Buddhism tells us that the origin of suffering is attachment. In a very un-Buddhist way I’ve become terribly attached to my iPhone, and I’m hoping the suffering won’t be too great when I have to go cold turkey when I set out again across the Pacific. Here is how frighteningly integrated into my day my iPhone has become.
[If you don’t have an iPhone, there are still some goodies here that run on other smartphones. But be warned – it might make you go iPhone…]
7am: Wake up when iPhone alarm clock (standard iPhone app) goes off. Bell Tower is my sound of choice – not too traumatic. If I’ve woken up before the alarm, I might have spent a few minutes lying in bed checking emails and Facebook – on my iPhone. Review VisionBoard and decide how I can move closer to my goals today.
Get up, weigh self. Wince. Record weight on iStayFit.
Go to gym. Check iStayFit to see what workouts I’m doing today. Cardio first – put in earbuds and listen to podcasts on iPod app, or music on Last.fm. Use PushupFu, CrunchFu, and SquatFu (all available from GymFu) to set workouts and count reps using the inbuilt iPhone motion sensor. Record reps and resistance of weights session on iStayFit.
Home for breakfast. Record calories on DailyBurn.
Head to office (aka Dog River Coffee Shop). Check in on FourSquare. Notice that Brennan is still beating me on points. How does he do it?!
Review To Do list on Things. Synchronise between laptop and iPhone to upload the To Do items I recorded on the phone during yesterday’s meetings. My flight itinerary to the Galapagos has arrived from the TED organisers. I email it to TripIt.com, which will automatically generate appointments in iCal for my flights, and will alert me to any last-minute flight delays.
After working for a couple of hours, drive into Portland for a meeting. Pick out destination from Contacts, and the TomTom application shows the route and verbally gives me directions. I have a few brainwaves during the one-hour drive. Record voice messages on Note2Self, which get saved as MP3 files and automatically mailed to my email Inbox. Think of a few emails I need to send, so I use iTalk2Email to record and send them to the relevant people.
Arrive in Portland. Manage to find a parking space, but it’s a distance from my meeting. Use G-Park to record the location for later reference. Set the alarm to alert me when the parking meter will run out. Use Google Maps to navigate myself on foot to my meeting.
While I’m walking a text alert comes in via TrackThis to tell me that my new solar recharger has been delivered to the house in Hood River.
I arrive at the meeting a bit early so I wait in reception. I’ve had some ideas while I’ve been driving, so I jot them down in a mindmap using iThoughts. The app sends the mindmap in multiple formats to my email account, so I can work on it in Novamind later on my laptop. I still have some time to spare, so I catch up on some articles I didn’t have time to read while I was online earlier. I use one-click buttons in the Firefox browser to save them to Evernote if I’m certain I want to keep them long-term, or Instapaper for things I will read once and discard.
The meeting begins. Instead of exchanging business cards, we Bump our iPhones together and our contact details are automatically posted to each other’s Contacts. Someone doesn’t have an iPhone, so I borrow her business card and use Cardreader to take a photo and the app scans the details into my Contacts using optical character recognition. At the end of the meeting I take a photo of us all with Gorillacam – it has a self-timer so we can all be in the picture. I use TweetDeck to post the photo as a Twitpic to illustrate my Tweet about the meeting. I also send it as a postcard to my mother, using Postino. She likes to know where I am and who I’m meeting.
I’d promised to give Brennan a shout so we could get together to do some more work on our Eco Heroes website, so I check on Vicinity to see what coffee shops are in the area. You’re never far from a coffee shop in Portland. That one looks good, and only 146 yards away – a review on Yelp tells me it has free, fast WiFi. Oooh, I get 5 points + 3 points travel bonus on Foursquare! I use Over Here to send Brennan my location via email. He clicks on the link from his iPhone and it shows him where I am on Google Maps.
During our discussion he suggests a book I might like to read. I use the Goodreads app to add it my to-read list and check out the prices online. This will get synced up to my account on the Goodreads website. I see the book is available second-hand on Amazon at a really good price. Oh, why not? I go ahead and order it for delivery within 48 hours.
After my meeting with Brennan I decide to treat myself to a movie. I check out the top movies on IMDb and try to decide between Sherlock Holmes and Invictus. I watch the trailers on Flixster. Both look good, but I am more in the mood for Invictus. Flixster tells me it’s on at the Lloyd Center at 7.05pm. Perfect. There’s a piece of music in the film I really like but don’t know what it’s called. I surreptitiously turn on my phone and use Shazam to identify the track and download it off the iTunes Store. I’m so impressed by Morgan Freeman’s performance I pick him to win the Oscar for Actor in a Leading Role in my Oscars app.
I head back to Hood River, listening to the Invictus soundtrack. I curl up in bed with my iPhone to check up on a few Facebook friends. I log the day’s progress against my goals in the Habit Factor, and count my blessings using the Gratitude app. I finish unwinding by toying with the lava-lamp-like and mesmerising Bloom app for a few minutes, set my iPhone alarm, turn off the light and fall asleep. Another day in iPhone heaven.
Oh, and sometimes I even use it for making phone calls. But that’s so last century….
Other great apps:
Google for iPhone: the voice search is excellent. Alone among voice recognition apps, it seems to understand my accent!
Urbanspoon: great for finding local restaurants.
StarWalk: gorgeous augmented-reality app for identifying stars and constellations.
Tetris: the classic game. I have to limit myself to no more than one game a day as it’s the most entertaining waste of time ever!
Seafood Watch: to find out if your seafood is sustainable and healthy.
Locavore: find your local farmers’ markets, and what foods are in season in your location.
Odyssey and Distant Shore (both by Blimp Pilots): beautiful and for a good cause.
And last but not least, the RozTracker app from Archinoetics. Get it now for tracking Pacific III!