Can the iPhone replace your toolkit?

Sun, Mar 15, 2009


The iPhone is an insanely helpful device.  You can watch movies on it, play games on it, trade stocks on it, and even process credit cards with it.  But can you use it to help you build a house?  Or a table?  That’s exactly the question Popular Mechanics asked recently, and their answer was a resounding “NO!”.

Some of the more tool-centric iPhone programs out there include a “level” app and even an application that allows you to use your iPhone as a virtual ruler.  While all of these sound great in theory, Popular Mechanics found that these apps often leave a lot to be desired when put to test in the real world.  With regard to the AccellaRuler app, for example, Popular Mechanics wrote:

The app failed for two reasons. First, it can only be used to measure the distance between two points on a flat surface. To use the app, the user places it on the surface, slides it to the second point, then slides it back to its origin. Real tape measures can span three dimensions. The second, and far more serious, problem is that it’s terribly inaccurate. Our results were all over the place, and never remotely resembled reality. A 7-inch distance was pegged to be 22 inches.

Yikes!  A 15 inch difference in length is no joke when you’re building something that has the potential to collapse.  The moral of the story is that just because you can use the iPhone for something, it doesn’t mean that you should.  For some reason, iBeer now comes to mind.  It’s a great app to show off to people, but nothing beats the real thing!

You can check out Popular Mechanics full report over here.


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Richard Says:

    Apple risks falling behind as everyone is going touch while the iPhone still can’t do much. You will only get away with being the prettiest for so long without smarts.

    iMacs would not be as much of a hit without iLife, and the iPhone will be doomed without equally smart software.

    More memory and storage with faster processors will be welcomed, but the killer app(s) are what drive hardware sales. I.E. the touch interface that started this revolution.

    If i can’t forward text messages, save attachments, send files from the phone, have the ability to cut and paste, then the iPhone is no more than another pretty face.

    Video with iChat would be cool and it would set the phone apart, but without the basic ability to function at the current levels of other smart phones, especially when those phones are now touch, the appeal of the iPhone diminishes greatly.

    The iPhone is becoming more like a hollywood star whereby everyone thinks they are cool, but when you get to know them outside of their scripts, they are rather dumb; while the other smart phones are becoming like the geek that when she took off her glasses and let down her hair, she was quite cute, and still very smart.


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