Yes, I said iPod, not iPhone -- why? Because Yumi doesn't have an iPhone. You can get most everything out of an iPod that you can out of an iPhone without the monthly contracts. OK, so it's not a phone and you need a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to connect. Beyond phone and the photo and microphone recording qualities that come with it, they are basically the same system. The new iPod touch even has built-in speakers, so if you're watching a YouTube video you don't need to take your headphones with you. An iPhone is just an iPod on steroids. As long as you have the upgrade to use Apple's applications, you can do a lot with your iPod. You don't even have to use Apple's iTunes, but it helps if you want to fill it up with applications.
Yumi's favorite things to do on the iPod:
Listen to music: Of course -- because, you know, it is a music player. You can rip your own CDs and add your own MP3s to your iPod's collection.
Watch movies: You can watch movies and TV shows from iTunes stored on your iPod, along with access to YouTube via Wi-Fi.
Podcasts: With all the wealth of information from iTunes University, you can fill your head with lots of knowledge on educational subjects or just catch up on some news from your favorite source -- there's plenty to choose from. Another really cool thing is that some people podcast in video form. So you can watch it on your iPod.
Yumi's Favorite ipod Apps!
All right, so we can listen to music, watch movies, view YouTube, and photos, check e-mail, schedule a calendar, consult Google maps for directions, check the weather, track stocks, or even use a scientific calculator -- but the real beauty of the iPod Touch is its ability to add on applications from the iTunes store. So here is a list of Yumi's favorite iPod applications. All the applications listed here are free.
Social Networking: Not everyone uses social networking, but for those who do, having it at the palm of your hand is convenient. The on-screen keyboard may look daunting, but it's really easy to use and comes with an auto-spell-checker that you can disable if you're writing in a language other than English. If you are writing in another language, you can always change the international settings and get any language you want.
Myspace and Facebook have their own applications so you can check or send your mail, get your friend feeds and statuses, or comment on their pages. All the basics you need are available to you on the iPod touch.
Twitterfon: So the popular microblogging site twitter doesn't have an official application, but that won't stop you from Tweeting from your iPod. As with instant messaging, there are applications that will blend them all together in one application, but I prefer to use Twitterfon.
Aim: Instant message from your iPod. As with other social networking-type applications, there are some you can use to access all your accounts at once. Facebook's application also integrates its messenger.
Apple Remote: Use your iPod as a remote for iTunes or Apple TV. Very useful; now if only we could get it to control my television.
Google Earth: Google Earth is pretty fun. The problems I have with it are that it enables the motion sensor of the iPod. When I hold it up straight, it goes forward; so you have to lay it flat. That's all right; it's still a fun application on your computer or iPod to explore the world. A word of warning: This application is pretty hefty, so it may be prone to freezing. However, since a recent update, I haven't had any issues.
TMZ: TMZ has a new application that connects to its Website and you can view your celebrity gossip from there. It's one of Yumi's favorite applications, but they don't give you a short preview of the news title; you actually have to click on it in order to find out what it is about. So, for now, I still prefer to use the computer. There are other news feed applications, including the Washington Post and USA Today, and you can even set up your favorite RSS feeds directly to your iPod with NetNewsWire.
Games: This category is too large to really put everything that deserves to be included, but there are plenty of really fun games for almost every taste to add to your iPod. Many of the paid versions have a "lite" version out for free. Plenty of games use iPod's motion sensor effectively. One of Yumi's favorite free games on the ipod is Sudoku.
Radio on the iPod
Unfortunately, unlike podcasts and MP3s, you can't switch out and enjoy another application while you are listening to Internet radio on either of these applications.
Pandora: I'm sure most of you know what Pandora is already; if you don't, it's really fun. The Internet radio uses a 'music gnome' in order to pick other songs; it will think you like based on one of your favorite bands you input in the beginning.
Public Radio Tuner: Public radio is available from all across the United States. It has a fine selection of public radio stations to choose from. There is only one world station called World Class Jazz, but who knows what will be added or what other applications will come out in the future.
Utility applications are actually pretty fun here's a few of Yumi's favorite ipod utility applications.
Flashlight: Need to see around in the dark? The main screen may be a little dim for you to use to find your way around, but you can flip over to the flashlight application and it will shine your entire screen in one color of your choice. Of course, I use the default white because it works the best for this situation.
iHandy Level: Hanging a picture and want to make sure it's straight? One of the most practical tools to integrate the iPod's motion sensor technology. With the Carpenter collection you can get a protractor, plumb bob, ruler, and surface level. Unfortunately, only the level bar is free; the other ones are available for a low price.
The Weather Channel: I always check the Weather Channel on the computer when consulting the weather online or television, so why wouldn't I want to use it on the iPod? Check your current conditions for hourly, 36-hour, and 10-day forcasts. You can also watch local weather reports, read severe alerts, and check the maps for clouds radar temperature, UV index, and precipitation.
To-do lists: A very useful thing for any handheld to have is a to-do list. I mean, isn't this what handheld devices were built for to begin with? You can use the calendar that comes with the iPod or you can download applications that range from a simple task list to a more complex sorted daily schedule. Easy Task will let you know if a project is past due, due tomorrow, or completed. WhatTasks keeps it more simple, scheduling priorities and what you need to do. You can just click the priority on the list when you've completed your task.
Yumi's favorite ipod application
Stanza: Carry books in the palm of your hand with Stanza. Stanza connects to free books to download to your iPod. You download the e-books and can read them offline at any location. There are a range of libraries to download, like Project Gutenberg, which carries titles in the public domain. You can buy books from Fictionwise Book Store or read free full-length features from publishers like Random House and Harlequin. You can go to a chapter, but it will pick up where you left off. Turn pages by clicking the sides of the page -- it's really easy. If the bright light hurts your eyes if you're reading in the dark, you can also change the color of the background and the color of your text to customize it to your reading preferences.
Of course the iPod itself comes with some utilities that are very useful. The clock application, for instance; you can view times around the world, set an alarm, use a stopwatch that you can even keep track of how long it took to complete a lap in, as well as a timer that can come in handy when you have to keep track of a countdown. Also integrated in the iPod is a notebook ability. You can write yourself a quick note and check on them later.
I wouldn't be complete without mentioning the ability to surf the Internet, but we already knew that, didn't we?
World of information: On the World Wide Web, many Websites have iPod applications available by going to Safari on your iPod and clicking bookmarks and iPhone Web Applications.
DigiYumi articles written and illustrated by Aurora Dizon. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org