users to load their e-books directly onto the device, so they will have to download them all again (ACK), and the downloads will be one at a time!

Beyond that, there is the keyboard issue. I’ve played with the iPhone several times, and I’ve never quite gotten used to the keyboard. Perhaps I’m just used to the tactile experience with the Treo. That extra screen space sure would be nice though!

Thinking about phones causes me to muse over the types of phones I see people bringing into our library. Most of them are pretty much the garden variety mixture of Nokias and Razrs. For those who have anything like a smartphone, it’s usually an iPhone.

Do library users even want library services on their cell phones? If so, what do they want? Courtesy and overdue notices via SMS? Easy access to the website and catalog via their phone’s browser? Do they want to receive citations, announcements, and event information as text messages?

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