Here’s a post about a few iPhone things I would have liked help with upfront.
- Case! Before I bought an iPhone I picked myself up a case. I’m not the most gentle technology user, and knew I would need a durable one. I read a number of articles about touch iPhone cases and realized there wasn’t just one answer. Baron has an Otterbox on his Blackberry, and after seeing one in person and reading more reviews i realized that was a good way to go. I refused to get the Defender because of it’s belt clip that you cannot remove, so picked up a Commuter from Amazon which was much cheaper than anywhere else. Super happy with my decision – doesn’t add much bulk, and is still quite nice looking. Though I’m sure I’ll be wishing for a less sturdy and more pretty (or kitty!) case eventually.
- Gmail! I set up my Gmail right away on my phone by adding a new account of type Gmail (duh). But then I noticed that I was not getting push notification of new email. A quick google search turned up an article on the gmail blog about this very issue: Push Gmail for iPhone and Windows Mobile. After I followed these steps to configure my account as an Exchange Server account the syncing worked right away.
- Calendars & Timezones! I have used Moleskines for years to keep track of life. In 2011 I’m going to try and use Harley exclusively. I created some calendar entries, and then while playing around in the Settings discovered the place to change your timezone (Settings –> Mail, Contacts, Calendar… –> Time Zone Support). When I updated my timezone to Toronto (from Cupertino), the calendar entries I had set on the phone updated themselves – and moved three hours forward. Whoops. So set your Timezone first.
- Calendars & Syncing There are two different ways to sync your iCal with your iPhone – Sync and CalDav. I keep looking, but haven’t yet found a good explanation on why I would want to use one over the other. Both support multiple calendars. But only CalDav will keep the colours that you have in your google calendar. What I also noticed was when I use Sync for my calendar that is configured the Exchange Server way (see point about Gmail above) I can invite attendees to the invites I create using iCal. I didn’t see a way to do that in iCal when I was using CalDav (though you can always go to the calendar in Safari and invite folks that way). So for now I’m using Sync for both calendar and mail. If I find the need to go OCD and have colour coded calendars, I might switch to CalDav since switching seems pretty seamless.
- Contacts I turned of Sync off my Google contacts (though notice I can still search them through the Contacts application) since they don’t have phone numbers and I am too lazy to go in and clean up all of that data. I created all of my Contacts in the Mac’s native app on my iMac. hopefully spending the time to go through and make sure I start with clean data should save some headaches later on.
After I’ve had a few days to play and get apps, I’ll definitely make another post with recommendations. Yes, I know I’m late to the party and lots of folks won’t care. But I know I’m googling for these things, and would like some more current posts on getting started with an iPhone 4 now that the community and apps around the iPhone 4 have had a chance to mature!
For you “experienced” folks, I’m looking for suggestions for a good simple To Do List app, and also an alarm clock (since I need a shorter snooze). Any other suggestions welcome!