iPhone Adventures #Somethingorother

by Jimmy Akin

in Technology

Iphone_2So how cool is this?

Saturday night I’m on my way to square dancing, but I’m going to a place I don’t normally go, and I’m having trouble finding it.

Turns out I want to be at the United Methodist church hall in La Mesa, but I’m headed toward the United Methodist church in Lemon Grove. (Easy to get confused. You just turn left on Spring Street instead of right.)

But I don’t know that at the time!

So I get there and I realize I’m at the wrong place. It’s all dark. So I pull over and pull out my iPhone and start Googling where I’m supposed to be.

I find a web page for the (round dance) club that normally dances at the Lemon Grove church, and it has a contact name and phone number for a member of the club.


I notice that the contact person’s phone number is hyperlinked in the browser window, so I tap the hyperlink to see what happens (tapping is the equivalent of clicking a hyperlink on the iPhone’s touchscreen).

A dialog box pops up and asks me if I want to call the number I just tapped.

I tap "Yes" (or whatever), and a couple of seconds later I’m talking to a member of the Lemon Grove club, who explains where I really want to be, and I’m on my way. (Back to Spring Street; turn right this time.)

So how cool is that?

The phone number was not specially coded with html. It was the phone that recognized it as a phone number on a web page and gave me corresponding tap-to-call functionality.


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Brent Robbins September 4, 2007 at 5:36 am

That’s cool. I just bought the Garmin Nuvi 350. Now THAT’s a nifty little device, I highly recommend it for directions.
Jimmy, is the iPhone encrypted? Would you feel safe checking your online bank account with it?
Also, I found out that it doesn’t have the capability for the Flash plug-in. That kinda stinks, eh?

'thann September 4, 2007 at 5:49 am

I’m usually an early adopter, but I hesitated getting the iPhone. It’s still on my “want” list, though. Can you share any negatives you’ve run across, aside from the usual complaints such as ATT Edge Network, non-add-on-able, etc.

gsk September 4, 2007 at 6:08 am

Am I the only one gripped by the cognitive dissonance of finding a group of people engaging in a dance hundreds of years old at a building honouring a man-god resurrected thousands of years old using satellites and nano-technology…?

Treo Fanboy September 4, 2007 at 6:12 am

Besides that in a Treo you can use the digital assistant program to put the address in the contacts and then click the map button on the contact to bring up googlemaps and, in googlemaps, get directions.
‘thann: I saw a very brief review of the iphone in Consumer Reports. You can also google treo/iphone to see some of the arguing back and forth about the benefits and drawbacks of each.

SDG September 4, 2007 at 6:25 am

Way coolness. Can Mother Box be far behind?
gsk: Ha! Nice.

Treo Fanboy September 4, 2007 at 7:46 am

Where do you find the time to read comic books?
Oh yeah, “Honey, don’t bother me now I’m doing research for the new movie comming out sometime in the future”.

freddy September 4, 2007 at 8:23 am

Technically, this is very cool, but I’ve promised not to be really impressed ’til I can plug my phone into the steering wheel and nap all the way there!

Monica September 4, 2007 at 8:58 am

OT: inspired by Jimmy, my husband and I are off to our first square dance tonight. THought you all needed to know…

Maureen September 4, 2007 at 9:05 am

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever; so no cognitive dissonance with finding a church building by iPhone.
The square dance… well, actually, square dancing in its current form is pretty darned modern. If it’d been contra dancing, maybe we’d have something. :)

Didymus September 4, 2007 at 9:35 am

Hey, you’re a MAN! You’re not supposed to ask for directions, even from a nifty hi-tech gadget. Start depending on these silicon crutches and soon you won’t be able to find your way to the head without one.

C++ September 4, 2007 at 10:02 am

gsk and Maureen have identified an insight I had some years ago when I was desperately stuck on a computer programing problem. In despair, I prayed to St Joseph for inspiration. Which to my shock soon arrived.
I had gsk’s reaction. How could a carpenter, who hadn’t even heard of electricity, help me with Visual Basic? But God is eternal and was smart enough to create the intricacies of the cosmos out of nothing, so VB is even ‘easier’.
Sometimes we question the contemporary relevance of Bible ‘myths’ written in a very different culture millenia ago. I reply yes, culture has changed but the human condition hasn’t and neither has God.

Esau September 4, 2007 at 10:51 am

Actually, my RAZR has a similar “tap-to-call functionality”.
I was similarly pleased when I discovered this last month.

Smoky Mountain September 4, 2007 at 1:06 pm

I think they had at least QBasic back then.

Anonymous September 4, 2007 at 1:11 pm

My Sony Ericsson Z520a would do the same thing. I was pretty impressed at the time. But that model is about 2 years old so I’m sure that this feature isn’t unique to the iPhone and hasn’t been for some time.

nick September 4, 2007 at 6:55 pm

I too have the iPhone and I love the google maps. I’vemany times pulled up my hometown (Rochester) and typed in say pizza hut to find the closest one. You just search click on the location and tap the phone number to order your take out.
I do wish it had gps but that would probably kill battery life. I also never realized how much I want to cut and paste. For example, I wanted to add my tada list onto mycatholic.com page but I had to copy an entire URL while switching back and forth between pages.
Btw I usually read ja.com before heading to bed and it doesn’t wake my wife up like a laptop would.

Laura September 4, 2007 at 10:44 pm

The Iphone seems pretty cool, and the directions thing is really cool, but every time I see a commercial for the thing, I just want to scream, hey… that’s inaccessible! I shouldn’t be surprised though, Apple hasn’t attempted anything accessible for us blind folks since 1989. I know, cause I remember using Outspoken, a very slow speech program. Thank God for JFW, though that’s losing it’s quality as well… sigh. Sorry, but I’d love to see Apple products talk someday, and it just gets me upset that they haven’t even made an efort. Okay, rant over. And still, for all of you with working eyeballs, the Iphone seems really cool.

BrianC September 8, 2007 at 2:43 pm

So Jimmy what are you going to do with your 100 dollar credit?

nutcrazical September 10, 2007 at 8:56 am

I don’t like cellphones that have a lot of stuff loaded into them, so I’m not interested in the iPhone. But that new iPod Touch sure looks attractive…

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