If you have been considering purchasing an iPhone, you might find the following article from Kevin Hickey interesting. I too hesitated in purchasing my iPhone, but I now regret not doing it sooner. Here is Mr. Hickey’s article:
Well, I took the plunge. I purchased an iPhone. I purchased it within days of its release, so along with the plunge I also received the full soaking on the price. Was it worth it? For this particular solo I can answer emphatically “yes.”
The best thing about the iPhone is how easy it is to use. Calendar, phone, email, and internet are all available on the main screen with one touch. This is really efficient for the solo that handles his own calendar and makes his own appointments (like me). You can be on the phone with a client, check your calendar, and schedule an appointment – no matter where you are.
Does the client need to send you something to review asap? No problem. iPhone can receive MS Word and PDF email attachments and download them in seconds. Need to hop on the internet? Touch the safari icon and you are there. With a wi-fi connection you will not notice much speed difference from your regular computer. Also, iPhone downloads the regular webpage instead of a modified mobile webpage. So you will see the same internet images that a person on a regular computer will see.
Out of town and need some directions? Touch the map icon and you are immediately connected to detailed maps of any city you need. Type in anything you want (i.e. “steak restaurants”, “hotel”) and pushpins appear on the map showing you the closest places that match your search. [Ed. Note: This alone sounds worth the price to lawyers like me who keep getting appointments outside their home counties.] Detailed contact information is included next to the pushpin – touch the phone number and you are calling your selection. A hyperlink will be included with the contact information if your selection has a website. Very fast, very easy.
iPhone is also one of the most advanced iPods on the market. You can have all of your songs, podcasts, even movies right at your fingertips. This is great for those drives out of town to court or depositions. Just put the earphones in and you are ready to go. If you receive a phone call while you are listening to music, iPhone will pause the song and notify you of the call. You can take the call or ignore it. Once you are finished with the call, or if you ignore it, your song immediately starts again from the point it was paused. Very intuitive!
Voicemail is also much easier to manage. iPhone has “visual voicemail” which means you have a list of all of your voicemail messages. You can either listen to the message or delete it. This is very handy if you have already talked with the person and the voicemail he/she left you is no longer necessary. Instead of having to listen to the message and delete, you just delete it from the list. If you listen to a message and decide you need to talk to the person, simply push the “Call Back” button and the person is being dialed immediately. This is also available while you are using the text message feature on iPhone (ie. Text conversation getting tedious? You always have the option on the text screen to “Call person”). No more closing the text message window and searching through your contacts for the phone number.
iPhone also contains a calculator on the main screen as well as a notepad. Very handy for recording that great idea for your appellate brief when you are sans pen and paper. Do you have an idea but it needs to wait until later in the day? Push the clock icon and you can set a reminder alarm for later in the day.
I admit that many of these features are available on a lot of the PDAs on the market today. However, the iPhone has taken efficiency and practicality to a whole new level. There is enough stress in our careers without adding to it by fumbling around with our PDAs.
The Impact on Your Life: Too Much Of A Good Thing?
One final thought. You might have the same fear that I did when I considered my purchase. Is this purchase going to make my career a 24-7 endeavor? I hear enough from (insert spouse, significant other, friend here) about how much I work already. This will only make it worse! Not so. iPhone has several settings so that you are not alerted of anything unless you want to be. You can turn on airplane mode to block all calls and you can set it (as I have) to not alert you of incoming emails. Email will then only be received when you want to receive it. I also have mine set to not delete email from my server. That way if I check an email on my iPhone and would rather answer it later at the office, it will still be on my laptop when I get back to the office. I can delete if off the iPhone and then not worry about it until later.