How I Learned About Features on My iPhone

In my experience, when it comes to learning about a new piece of equipment, there are two types of people. The ones who simply jump in and start using, or putting together, their new purchase, often reading the instructions after the fact.  Then there are those who methodically read every page, sometimes going through the whole manual before starting to use their purchase.

I fall into the first category, always in a hurry to get started.  In a way, it would seem to be even easier to be this way today, since so much of our equipments does not come with manuals. They are usually available online.

Given I was upgrading from an AT&T phone, I purchased my iPhone directly in an AT&T store. The salesperson transferred my phone numbers and gave me a basic overview of using the phone. At least I thought it was basic. I got caught up in watching this tall, broad-shouldered man with big hands, quickly using the keypad, typing with two thumbs.  He assured me that within two weeks I would be typing with ease. That was over 1 1/2 years ago.  I’ve yet to type quickly and accurately, touching the “keys” on the “keyboard.”

Despite still be awkward typing, I love my iPhone for the number of things I can do spontaneously, with almost instant gratification. This includes taking and emailing photographs, videoing and even editing down clips to under a minute for email; recording instructions someone may be giving me or an in-person interview, as well as voice reminders/memos.

In the last paragraph I said, the salesman “demonstrated the basics,” so I thought. The next day I was in my dentist’s office. The sign said to turn off all phones.  I looked at my phone and had no idea how to do that.  I had learned to slide the side button to set it on “vibrate”, turning off the ringer.  For that moment, this was good enough.

After my teeth were cleaned I was at the counter setting my next appointment and talking about the phone. The receptionist assured me that the Otter Case I put was the perfect one.  Her daughter-in-law had dropped hers several times on concrete and though a piece of the case broke, the phone was fine. At that point another patient came in holding an iPhone in his hand.  He quickly showed me the button on the top of the phone turns it off.

Later that day I was walking on the boardwalk in my favorite Nature Center.  One of the photographers was holding up her iPhone, identifying bird calls with an iPhone App (application)  Not thinking that I could use the “memo” app already an integral part of the phone, I never noted what her App was.

What I did do was to get in a conversation with her about some of the challenges I was having with the phone and some of my disappointments.  One of the latter was that “my regular old-fashioned phone had an alarm clock and this one did not”, so I thought. She quickly pointed me to the UTILITIES icon, which when I opened it revealed the CLOCK, a calculator, compass and microphone for voice memos.  The CLOCK has a world clock, stopwatch, timer AND the desired alarm clock!  Except for the compass, I’ve used them all.

What were your initial challenges with your iPhone or other Smartphone?  And, if you don’t have one yet what are your biggest fears around having one?  Please make note in the comments below.

Watch for upcoming posts on a few of the apps I’ve added, some free and a few for a very nominal price… mostly $.99 or $1.99.



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