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Finding my iPhone mojo

It's taken four months, but (parent.thesis) blogger Amy Tiemann has finally found her iPhone mojo. She counts the ways that the iPhone has become an important gadget in her working-mom toolkit.

My iPhone and I got off to a rough start. I rushed in to buying one and initially felt that the actual device did not live up to the hype. It's clear that only a miracle could have met everyone's expectations after all the buildup, but part of my lukewarm response was due to the fact that the other gadgets I relied on, my Blackberry Pearl and first generation iPod Nanoworked just fine. It took a lot to convince me that merging these devices was worth the hassle of carrying around the iPhone, which neither fits snugly in a small pocket nor hangs from a neck lanyard.

But there is good news. Now that I have used it for four months, I may finally be ready to swap my Blackberry Pearl for the iPhone, at least some of the time. I appreciate the fact that I can do just about everything but blog on the iPhone. Emails, messaging work well. The calendar application on the iPhone motivated me to finally get into using synchronized iCal on my Mac in addition to a paper calendar. The visual appeal of iPhone's interface finally got through to me. While my Blackberry can do email, messaging, internet browsing, and calendars, it all looks better on the iPhone.

Two basic obstacles still stand in the way between me and true love for my iPhone. One is that I am still not very good at using the keyboard that makes my fingers feel as big as sequoia trunks. At this point, Blackberry's SureType feature is easier to use. And second, although the web browsing ability of the iPhone is theoretically amazing, AT&T's slow wireless network has let me down on several key occasions, notably when I was trying to figure out my ground transportation options at an airport I had never been to before.

I am still not counting on my iPhone to replace a computer on a long trip, but it has become a valuable gadget in this working mom's toolkit. For short trips and day use it offers a really good way to stay connected. Since I've recently opened a chapter of a nonprofit organization that provides training at various locations, the iPhone can step in and take on the identity of our virtual office, where we can always be reached. With this new mission, the dedicated phone number and visual voice mail have become more than a redundant luxury. (I know that Grand Central could send all these calls to one number, but at this point I actually prefer maintaining several separate phone identities.)

If you are satisfied with your current arsenal of gadgets, you may have little reason to make the leap to iPhone. But now that mine is armed with a purpose, the little guy is really starting to grow on me.