Considering the iPhone, briefly

There’s already been plenty of guff about the update to iPhone software that will be announced next week, and how it will finally address issues that have been waved in the faces of owners of said phones as fairly basic weaknesses.
I’ll try not to spend too long on the subject, then. There are just a couple of things I wanted to briefly discuss.

So, we finally get MMS. So what. If I want to send someone a photo from the phone, I email it. I’ve had perhaps three MMS links sent to me in the 18 months or so that I’ve owned an iPhone. Don’t miss that bit of functionality, but then I’ve not been 15 for a very long time.

Cut and paste is of course desperately important. Since I moved to WordPress last year, more and more posts on the blog have been at least first draft generated on the phone, using the excellent free app. And I use SyncBook as a form of jotter now almost daily, dropping notes back to the Mac as .rtf files with no fuss at all.

So, it’s become a writing tool, and the announcement that iPhone 3.0 would allow Bluetooth sync with devices other than earphones is the most important bit of news for me. If I could use the phone with a small wireless keyboard, then it suddenly becomes my go-to portable writing tool, and I don’t have to lug the laptop around with me.

This kind of functionality has been around for smartphones for a while, (Warren Ellis used a Palm attached to a fold-out for quite a while, as I recall, as did an august member of my writing group – an arrangement he called the Economy Laptop) so it’s about darn time that Apple stepped up and offered it to me. After all, it’s not like they don’t already make a Bluetooth-equipped keyboard that would fit very snugly in a small rucky or *ahem* manbag.

I’ve been considering a netbook as a mobile writing solution for a little while, but this would seem a cheaper option that integrates much more snugly with the way I work now.

I don’t have a problem with the touch keyboard that lives in the phone, per se. I’ve learnt that it’s best to relax and let error correction take care of a lot of the bumpy bits, and it’s right a lot more often than it’s wrong. Although I have to admit, proofing is even more vital for the occasional fubar. And of course, I’m not as fast as I would be on a regular keyboard, although not by as wide a margin as you might imagine.

A seperate keyboard would sort me out nicely for writing on the train, which is quickly becoming my principal chunk of thinking time. Who knows, if that arrangement works out I might even contemplate doing chunks of this years NaNoWriMo on it.

Roll on next week, then…


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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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