CALCULATOR: This is speedy and attractive calculator, highly reminiscent of the one found in Mac OS X 10.4’s Dashboard. In the iPhone 3G it has been updated so that rotating the device through a quarter turn not only flips the display but also switches between the regular portrait view of the calculator and a massively expanded scientific version, which is more reminiscent of those powerful calculators that come with the Mac OS X and Windows operating systems.
CALENDAR: This, as the name suggests, is a simple timemanagement application that allows you to store diary items on your iPhone. It can be synchronised with calendars that are stored on the computer, so that your iPhone diary is always up to date. It also works with MobileMe, Apple’s online data management suite, allowing you to add appointments to your global calendar on the move.
CAMERA: A small application for controlling the iPhone’s built-in camera, the output from which is stored in the Photos application. Something of a one-trick pony and a little disappointing as its resolution is fairly low when compared with those in rival phones.
CLOCK: A world clock, doing what it says on the tin and not much else. Add and rearrange the cities of your choice and use it as a simple way to make sure you will not be calling your most valued international contacts when it is the middle of the night.
iPOD: Who would have believed that the ultimate iPod killer would come from the company that reinvented mobile music in the first place? It may be called ‘iPod’, but this application is streets ahead of the nano, classic and shuffle iPods. Only the iPod touch comes close to rivalling what it can do with direct downloads from the iTunes Store and, on its glorious 3.5in screen, the ability to show films and TV shows in a format you might actually want to watch.
MAIL: Fully-featured email application with pre-programmed settings for Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, MobileMe mail and AOL, and the ability to add your own Pop3, Imap and Exchange server settings for use with corporate email servers. With the simultaneous launch of MobileMe with the iPhone 3G, Apple massively expanded the feature-set of the old .Mac service, which was by then starting to show its age. Now subscribers have a desirable @me.com email address with all messages stored safely on Apple’s servers, so that when you read or send one on the iPhone, that fact is reflected on your home or office computer (or both).
MAPS: Portable implementation of the Google Maps website, complete with satellite imagery, route planning and – in some regions – traffic conditions. The best possible demonstration of the power of gesture-based computing used for panning and zooming the image. In the iPhone 3G, it is integrated with the gadget’s builtin GPS receiver, allowing you to use satellite navigation to accurately plot your position on the on-screen map.
NOTES: Lightweight memo tool that integrates well with the iPhone’s email features allowing you to send yourself notes to be actioned at a later point. Pages flip backwards to turn over and, when you are done with them, drop neatly into a rubbish bin for deletion.
PHONE: The iPhone’s core feature, appearing in the most prominent space on the Dock running across the bottom of the home screen. This, and the email client, also gives you access to the integrated address book. More advanced than the average phone, it lets you put callers on hold or merge them for conference calling.
PHOTOS: A display-centric album for showing photos uploaded to, or taken using, your iPhone. Manages photos stored in albums, so you do not bore friends and family with your entire collection.
SAFARI: Apple’s cross-platform web browser makes it onto a third platform, the iPhone, in a stripped-down, but capable edition. Intelligent awareness of frame sizes, combined with the iPhone’s high-resolution screen make for the best mobile browsing experience yet developed. Unfortunately there is no support for Flash at the current time as Apple has developed its own rival technologies for performing the same functions, but Adobe is said to have a version up and running on an iPhone emulator in its labs should Apple ever allow it to be run on the device.
SMS: This is a strange first entry on the iPhone Home screen, but it does point to the increasing importance of SMS text messaging in modern-day communications. The iPhone expands on most phones’ abilities by threading forward-and-backward messages together like an instant messaging conversation.
STOCKS: A ticker application that presents a range of user-defined stock prices and historical data, in a Dashboard Widget-like environment. It covers a wide range of stocks from different markets around the world, and can track their rises and falls in real terms or percentage increments.
WEATHER: Keep an eye on the sky by looking in your pocket. Simplistic weather viewer and five-day forecast application for an impressive range of worldwide destinations. It links to Yahoo!’s city guides so that when you know where it is fair, you can head there directly.
YOUTUBE: Dedicated application for viewing, bookmarking and sharing YouTube videos. When Steve Jobs declared that the iPhone was the best environment through which to browse YouTube, he wasn’t joking. YouTube itself has done much to enhance the quality of the videos on the service to make them load quickly and run smoothly – and at high quality – on the iPhone.