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SALT LAKE CITY -- The iPhone has become a cultural phenomenon in providing a deceptively simple platform for application developers and a very useful tool for consumers. The features of the phone are numerous. Phone calls, Internet access, email, Web browsing, music playing and still and video camera capabilities are features already built into the iPhone. Some of these features attract the people contemplating life with an iPhone and are a part of daily life for those who own one. Here is a short list of five very practical and interesting things that iPhones can do that most people might not know about.
Coming up tomorrow:
- Barcode scanning is pretty obvious when it comes to shopping. But few know that barcode applications can do more than provide price comparisions. The Red Laser app is designed to scan not just UPC codes, it can also scan many others. For example, there is the Quick Response barcode, or QR code. The QR code can be encoded with up to 7,000 numbers or 4,200 characters —plenty of room for messages like URLs, vCards and calendar events. Bottom line: This app will likely reveal what all those funny-looking codes mean.
- Comic fans take note, there are comic readers galore for the iPhone. Many types of comics are supported, from the humble comic strips like Peanuts and Doonesbury to the Japanese Manga forms. Take ComicZeal, for example. It supports several formats, can organize your comics by series and even provides bookmarks.
- Believe it or not, there are remote desktop applications for the iPhone. Remote desktop allows an iPhone user to gain remote access to a computer. A great example is Ignition from LogMeIn.com. Ignition provides remote access to any computer, whether PC or Mac. Ignition includes a file manager for copying files to and from a remote computer, the ability to shutdown and restart a remote computer and of course the ability run applications such as Word, Outlook and Excel on a remote computer.
- For those who crave control over the lighting in the house, there is Homeworks Light Control by Lutron. Homeworks Light Control works with Lutron-manufactured lighting controls and allows easy configuration of lighting timers and manual control over indoor and outdoor lighting. From the walkway in the front yard to the bedroom on the second floor, this app can turn 'em on or off.
- Last stop. How about the [HarvestMark Food Traceability](HarvestMark Food TraceabilityBy YottaMark, Inc. "Harvest Mark App") app by [YottaMark, Inc.](HarvestMark Food TraceabilityBy YottaMark, Inc. "YottaMark")? This app can scan the HarvestMark barcode to reveal where fresh produce was grown. It's great for people who want to know if food was grown locally, organically or both. There are over 350,000 apps available in the App Store. Pick one or a few. It's up to you.
Scott Dunn is an IT professional, teacher and writer living in the Salt Lake City area.