Best iPhone and iPod gifts

Since so many clicked through to my posts on iPhone and iPod accessories I thought I would post an update on my favorite products and what I am hoping to get for Christmas. 😉

A while ago I posted my rather inexpensive solution for an iPod clock radio, the Griffin AirCurve ($14.99 at Amazon). I am still very pleased with it but my daughter (who better not be reading this!) who has been using my Specktone Retro speaker will be getting the iHome iP99BR clock radio/boom box. In order to use the Specktone Retro with my iPhone I needed to pick up the Scosche PassPORT USB Home Charging Adapter. This converts the older iPod accessories to allow them to charge the newer iPods and iPhones. I will let you know how it works since I have not received it yet. I am also thinking about getting the iHome iH11BR Alarm Clock with Dock for the bathroom. My wife likes the radio and I like the iPod while getting ready.

So now that I have had my iPhone for about 6 months I have a nice list of accessories that I have found useful and some, not so much. My favorites include:

  • Griffin Simplifi Dock for iPod and iPhone, Media Card Reader, and USB Hub in One Device (Aluminum) – This is a nice multi-port dock that I keep connected to my MacPro at work. (TIP: Since I had copied my iTunes library lock/stock/barrel from one machine to the other the iPhone thinks it is the same library so I am able to sync to both machines. Using the Home Share feature of the new iTunes keeps my purchase (music and apps) up to date (but I also occasionally do a wholesale copy).
  • Griffin AutoPilot for iPod – After I installed an aux input in my car my brother recommend this charger. It is very nice since the aux cable plugs into the Griffin device meaning that I only have to plug the charger into the iPhone’s dock. I can then control play/pause/next/back with the charger itself. Very convenient.

In terms of iPhone apps there are a few that I use every day and are must haves for me. The main app for Bible scholars is BibleReader from Olive Tree. I know Logos has a new app; I am still partial to BR, not only because it is such a solid and great app, but the folks are so great. I first bought the Hebrew text and NRSV 8 some years ago when I had a Palm device. They did not charge me when I moved to my BlackBerry and then my iPhone! And they have since added some tremendous features:

A few other apps that I use every day:

  • Google Mobile App – Free. Much faster than going into Safari and the Voice Search is almost 100%.
  • Dragon Dictation – Free. Andy Ihnatko didn’t like it (and FWIW it did recognize many curse words when I tried) but as a self-described shut-in I can see how he wouldn’t realize the usefulness of dictating emails and text messages while driving. Look ma! Hands on the steering wheel! It even has me reconsidering dictation software for my desktop.
  • Tweetie 2 – $2.99 One of the few apps I will pay for (I am a cheapskate) but I use twitter a lot, with two different accounts, so this is a core piece of software for me.
  • facebook – Free. I am not sure that I need to saying anything more.
  • Stanza – Free. Amazon bought this app but so far they have not harmed it. Great reading app and links to online servers where you can find free and for-purchase books. Must have.
  • Comcast – Free. As a Comcast subscriber this is a great app. I never use my Comcast email (but if you do you can access mail through here, but why would you?) but I can get my voicemail and check TV listings through this app. The VM is key.
  • iBCP – $4.99 I paid for this and I am not sure if it was worth it. I like it and use it and the author has promised to update it with the RCL readings (for free) but nothing so far… It just depends upon your usage and sense of the value of a dollar.
  • USAA – Free. You have to be a USAA member (it’s a bank) to use this but man is it cool! I can deposit checks from my iPhone simply by taking a picture of the front and back of a check! Oh, and it let’s you check your accounts, insurance, etc.

There are many, many more that I could put in here that I use regularly (NYTimes, ESPNSportsCenter, flickr [but it still won’t let you download your own pictures to the phone], NetNewsWire) but the last one is the new must-have. Mark the Spot is an app from AT&T that allows you to tell them just how bad service is, marking the GPS location of the poor service and sending a note. Of course, if you are unable to get cell service it waits until you are in range (or on WiFi as at my home) to send the message.

Feel free to add your own must-have iPhone/iPod apps and accessories in the comments! (No prize this time, however.)

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