Learning to Love Technology: My Wife and the iPhone

As I think it goes with most geeks, our better half (yes as a matter of fact, some of us have girlfriends and wives!) usually isn’t the most technical of people.

My lovely wife can use a computer just fine, but she’s not the type of person who considers that technology can be leveraged to make her life easier — I guess that’s where I come in. So when I passed my original model iPhone down to her, it wasn’t received with the excitement that I would have hoped. A few months under her belt with the iPhone¬†on her belt, she’s really getting into the concept that it makes her life easier.

As long as it could dial numbers and remember a couple of her regularly-called contacts, my wife didn’t care what the phone looked like or the functions it had. So when I bestowed my iPhone upon her, it lacked the fanfare that I would have hoped for. But I pressed forward and began to demonstrate some of the features that I thought would make taking care of the kids and the household and everything else in her busy life, as simple as remembering to bring the phone with her at all times. It wasn’t a smooth transition — there were some scratches and bruises (to my ego) — but these days, she actually loves her iPhone!

As a mother, and generally busy person running a household, these are some of the iPhone features that she loves and uses the most:

  • Games
    No, she’s not a gamer (though I have drawn her into the web that is Quordy), but out boys sure are! Waiting in lines, or for meals out, the many games I’ve downloaded have become a life saver. (Though also a battery drainer, as they sometimes disappear with the iPhone at home and we later find the phone dead…)
  • Movies
    Another pacifier for the little ones, I’ve added a few of the Pixar and Dreamworks short files to our media library. Unlike the full length television shows or animated movies available through the iTunes Store, these shorts are perfect for quick hits to settle them down while waiting for appetizers to arrive.
  • Scheduling Events and Reminders
    This was the main reason I wanted to get her going on the iPhone. There’s no more disconnect between hearing about some scheduled event, having to remember it, and then putting it on a wall calendar or in the computer at home — you just enter it at the point of contact and set the reminder accordingly. These days missed play dates and classroom volunteering area things of the past (well, almost, there’s still that wholeforgetting to take the phone off vibrate issue).
  • Locating Stuff
    With location awareness and Google Maps available anywhere, it’s nearly impossible for her to get lost now, or be unable to find a store nearby. In fact, I’ve shown her a tip that I use, which is not using one of the [lame] yellow pages style phone book apps, but rather to search the Maps application and direct dial the place of business from there. I find it’s much faster and generally more accurate than the phonebook applications out there.
  • Notes
    No more do sticky notes or reminders written on the back of receipts litter our house. The built-in Notes app is plenty for her needs, but I’ve gently pushed apps like reQall, WriteRoom, and OmniFocus as she gets more comfortable using all the features.
  • Weather
    Getting kids out the door in the morning is hectic — seriously. So taking the time to crack the laptop for the day’s forecast, or actually being able to catch the weather report on TV (Nickolodeon needs a weather report) is really not an option. But whip out the iPhone and use the Weather Channel app and we know exactly how to dress the kids for the weather and not send them out in shorts when snow’s coming later in the afternoon.
  • Email and Text
    She’s still adjusting to having access to her email at all times, but texting is really easy and usable for her now that she’s rocking a full keyboard. Not to mention that it makes it easier on me when she needs a quick answer to something and I’m in a meeting, unable to take an actual phone call. Unfortunately however, texting is also easy for our little ones, who have sent gibberish messages to some family members, causing a bit of confusion…
  • Shopping!
    For better or worse, ebay, Amazon and Target (favorite store!) all have their own applications for the iPhone. So she can check her bid status or selling auctions at any time, or compare items while shopping without having to remember to check later or call me to look something up. It’s actually a great way to save money (and time).

The list of life-saver applications for the iPhone in her life continues to grow. It wasn’t the easiest transition, but despite her view of technology making her life more difficult, she’s finally seeing the light. If your significant other non geek type has an aversion to technology, the iPhone may just be the vehicle for easing them into the 21st century. (If you need to convince them, feel free to use this list to illustrate the benefits!)

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