The practical iPhone

One of my favorite iPhone apps is the basic Clock that comes with the phone. It has an alarm, with a choice of sounds, and a snooze button. By using the iPhone alarm on my bedside table, I guarantee that I remember to plug it the iPhone so it charges overnight.

People like to make snide remarks about a $200 alarm clock, but they’re missing the point. The iPhone is a telephone and Internet device, but by including reliable basics — like a clock, an ebook reader (iBooks), and an excellent camera (on the iPhone 4) — it enables me to shed a lot of annoying devices, from my difficult-to-set alarm clock to my never-there-when-I-need-it Digital Elph camera.

I’ve used my iPhone as a sort of flashlight for quite a while — turning it on for a minute and pointing it in the direction I am headed. (I’ve also used it as a beacon to attract my deaf white cat in the dark at night.) But, of course, there’s an app that does it better: Light-O-Matic, from DS Media Labs. It includes an LED mode, a “safety” mode (flash on motion), and a strobe mode. The cat loves to chase the strobe.

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About Karen Anderson

To paraphrase Mark Morris, "I'm a writer; I write!"
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