My Swiss Army iPhone

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Way back in July I posted about mobile phone security and listed out all of the things that I wanted my mobile phone to do. With the ever increasing emergence of the iPhone as the tool for kids of all ages (including us grown-ups), I thought I would see what apps, out of my essentials list exist today:

  • Garage door opener – Nothing official listed and it looks to be a little more complicated that one would hope.
  • Car Alarm – This is not exactly what I had in mind and I would love to be able to unlock (and start) my car with my iPhone.
  • Remote control – Apple’s free remote is not exactly what I had in mind since it doesn’t work on the standard digital television but it does work with Apple TV and iTunes.
  • Credit card – Didn’t find any “contactless payment” apps but iCharge sounds great if you’re a business and need to collect payments.
  • Drivers license – This is related in spirit to the credit card entry above and the goal is to have all plastic housed in the iPhone so I don’t have to carry it all around. (I actually have two wallets filled with cards. One on me with the money & essential IDs and the other in the car with all the memberships, insurance, etc.)
  • Quality camera – Currently the iPhone comes with a 2 megapixel camera which does not reek of quality. (Even Prada, the maker of overpriced clothes has a 5 megapixel camera!) Maybe a better camera is a part of the iPhone hardware upgrade to be announced in mid June but I’m not holding my breath.
  • HD Recorder – This kind of falls under the quality camera in that it will need a much better lense and at this point is probably just wishful thinking.
  • Audio Recorder – Recorder for iPhone is exactly what I had in mind.
  • Watch – Of course iPhone has a built in clock and I was thinking of something that would let a user wear the iPhone as apparel. I’m not cool enough for this but the younger kids are and it would be cool if they could change the face of the watch to match their own style.
  • Alarm clock – This is built in and here is a good description of how to use it.
  • Geo-targeting tool – This exists with Brightkite’s iPhone application built by DOUBLE ENCORE.
  • MP3 player w/ wireless earbuds- iTunes takes care of the first part of this and something like the Sennheiser MX W1 wireless earbuds for the second part.
  • Organizer – I found many applications that would replace my old favorite Palm functions like calendaring, contacts list and of course memos. Special mention goes to Evernote.
  • Mouse/computer – This may sound strange in this list and yet I posted a while ago about Apple’s OS, Snow Leopard having a smaller foot print and I believe that eventually the iPhone will become your computer and you’ll simply plug it into a cradle when you’re at home or at work to enable your keyboard and large monitor (the iPhone itself will be the mouse).
  • Phone – I had a video phone in mind and something exactly like Skype would work. Unfortunately there currently is no Skype application for the iPhone. Guess they’re not hung up on that monetization thing. Update: This was just announced and now I have what I want.

Of course all this begs the question: what would happen if I lost my iPhone? Beyond the essential security needs there would need to be a cloud service that backed up your settings/information. But with all of these incredibly useful tools you’d never lose it right? Never happen . . .

By Michael Myers

I am an Associate Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, biking, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive and/or surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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