A painting of me

iPhone Awesome

   3 March 2010, late afternoon

In the few weeks after my accident my iPhone become quite indispensable. The iPhone is the perfect computer for when you’re laying in bed or lounging on the sofa, something I have been doing quite a bit of recently. The iPhone is portable in a way laptops can’t touch. Its small form factor can be advantageous, despite it’s shortcomings. It’s software, though simple, works quite well.

Safari, Mail, and Tweetie are probably the apps I use the most on my phone. Tweetie is actually better than any desktop twitter client I’ve seen. Safari and Mail both work quite well. I have had no problems using either for extended periods of time. Typing out long emails isn’t ideal on the iPhone, but i’ve gotten quite good at using the mini virtual keyboard. I type quite fast now. (Most, if not all, of this post was written in SimpleNote on my phone.)

I’ve been using SimpleNote for a while now. As the name suggests, it’s a simple note taking application for the iPhone. The big win is its seamless over-the-air syncing with a corresponding web application. Recently the developers of SimpleNote let other developers connect their programs to SimpleNote. Now several other note taking applications can also sync with SimpleNote, the most notable one being Notational Velocity for the Mac. I used to have the SimpleNote web app running as a fluid application, but at the end of the day I still prefer desktop apps. Notational Velocity is well designed, with a few keyboard shortcuts that make finding and editing notes really quick. Using SimpleNote I can work on blog posts — like this one — while laying down. [ed. I typed this while waiting for my Oxycodone to kick in at 6:45 AM.] I can finish things up on my mac, editing what I’ve written and adding links and pictures to the post. It’s all quite seamless.


I really have nothing but nice things to say about Shaun Inman’s Fever, but i’m back using Google Reader to read my RSS feeds. Fever has a nicer web interface, but it’s iPhone optimized site really isn’t very functional. First and foremost, on my 3G phone it’s very slow. I had simply stopped reading RSS feeds on my phone since making the switch to Fever. After being stuck in bed for so long this simply wasn’t acceptable. There are a couple really great iPhone Google Reader clients. To start with, Google’s iPhone optimized version of their site works quite well. It’s reasonably fast, and quite functional. I was using Byline for quite some time. While I still recommend the app, as of right now I think Reeder is the best feed reader on the iPhone. Besides being well designed and pretty, it offer two pieces of functionality I really wanted: the ability to save links to Pinboard, my bookmarks manager, and to Instapaper, so I can read articles later. Since Reeder syncs with Google Reeder, when I’m back at my desk I can start reading feeds again without needing to skip past what I’ve seen already. Reeder has made reading feeds on the phone enjoyable again.

Instapaper lets me read article i’ve marked to be read later. In addition to articles I find while surfing the Internet on my computer I can also save articles found in Reeder, as mentioned above, and Tweetie, which can save articles linked in tweets. I’ve written about Instapaper before, and my opinion of the application has only gotten better. The reading experience has improved with the latest version of the app. You can now page through articles as you would on a kindle. I use Instapaper so much now.

I’ve already written at length on TaskPaper, so I won’t repeat myself here. I will add that I have been trying to make it a point of reviewing what I need to do before I go to sleep. This doesn’t feel like much of a chore when I’m comfortably in bed. Things I add to my todo list before I pass out can be reviewed on my Mac when I wake up in the morning. Of course, I don’t really have much to do at the moment.

Plants vs. Zombies

My recent go to games on the phone are Doodle Jump and Plants vs. Zombies. Both are great games. Previous games I have really enjoyed include: Edge, a sort of geometric puzzle platformer; Flight Control, where you land planes; and the awesome puzzle game Frenzic. There are lots of casual games on the iPhone to help you pass the time.

A common theme with all the apps I like on my phone is that they interact with applications on the web or on my mac. Using the phone feels like an extension of my iMac. I’m eagerly awaiting the iPad. I know a lot of people were pretty ‘meh’ about the tablet when it wad launched, but I think it will be amazing. My iPhone is limited in many of the ways the iPad will be, but it hasn’t made the phone less useful to me. I look at the iPad and I see a device with a lot of possibilities.



  1. I like Run a lot.
    Also my coworker made a game called Little Metal ball, its sort of like labyrinth
    Geared is pretty good also but it got too hard after a certain point

    I will need to check out plants vs. zombies. I saw it on the appstore but wasn’t sure if it would be fun. I feel they need to have more free trials to games.

  2. Weirdly enough I think I truly fell in love with my iPhone when I was immobile too by pulling a back muscle a month or so ago. When it was too painful to even sit upright at a desk, an iphone and a bed was an amazing combination. Still is :)

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