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September 02, 2007

iPhones & Moms - A Surprisingly Good Mix, by Guest Blogger, Sarah Granger

Cp_ipod_iphone_070629_2 Everybody's weighed in on the iPhone and its bells and whistles.  Most people were drooling for days, and we haven't forgotten the lines wrapped around the Apple stores to grasp the first of the gadgets.  I wasn't one of them.  I was too busy juggling parenting, working, blogging and everything else.  Then my existing phone-PDA combo suffered from an overheating episode, so as a loyal Mac user, I  decided to jump in the pool with other iPhone converts.

At first, I was impressed by how painless it was to get the phone working with AT&T.  Definite plus for busy moms.  Not so quick because the transfer of my number from Sprint PCS took about 24 hours, but at least I was able to start using some of the sleek features everybody was talking about.  I was blown away by the clarity of the images.  Then I began bickering about the things I  missed about my old phone.  (The iPhone is no Palm.)  But after spending a few days with the iPhone, I became comfortable with it and  blogged about the pros and cons.  Now, after using the iPhone for a few weeks, I've come to realize it's an excellent tool for parents.

Looking at each feature from the main menu, here are some examples of how the iPhone can work well for active parents:

  • Text Messaging - allows you to send notes, reminders and lists to your spouse when s/he is in meetings or busy at work; provides a quiet mode of communication when little ones are napping.
  • Calendar - gives you an excuse to say no when they ask for volunteers at your kids' school; or on a more serious note, puts your schedule front and center so you won't miss things like important doctor check-ups and paying the mortgage.
  • Photos & Camera - seamlessly syncs photos from the iPhone's camera to iPhoto so you can capture fun and special moments with your family although the camera does have a slight delay, so action shots don't work well.
  • YouTube - lets you check out what your kids are watching - see whether it's vile and disgusting or just silly bloopers.
  • Stocks - helps you teach your kids the importance of tracking your investments (ok, so this one's a stretch, but it is a nice feature).
  • Maps - directs you to your next play date, playgroup, meeting, game or other activity on time! Err... maybe just 15 minutes late?
  • Weather - makes it easier to find out if you need to drag along jackets, umbrellas, snow shoes, ice picks, etc. when you hit the road.
  • Clock - aside from the obvious, you can time yourself in the grocery store: juice, bread, tequilla, diapers, toilet paper and peanut butter all in 2 minutes flat.
  • Calculator - perfect for splitting the bill on moms' night out or calculating how much you owe the babysitter.
  • Notes - good for creating lists, ideas for your memoirs, blog posts, or plain old rants
  • Phone/Contacts - provides a favorites list, speaker phone, a recent calls list, contact list and quick access to voicemail; adapts well  to the headset provided or bluetooth and car speaker devices
  • Email - great for checking and sending on the go; see if a playgroup or game was cancelled, find out about location or time changes for activities, fire off a question to a friend or read news alerts; email notes or photos (although it doesn't do so well with sending  large attachments).
  • Full Size Browser - allows you to keep up with the latest and greatest news and tips on blogs like TechMamas, provides an additional email conduit, and can keep you occupied for hours surfing in waiting rooms.
  • iPod - gives you something to listen to while waiting to pick up the kids; has a speaker so you can play songs or podcasts for them.

Now, whether the iPhone is worth its price on a mom's budget, that of course depends on the mom.  Adding together what you might pay in late pickup or late bill payment fees, speeding and parking tickets, well okay so that doesn't really justify it.  And AT&T's rates aren't necessarily cheaper than other providers.  But keep watch if you can't buy one now - Apple will come out with newer versions with  different pricing and features and the first generation iPhones will drop then too.  Then after buying an iPhone, you can watch your stocks and hopefully not suffer from any buyer's remorse.  (Hint: Apple stock's still going up.).

Sarah Granger's personal blog is Sairy. She also is the Co-Founder of SFBayStyle and a contributor for the Silicon Valley Moms Blog.


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Thanks for the article on your iPhone perspective as a mom. It's just what I was looking for. I am a full-time working mom of 2, considering purchasing the iPhone. I am wondering about the durability and replacment of it should it get broken like so many of my previous phones. Any insight on this?


One other question...I'm a runner and would like to run with my iPhone. Any experiences with this out there? Is it too heavy? Would one of the smaller iPods work better for this?


Let me ask my iPhone friends (like Sarah) your question Stephanie. They all seem very happy with it so far. I have a Blackberry...
:-)Techmama Beth B.

For running, the iPod Shuffle or iPod Nano is best. They don't have any moving parts (they use flash memory). I would be interested to know if anyone runs with their iPhone. I will also ask around about that.

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