Book Review - iPhone: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
When I first saw the release of iPhone: The Missing Manual by David Pogue, I wanted to review it. Never mind that I didn't yet *have* an iPhone... I just like the style of the Missing Manual series. But when my wife surprised me with my very own 8GB iPhone, getting a copy of this book became a priority. And while it's possible to get quite a bit from just the user interface, there *are* things you'll want to know that aren't covered in the "Finger Tips" documentation. Pogue's book absolutely shines when it comes to taking your experience level up a notch...
Part 1 - The iPhone as Phone: The Guided Tour; Phone Calls; Fancy Phone Tricks
Part 2 - The iPhone as iPod: Music and Video; Photos and Camera
Part 3 - The iPhone Online: Getting Online; The Web; Email; Maps and Apps
Part 4 - Beyond iPhone: iTunes for iPhoners; Syncing the iPhone; Add-Ons - Accessories and Web Apps; Settings
Part 5 - Appendixes: Setup and Signup; Troubleshooting and Maintenance
It's a real testimony to the designers of the iPhone that you can pack this much functionality into a device and get away without including a sizable manual. I probably had 60% to 70% of the functions figured out in the first couple of hours with no help. But iPhone: The Missing Manual is perfect for understanding those areas not used as often, as well as gaining some deeper understanding of *why* some things work as they do. For instance, I was a little confused as to why Flash files wouldn't play. But David explains the reasoning behind that (whether you agree with Apple or not is a different story). I also didn't know how much YouTube had done to accommodate iPhone users. And the explanation of how the keyboard works, as well as shortcuts you might not stumble onto yourself, is worth the price of the book alone.
I also appreciated his coverage throughout the book on battery life. That was the first thing I noticed about the iPhone when I started using it. Where I could go a week or so before recharging a normal cell phone, I was now looking at recharging the iPhone every couple of days. Pogue does a very good job in pointing out what features are power hogs, which ones are "battery-friendly", and what you can do to conserve your battery time if you're not going to be able to recharge right away. I now know why my fascination with using the web browser was causing nightly recharges... :)
Yes, you could download the PDF iPhone manual from Apple and learn most of what's covered here. In fact, it's probably a good idea to do so regardless of whether you buy this book or not. But if you want a non-Apple-biased view of how things work (or don't), iPhone: The Missing Manual will give it to you straight.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go spend some more quality time with my new toy and book...