Monday, July 12, 2010

Some lesser-known iPhone features

I spent a couple days camping last Thursday and Friday. Though I suspected our remote locale would render my iPhone useless, I was pleased to find that wasn’t the case.

On the contrary, I discovered a host of special features Apple never mentioned in my user manual.

Whether you’ve got an iPhone of your own, or simply want to test the capabilities your existing cell phone, here are a few special features worth sharing:
  • Crush mosquitoes against the wall of the tent. The little bastards love the way the screen lights up, much to their detriment.
  • Instantly tweet photos of important moments. For me, this was a picture of Pythagoras reeling in a fish, though sadly, he got away. The fish, not my husband. Pythagoras only made it to the parking lot before I hit him in the head with the phone and dragged him unconscious back to the campsite.
  • Jot notes to yourself from the middle of a lake. I neglected to bring a pen or notepad on our camping adventure (some writer I am). Fortunately, I was able to make a quick note on my iPhone when an important idea struck. OK, so it wasn’t a plot point, it was the name of the aromatherapy oil my yoga instructor shared last week. I’d forgotten, and it was nice to have a place to jot the word “neroli”when it suddenly appeared in my brain.
  • Utilize iPhone as emergency light source at 2 a.m. when dog barfs in tent. Gripping the phone between my teeth and a baggie in one hand, I was able to clean up the result of a motion-sick dog having spent the day on a boat. I blame neither the iPhone nor the dog for the fact that the baggie turned out to have a hole.
So how about you? Have you ever used your phone for something other than its intended purpose? Please share, I’m always on the lookout for undiscovered phone features.

Oh, I did take advantage of one of the phone’s intended uses. Check out the sunset over Diamond Lake:

22 comments :

Dawn said...

Just this morning, I discovered that my iPhone could be used as a weapon if I choose - I dropped it and the glass front smashed, and now when I talk on it, slivers of glass hack at my ear.

I almost always use it as a flashlight :-)

Karla Nellenbach said...

flashlight is the most popular use for me...my cat on the other hand prefers to use it as a pillow, and when it rings, a chew toy :)

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

Beautiful picture! I love your list of unexpected iPhone uses :) I've got a Droid and I have a flashlight app that's actually really helpful! Welcome back.

Marissa

Linda G. said...

Gorgeous pic! Huh. Maybe that camping stuff isn't all bad.

As for how I've used my phone other than its intended use...uh, well, I can't really think of anything. Heck, I've only used the camera function once or twice. Sheesh. How sad am I?

Danica Avet said...

I don't have an iPhone; I have a droid Backflip and I love that sucker almost as much as I love my Kindle. The Kindle is way cooler, but only because it has books in it...and books = love for me.

Come to think of it, I don't have many creative uses for my phone other than using it as a light source, or as a "lighter" at a concert. Yeah, its way better than a lighter during ballads cause your hands don't get hot and you don't end the night with one of those weird calluses from holding that round thingy down for ten minutes. Of course, if it's something like an Air Supply concert, your phone would be dead by the end of the night. This is why I stick to heavy metal concerts...to conserve my battery.

Danica Avet said...

I don't have an iPhone; I have a droid Backflip and I love that sucker almost as much as I love my Kindle. The Kindle is way cooler, but only because it has books in it...and books = love for me.

Come to think of it, I don't have many creative uses for my phone other than using it as a light source, or as a "lighter" at a concert. Yeah, its way better than a lighter during ballads cause your hands don't get hot and you don't end the night with one of those weird calluses from holding that round thingy down for ten minutes. Of course, if it's something like an Air Supply concert, your phone would be dead by the end of the night. This is why I stick to heavy metal concerts...to conserve my battery.

SM Schmidt said...

Erm my phone is good for falling out of my pocket and little else. Now my ipod touch, amazing paperweight, flashlight, source of amusement in class when turned off (balancing it on its case's edge is hard).

Candyland said...

Well obviously it's use to me is only to scratch places I can't reach or to put on vibrate and...wait...what are we talking about here...

Alastair said...

I don't use a smart phone -- I have too many distractions as it is, and one more place where I can browse Wikipedia would be too much for my productivity to take -- but I find myself using my cell phone as a clock, an iPod substitute, a flashlight, an email device and, just occasionally, a means by which I can talk to people over long distances.

Oh, and as an agility test when I need to lunge for the washing machine after forgetting that I left the damn thing in the pocket of my jeans.

Technology is awesome. :)

Mother Hen said...

iphone use- A quick fix mirror when the screen is dark is also a good one.
All smart phones are just a complete joy for extra-curricular activities.

KD Easley said...

I use mine for my #1k1hr timer. Most of it's uses are just regular one's. I did discover a downside to my Kindle though. Unlike a real book, if you try to use your Kindle to crush a spider that run across your chest while you're reading, both the Kindle and the reader suffer and usually the spider gets away. Real books much better for crushing spiders.

Tawna Fenske said...

Dawn, wow, I've heard a couple people mention breaking the glass on their iPhones. I try to be extra careful with mine, but who am I kidding? I know I'll break it in a matter of months, even with the little suit on it.

Karla, my ringtone is a duck quack. Drives the pets bonkers.

Marissa, I have a friend with a Droid, an I'm betting he doesn't know about the flashlight ap. I'll have to tell him, he'll think I'm so smart!

Linda G, it is quite pretty there, though the mosquitoes nearly ate us alive.

Danica, great idea about using it as a substitute lighter! We're going to see one of my favorite artists (Colin Hay) on Wednesday evening, and even though it probably won't be the sort of concert where people whip out lighters, I might have to give it a go with my iPhone.

SM Schmidt, I'm totally going to try that case balancing thing the next time I'm bored.

Candyland, do you have an iPhone? Have you noticed how @#$% forcefully they vibrate? Er, not that I've tested it out or anything.

Alastair, when we were shopping for phones, my husband picked up one model and stared at it for a good five minutes before finally turning to the clerk and asking, "can you actually make calls with it?"

Mother Hen, great tip on the mirror. I'll have to remember that the next time I think I might have lipstick on my teeth.

KD Easley, so you'd ordinarily squash the spider on your chest? Eew!

Thanks for reading, guys!
Tawna

Lily said...

I just got my iPhone a few weeks ago and I'm having too much fun using it for it's advertise purposes that I haven't even thought about other ones! LOL. I do use it as a flashlight though. Darn cat blends in with the darkness on my nightly trips to the bathroom!

the picture is gorgeous, btw. So serene :)

KD Easley said...

Well Tawna, it's more like I just want it gone, then spider panic takes over and sometimes the creature doesn't survive. I'd really prefer they just went away so I didn't have to deal with spider guts.

lora96 said...

I have a sad, elderly flip phone which cost me exactly 99 cents. At least it is pink.
It has a few useful apps, though.
Flashlight, all the time.
Clock (janitors never replaced the battery in my classroom wall clock last year so I used my phone's clock...try telling 7 year olds it is SOOO important to learn to read a clock when you flick your cell phone to light it up so you know when it's time for lunch)

Anger management. When the neighbors were setting off firecrackers into the wee hours and our anxious poodle wouldn't do his business as a result of the nerve wracking noise, I hurled my cell phone across the yard in rage. I had already tossed both sandals, expletives grinding out between gritted teeth.

Great post.

Posey said...

Love that photo, and I'm glad Pythagoras didn't get away. Hilarious.

Oh and I'm still subscribing to your comments. Full inbox or not, your commenters are too funny.

Tawna Fenske said...

Lily, it WAS serene...at least until the thunderstorm hit when we were in the middle of the lake :)

KD Easley, I'm now picturing you with spider guts smeared across your chest.

lora96, did you hit anyone with the phone or the sandals? Wondering which made the better weapon.

Posey, I keep Pythagoras on an electric shock collar most of the time, but I have to take it off when we go camping.

Thanks for reading, guys!
Tawna

Posey said...

ROFL!

Posey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LadyGenette said...

As a perpetually unprepared college student who borrows things like pencils, pens, and notebooks from my classmates, my phone is a savior. I generally have a few hours between when I arrive at school and when I go to class, so I use the time to write. Open a text message, hack out fifteen texts worth, and save as a draft. Without my phone, I'd be S.O.L. Plus, I don't get people reading over my shoulder--added bonus. :)

Johanna Harness said...

If you ask map for directions before you leave the coverage area, your gps will usually still work with the stored map. Then, when you're driving along all those switchbacks, you can hold up the iphone and let the kids watch the gps dot navigate through funny, twisty roads. Until the kids get nauseated and throw up. Then the dot stops.

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