Sunday, June 13, 2010


Some excitement in the air these days with release of the new iPhone 4. Despite my usual enthusiasm for things Apple, this one is not on my shopping list. The video introducing it makes it look with all its new features like something close to the Holy Grail, but I want to turn back the pages and focus for a minute on the older iPhone.

Funny how an iPhone loses its telephoning capabilities and somehow seems better. I have an iPhone from Japan that doesn’t work outside of that country unless you want to pay peak time overseas charges. I don’t want to pay, so shut off my service in April. The phone belongs to me, so naturally it moved to Florida, too.

The iPhone 3G came to Japan on July 11, 2008. Hard to be exact, but I bought it around the end of that month. Then, a month later, the fascination with its flashy bells and whistles faded into the background. Ninety percent of the available apps held little interest for me, the Internet connection was too slow and too small, text messaging I don’t do, and the actual telephone technology was inferior to my Japanese cell phone. In that way, my praise and raves turned to moans and gripes.

I stayed with the iPhone for a couple of reasons: I love the email, and I’m nuts about the camera. These two features are strong on their own, but put them together and the mix is dynamite. I might feel differently if I had better camera equipment apart from the iPhone, but my camera-camera is a little troublesome and takes only okay photos.

The iPhone’s 2.0 megapixel camera impressed me from the beginning, and good photographs are not that elusive with a little practice. There are times when I feel like the camera has an intuitive eye and pulls my focus into a better frame, more interesting composition. No special bag of photo tricks or aptitude in my photography, and the iPhone photos surprise me more often than not. More than once I’ve looked at the result and wondered, “Wow! Did I take that picture?”

But that’s not the end. With the iPhone’s super email features, a good photo can be on your Mac desktop in minutes, and there’s small limit to what you can do there with iPhoto and Photoshop to make a good snap better.

These two features, email and camera have been a blessing for me in terms of getting photos quickly for use in this blog. From early on, the iPhone became more important for this than any of its other capabilities. It wasn’t until a year or so after getting the phone that I learned it wouldn’t be compatible with AT&T because of a different architecture built in to accommodate the Japanese system, which actually IS a 3rd generation architecture. Disappointing, but not enough to make me abandon the phone. The telephone part of the device may not work in the US, but the WI-FI works like a dream and makes having the phone an advantage.

The flower photo above is an example of a quick snapshot I took on the street. No Photoshop fine tuning in the picture. I clicked the shutter and got what you see here.

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About Me

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America