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iBlog. Please ignore my iPhone e-address; jon@katzjustice.com is the one to use

Apr 05, 2012 iBlog. Please ignore my iPhone e-address; jon@katzjustice.com is the one to use

The Blackberry is becoming a dinosaur as it loses its competitive edge with such other smartphones as the iPhone and Droid. Once I learned that my cell carrier Verizon was adding the iPhone, I considered getting one. I then hesitated for many months. I client told me the 4S model was round the corner. Moreover, I was not fond of losing an actual keyboard, which lets me type faster by feeling the crevices between the keys to know I have the right one. The iPhone apparently has no available app to adequately vibrate the keys on each touch to make up for the absence of a keyboard. Making up for that somewhat is the iPhone’s fairly accurate voice recognition dictating system, coupled with spell check.

On balance, the iPhone will serve my criminal defense practice better. Unlike the Blackberry, it lets me use Westlaw legal research, read an entire long email without its being truncated, access Yahoo email groups online, and even edit my blog and post some simple blog entries without the benefit of inserting hyperlinks. The still and video cameras on the iPhone are superior, and I used that function in taking pictures at last night’s Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration, with one of those photos here. I will see what iPhone video length limit is suitable to upload videos to YouTube. Other than the downsides listed in this blog entry, the iPhone either matches and often exceeds what I got from the Blackberry.

Here are some downsides about making the switch from Blackberry to iPhone:

– I need to figure out how to download my photos and videos from my Blackberry to my desktop computer and to open them on my desktop. I am trying to see whether I can do the same with my Blackberry memos.

– Unless an app exists for it, the iPhone does not enable creating subfolders to better organize emails.

– The iPhone does not enable a person to hunt for a particular word or phrase within a particular email or Internet text, although search words may be used to isolate a list of emails that contain that particular word.

– Spellcheck is quicker on the Blackberry than the iPhone, because the Blackberry skips automatically to each word with spelling issues, whereas the iPhone only highlights the spellings needing attention.

– Outlook calendar works more smoothly with Blackberry than the iPhone. With my Blackberry, when I accepted an emailed Outlook calendar invitation from my assistant, it went straight to my Blackberry calendar. With the iPhone, my calendar will update on the iPhone when I wire-connect it to my desktop computer, which is of little help when my assistant emails me a morning invitation while I am in court, to meet a client the same afternoon. At first, I did not get far trying to follow online articles and recommendations by other kind iPhone users on how to integrate emailed Outlook calendar event invitations. At the suggestion of two iPhone users, I sought help on Outlook from Apple’s technical service department. The nice and patient technical service phone assistant did not know either, but did a great job showing me how to sync to my desktop using iTunes, which must be downloaded and run in advance to your desktop. 

I figured out that I needed first to sync my iPhone with my desktop computer, including transferring my desktop’s Outlook calendar data to the iPhone, which is automatic for me in the syncing process. Now, I receive Outlook calendar invitations by way of an email with an attachment called mime-attachment.ics. When I open the attachment, the bottom of the resulting screen offers me an option to add the item to my calendar, which I tap. I then click the Done button, and it is now on my calendar. To see all the details of the item when I am in the calendar, I tap the Show All Notes option in the calendar entry. 

The transition to the iPhone has mainly been smooth, and the time that it already saves me has reduced the transition learning curve to near zero. Here are the transitions I had to make with programming the iPhone to run my third party email address of jon@katzjustice.com in place of the cloud-based _______@me.com email offered as a default on the iPhone:

– I first programmed the iPhone using my third-party email account settings from my home computer’s Outlook email software. That enabled me to send and receive email. Unfortunately, the result was that this approached emptied most of my online email server’s backed-up email. That meant my having no emails to download on my home computer at the end of the day, because I have not arranged for my home computer automatically to load emails throughout the day. Also, this approach eliminated the full benefit of the quick delete function on the iPhone that enables deleting multiple emails all at once.

– My email/website hosting company, Daytona Networks, yesterday skillfully walked me through the process to change my iPhone settings to avoid the problems listed in the foregoing paragraph. However, I learned today that by my deleting my third party email account to then reinstall it on the iPhone with updated settings, Apple’s cloud email address — which I signed up for to benefit from its online storage functions — became the default outgoing email address on my iPhone. The iPhone does not enable a "reply to" email address to override the outdoing email address. After reading a few online postings on the matter, I saw this as a choice between manually choosing my third-party e-address as the outdoing address each time I send an email — which is too cumbersome — or to delete and reinstall my Cloud account on my iPhone, thereby making my third-party email address as the default outgoing email address. In the process, though, I lost all my data saved on the cloud (which is not too important nor extensive at this early stage) by having to create a different cloud email address,  until I figure out how I can reinstall my original cloud email address.

Hopefully this article will help people Googling to fix the foregoing problems.

More important than all the above technical mumbo-jumbo is that smartphone use invites tremendous invasions of privacy, starting with smartphones’ function as a GPS mechanism that allows the holder’s every move to be tracked. My additional concern is that iPhones are made in China — as are a huge universe and number of consumer goods bought in the United States — which raises all sorts of issues about fair labor practices, payment of fair wages, and the extent to which companies do or do not kowtow to the Chinese government, which continues to have a miserable human rights record that is hardly limited to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Steve Jobs was certainly inspirational about such matters as harmonizing a business career with creativity and boundary pushing rather than the Wall Street stereotype of white shirts, no beards, and wingtip shoes (what sadist invented them?), but Apple has stockholders to please, and Steve Jobs is no longer at the company’s helm.

Hopefully my foregoing privacy and social justice concerns will be overcome somewhat by the ways in which the iPhone helps me serve clients better while destroying fewer trees, since the iPhone lets me do more paperless work than the Blackberry did. iMoveForward. 

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