We already know that the iPhone is achieving pretty massive sales success in the US (and to a lesser degree in Europe), and that it’s having a huge impact on mobile web browsing as well. The other effect that it’s having on me, and I’ve only just been fully appreciating recently, is that it’s gradually […]
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iPhone Is Selling Me on Online Apps

We already know that the iPhone is achieving pretty googlenotebook1massive sales success in the US (and to a lesser degree in Europe), and that it’s having a huge impact on mobile web browsing as well.

The other effect that it’s having on me, and I’ve only just been fully appreciating recently, is that it’s gradually winning me over on using web applications, and working more and more with them, even when I’m on my desktop machine.  It’s changing the way I work. 

I now find that I almost never launch MS Word, for example.  I had already been moving away from Word for a while, finding it easier and faster to use Wordpad or even Notepad for quick note-taking during a work day.  Now I find myself using Google Notebook more and more – because it’s quick, easy to organize, has some nice Firefox extensions, and of course lets me view my notebooks and add new notes on the iPhone.

Google Reader has jumped from being my semi-favorite RSS reader to my runaway favorite. I use it everywhere, and really find it effective to mark my starred items on the iPhone late at night and then work with them at the desktop the next morning.

I also work in Gmail a lot more than I used to.  It hasn’t supplanted Outlook on the desktop yet, but it gets a lot more play than it ever did before the iPhone.  And that’s not because of lack of Exchange support either, as I only have one corporate Exchange account, and (minimum) three other accounts that are all set to forward into Gmail now.

Remember The Milk – as I’ve blabbed about before – is my every-day to-do list and tasks manager.

I’ve even installed Google Gears just recently – to enable offline working with some of these apps.

Now I’m not saying that I don’t still appreciate a good local application.  I definitely do, and I will certainly be looking at and using even more 3rd party apps for the iPhone when the SDK arrives and we are able to purchase them – and hoping that some of my current favorites will get sanctioned by Apple as well.

But these recent months of using the iPhone and initially being forced into the arms of some of these online apps has opened my eyes to new ways of working that I hadn’t given too much time to before.  Just as one example – six months ago I would have never considered an online tasks manager app.  Now it will take a hell of a good local iPhone app to compete with Remember The Milk.

The one big drawback with web apps when you’re on the iPhone of course – through no fault of their own – is that Edge is just too slow to want to do most things for long stretches if you can’t find WiFi.  Now, if we see something equivalent to Google Gears for the iPhone, then some of these web apps may really give local ones a run for their money in a lot of categories …

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