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The first 3 days on my new Verizon iPhone (also, useful apps)

:: Thursday, February 10th, 2011 @ 1:02:01 am

:: Tags: , , ,

Verizon iPhone

I’ve had my pre-ordered Verizon iPhone for 3 days now, and I love the thing.

My good friend, Sterling Zumbrunn, helped me with initial app suggestions — super helpful because he has pretty much tried every app in the app store :).

Things have changed quite a bit since I was last on iPhone (in the AT&T dark ages), and the infrastructure and app ecosystem are really mature now. One big difference for me is that many apps now support DropBox, which means that all of my devices are always in sync.1

For note taking and text editing, the combination of Elements on the iPhone and nvALT (a Notational Velocity fork) on Mac OS X is convenient and versatile. Since I don’t like UI clutter, I also have PlainText, which is cleaner but less powerful than Elements. All three are pointed at the same DropBox folder, so the content is seamlessly shared, and all three support TextExpander. I’m finding that this combination works well for both jotting down notes and composing and previewing longer articles (in Markdown). If you don’t already use Markdown and are a frequent web content creator, you really need to check it out.

Other apps that are indispensable for desktop / mobile device harmony are PasteBot, an app that lets you easily push clipboard content to and from your Mac, and DropCopy, which lets you easily send files and images to any other device currently running DropCopy.

For mobile WiFi, I retired my MiFi 2200 and am now paying $20/month for 2GB of wireless hotspot service (instead of $65). I rarely use over 2GB a month, and at $10/GB for excess data, it is a much better deal even if I do go over.

Other apps I use daily are Istapaper, Kindle, GoodReader, TextExpander, 1Password, Evernote, 42s, Twitter, Facebook, and Google.

Pam got her pre-ordered Verizon iPhone at the same time. I backed up her old AT&T iPhone 3Gs, restored the backup to her new Verizon iPhone 4, and she is happily using it exactly the same way she used to. The one big change? I can actually call her and talk for more than 20 seconds!

I do miss the physical keyboard on my old Blackberry Bold 9650, and I miss Blackberry Messenger. Blackberry is still the king of messaging, but since messaging is only 10% of what I actually want to do with a mobile device, an iPhone or Android makes much more sense. When I travel internationally, I will likely swap my line over to the Blackberry so I can take advantage of the unlimited global data plan. As I noted before, I believe the Blackberry has the only viable international plan for those of us living in the States.


  1. The notable exception is OmniFocus, whose iOS clients do not support DropBox even though their Mac desktop client does. 

| San Francisco, CA | link | trackback | Feb 10, 2011 01:02:01
  • leyanlo

    I’d also recommend you check out Air Video for streaming videos from machines, Key Ring for shrinking your wallet, and http://www.sitetophone.com/ for sending links to your phone :-)

  • http://twitter.com/markgangl Mark G

    PasteBot and nvALT look interesting. Thanks.

    I have also tried way too many apps. Some that you may find useful are: - (notes) SimpleNote, it is pure gold! - (photography) Hipstamatic. - (photo taking/sharing) Instagram. (Also, Path looks promising, but I can’t vouch for it yet) - (games) The Incident, FlightControl and Trainyard. Also, as a side note, I know there is a way to transfer your Angry Birds progress between i(Phone|Pad|Touch), so it might be possible to transfer from your last device … search highscores.lua - (rss feeds) Reeder.

  • http://echeng.com/ Eric Cheng

    Thanks, Leyan! I use AirVideo already, but haven’t seen the others.

  • Pingback: GTD-lifehacker-happiness thanks to Erich Cheng « Lorenz Szabo

  • http://www.live-adventurously.com Sharkman aka Ridlon Kiphart

    Hey Eric, looks like Verizon has discontinued their unlimited international data plans and now offers a two tiered pricing model (neither unlimited). Bummer. Not sure how that is going to affect high international usage peeps like us.

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