iPhone 3GS Portable Genius – Book Review

iPhone 3GS Portable Genius
By Paul McFedries

Wiley Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-470-52422-0

Most iPhone users take it for granted that they know how to use most of their phone’s features. An iPhone is a thing of beauty, a device so well designed that most of us can figure out how to utilize its basic functions in short order. Apple surely realizes this – the iPhone ships with a manual, doesn’t it?

Once the novelty of an iPhone begins to wear off, many owners begin to probe some of their “Jesus Phone’s” lesser known functionalities. Once you begin to dig under the surface, you realize that the iPhone does A LOT of things. Yes, there’s an app for that, but the iPhone already does so much! How then, do we take advantage of all of these features on a more regular basis?

iPhone 3GS Portable Genius is an easy-to-read, full-color guide to all of the features your iPhone 3G or 3GS has to offer, right out of the box. Its pages are full of tips that provide something for everyone, whether it’s about configuring your iPhone or trying to maximize iTune’s potential when syncing it up.

Portable Genius begins with a thorough summary of every possible aspect of configuring your iPhone so it’s as unique as you are. The tips are very insightful. For example, even after using my iPhone 3G for over a year, I’ve always griped about having to make three keystrokes to enter numbers or punctuation on the iPhone’s virtual keyboard. McFedries points out in a “Genius Tip” that you can merely tap the Number key, and while holding your finger down, slide it to the number or symbol you would like to enter. When you release it, your iPhone automatically reverts back to ABC mode. That tip is going to save me loads of time, and in my opinion, is worth the price of the book alone. Tips like this are included throughout!

Portable Genius has chapters devoted to utilizing your iPhone’s actual phone features, surfing the web, managing e-mail more effectively, plus virtually every aspect of syncing your iPhone, getting more out of your media, improving the functionality of your Contacts and Calendar, MobileMe integration, and purchasing and managing your apps.

The final chapter of Portable Genius describes how to maintain your iPhone, and offers a bunch of tips on troubleshooting problems you may experience. For instance, did you know that the less you use your phone, the more often you need to cycle your batteries? Cycling your batteries means running your iPhone down to a zero charge and then recharging it completely. Battery life is always an issue for iPhone users, so anything you can do to extend it is a worthy endeavor. There are a number of other tips in Portable Genius that will help you do just that.

I couldn’t recommend iPhone 3GS Portable Genius more. Paul McFedries has done a superb job in summarizing every aspect of maximizing the functionality of your iPhone. I’m looking forward to digging deeper into its colorful pages for other gems of knowledge that will make using my iPhone an even cooler experience than it is already.

MyMac Review Rating: 9 out of 10

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