How to Do Everything with Your iPhone
Posted: 20-Feb-2008

Mac Guild Grade

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

B+

Reviewer: Shari Jackson $24.99


How to Do Everything with Your iPhone
By Jason Chen, Adam Pash
November 20, 2007 Paperback, 296 pages
ISBN: 0071497900 / 9780071497909
US $24.99

What the Book is About
How To Do Everything With Your iPhone is a manual for the iPhone which provides very basic descriptions on the functionality available in the iPhone, and explicit instructions on each of the features. The authors present the features of the iPhone within a scenario of common use, allowing the reader to determine how the features will work to their advantage for their particular requirements. The functionality of the iPhone is described comprehensively with detailed instructions for setup and implementation, including any possible impact and limitations of each decision. The instructions on the setup and use of the iPhone are developed within a framework that allows the beginner, intermediate or expert level user to easily follow step by step or by skipping sections with which one is already familiar.

The approach taken by the authors allows the reader to have extensive knowledge of all of the possible ways to fully realize the potential of their iPhone. If there are differences in how the iPhone works in comparison to other common devices, the authors make an effort to explain the difference and provide the best way to use the feature within the functionality of the iPhone.

Target Audience
The level of reading is novice, but may potentially provide expert knowledge of the features and functionality of the iPhone to any user whether novice, experienced, or expert. The information provided is extremely detailed which should satisfy the expert user of the iPhone. The tips and notes allow the reader to take caution where appropriate in the setup and use of the iPhone. The authors have a balanced approach to the task of training the reader on the iPhone.

What to Expect
The iPhone is a spectacular handheld device with features and ease of use that will thrill even the experienced mobile phone devotee. Making calls, managing contacts and appointments, playing and videos, taking pictures, surfing the web, sending email are all included in the functionality of the device. Apple has definitely maintained the reputation of innovative technology with the release of the iPhone. It appeals to the technology-minded experts as well as those who would prefer high functionality that is easy to use. With all the functionality available on the iPhone, it's likely that most iPhone owners would miss some of the features. Not so, if you are using this book.

My criticism is that in reading it in one sitting, I found the repetition of instructions somewhat boring at certain points. When I would have liked to have had the instructions repeated, I had to search back through the text to find the reference which was not an easy task. Apparently, the authors and I didn't agree on which instructions were worth repeating. The organization of the book is not easily conducive to just picking a topic and learning everything about that topic. The authors have assumed an order for providing information about the iPhone that may be difficult to use for those who have prioritized their use of the iPhone in a different way than that of the authors.

Highlights
The highlight of the book is that it is possible to know how to use all the functionality of the iPhone without personal technology support (or giving up and letting the iPhone sit unused and retreating back to the familiarity of the multiple old devices). The authors have demystified all of the hype around the incredible wizardry of the iPhone and actually made it possible for beginners to have a shot at the full use of the features. It gives even the novice a feeling of being a technology expert who has just selected the iPhone as the next toy to conquer.

Mac Guild Grade
B+ (Great)

Final Words
It's always tempting to either believe all the hype over a new product or to doubt that there is anything new to rave about. The iPhone is one of those technological advances that seems to have an incredible architecture and design, and functionality that is easy to master. It appeals to a wide audience that includes the somewhat hesitant, technology phobic individual as well as the technology savvy. The authors provide a good balance of what is myth and what is reality about the iPhone. The book provides extensive instructions that would allow the reader to satisfactorily setup the iPhone for use without personal technical support. I consider this a plus, since one often needs personal technical support at critical moments where circumstances do not allow access to technical support. Additionally, the authors include expert level ideas and instructions for the maximum use of the iPhone functionality and features that even the more experienced reader can learn from. I was introduced to the iPhone by an avid fan, and I have now test-driven the iPhone. I believe this book to be essential in both determining whether to buy the iPhone, or once purchased, to make the most out of the investment. It is hard to decide, without actually holding an iPhone and walking through some of the tutorials, whether the subject of the book or the actual iPhone is the more unbelievable wonder.