All day on December 25, TUAW presents "Now What?" We've got first steps and recommendations for all the Apple gifts you (hopefully!) found under the tree today. Happy holidays!
Congratulations, you've finally gotten an iPhone! It's either your very first one, or you've managed to upgrade to the iPhone 3G. As with any new hardware purchase, now you get to have even more fun selecting accessories for it.
How to use your iPhone
There is plenty of information out there if you're looking for a basic guide to the functions of your new iPhone. One of the best sources for free information is right here at TUAW. Here's a couple of tips to help you get started:
- Taking screenshots: Hold down the home button and then quickly press the sleep/wake button. You'll see a flash and hear the sound of a camera click, and a screenshot of your current screen will be placed in the Camera Roll under Photos.
- Back to home: If you're browsing a page on a home screen other than the initial one, press the home button again and it'll take you back to the first page of the home screen. You can also speed-scroll through your home screens by tapping to the left or the right of the white & gray page indicator dots at the bottom of the screen.
- Back to the top of the screen: In both Mobile Mail and Mobile Safari, if you've scrolled down to the bottom of the page and want to get back to the top easily, just tap the menu bar and your page will spring back to the beginning.
If you're like a good many people, you want to replace the stock Apple earbuds as soon as possible. I love my Bose In-Ear headphones, for example. Shure is another excellent brand for purchasing earbuds, and their SE110MPA Sound Isolating Stereo Headset includes an inline microphone and a control button for receiving and ending calls. Sennheiser also makes a similar headset, but for a lower price. For the true audiophiles, there's Etymotic's hf2 headset. If you have $350 to spend, there is the Beats headphones by Dr. Dre.
If you like Apple's headset but find that it's a poor fit, then it's worth the $9 to purchase a set of BudFits. They attach onto Apple's earbuds and then wrap around your earlobe for a very secure fit.
There is no shortage of cases out there, and you can easily find one to fit your needs and to protect your investment. For the full body armor experience, you can't go wrong with the iSkin revo. The major downside to this product is that you do need to remove the plastic cover over the touchscreen in order to use it. I recently got my hands on the iCase Slider, which offers the same amount of protection, but leaves the touchscreen exposed. You can also slide the bottom off so you can dock your iPhone, and it feels great in the hand.
For those wanting a leather case, Sena makes a very nice line of products, from wallets to pouches. For those wanting a case that allows you to use prop up the iPhone so you can watch video, check out a product such as the Power Support Crystal Jacket. Power Support also makes a nice film that products your touchscreen from fingerprints and smudges.
Apps and Games
You've most likely browsed through the App Store by the time you've read this article, but there is a lot to choose from. Some of the best applications I've come across include (all links below open iTunes):
- Getting groceries: For groceries and personal items, GroceryIQ is a fantastic list application. It even lists local brands such as Shamrock Farms here in Arizona and is currently on sale for $.99USD
- To-do lists: The front-runners are Things and OmniFocus, though after having purchased the latter, I do believe there are better alternatives. There is also much love for Remember the Milk for those who are pro members of that site, and ToDos is a great, basic and free to-do application.
- Games: Some of the most-talked about games at the moment include Rolando and SimCity. Tap Tap Revenge is a very popular and free take on the Guitar Hero/Rock Band franchise, and it's also available in several paid versions, one featuring music from Nine Inch Nails.
- Books: If you're a bibliophile like I am, then definitely download the Shakespeare application. All of the Bard's works at your fingertips for free! I am also a big fan of Classics and the way the app presents legendary works of literature.
- Finances: Mint's new application has made me a devotee of the site -- and both the main site and the iPhone application are free. There are also banking applications from Chase and AT&T's Mobile Banking application.
- Instant Message: While there are free basic applications out there for AIM and a few others, the best IM experience I've had on the iPhone is with BeeJive IM. I balked at the cost at first, but managed to buy the application while on sale. It's been the best app purchase I've made to date. It's easy to use, does not lose the connection easily, and if I exit and go to another application, BeeJive will keep me logged in and store messages for me to read when I return back to it.
What other iPhone accessories, apps, or games would you suggest for those getting their first ones? Let us know in the comments!