Sunday, April 29, 2012

I've Got a Secret

I've been keeping a secret. I bought an iPhone. Actually I bought my wife an iPhone. She loved her BlackBerry Curve but when Google announced late 2011 that they were dropping support for Gmail on BlackBerry I started looking for alternatives for her. To be clear, Google didn't kill Gmail support on BlackBerry but "deprecated" Gmail support. The scary part for me was that you would no longer be able to download a fresh copy should you have to rebuild the phone. I realize there are alternatives for that but still the handwriting was on the wall.

AT&T had a refurbished white iPhone 4 on sale Black Friday weekend for $49.95. I ordered her one. I was worried about her adapting to the soft keyboard after the Curve's hardware keyboard but that hasn't been a problem.

I had seen the handwriting on the wall for the BlackBerry for a while and had migrated her to the web-based Gmail interface. That made it easy to use the Exchange Active Sync protocol to connect the iPhone to her Gmail e-mail. I found Google's instructions here. Be sure to follow the "Next..." link at the bottom for Calendar support.

The Google support has been seamless. Push e-mail and push calendar are incredible. I share my calendar with her so she can see where I am.

She isn't big into taking pictures with her iPhone (yet) but what she does love is the Camera Roll. She gets lots of e-mails with pictures of our granddaughter and she saves them to the Camera Roll.

She likes to listen to the radio while she gets ready in the mornings. The AM/FM radio I had in the bathroom didn't have a good antenna. I got her a Jensen Docking Speaker System. It is compact, has stereo speakers and charges the iPhone. It actually has an FM receiver built-in but I didn't use that. There's an iTunes app that we don't use but you need it as the phone complains if it is not present when you place the phone in the dock. The app runs the radio built into the dock and presents a clock. I wanted to stream her favorite FM station over the Wi-Fi. After a couple of false starts I ended up with TimeTuner. It presents a nice clock and has 4 presets for streaming Internet radio stations. That has been a perfect solution for her.

We converted her 200MB BlackBerry data plan to an iPhone data plan. She's been running around 35MB per month as she uses Wi-Fi at all our family's houses. This is about twice as much data as her BlackBerry. With iMessage handling text messages among the other iPhones in the family she's been well within her 200 text message plan. She's actually using less text messages due to iMessage.

Last week she said "I love my iPhone." 'nuff said.

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