I'm surprised at how much I am using my iPhone nowadays, and what for.
I've managed to steer clear of eBooks for a long time, being a firm believer of having a nice chunk of mashed up tree in my hand is part of getting into a good book. However, I have recently installed iPhone app Stanza and downloaded a couple of eBooks. Partly because books are really expensive over here, and partly because I didn’t want to lug a book around with me on my way to work.
I have to say that I have got into reading on my iPhone, I’ve bought a copy of the book I am reading at the moment, Day Watch by Sergey Lukyanenko and just carried on reading from where I had already got to in the paper book. I had thought before I gave it a try that the iPhone would be too small to read on, but using it I don’t think that’s the case. The app remembers where you got to in each book, it has online catalogues that you can browse to either purchase books and download them there and then in the app or safari, or just download from the many free catalogues too, like project gutenberg.
Since I was on a roll with eBooks, I thought I’d give video a go, to make the journey to and from work pass quickly. After some research (well, googling, still not that impressed with bing) I discovered an opensource project called Handbrake which is a video transcoding app. It has a default setting for iPhone, and I just ran some tv shows through it and hey presto, 200mb m4v files of each episode, no matter what format I threw at it, xvid in avi, or h264 in mkv, it sorted them all out.
Most impressed, a quick iTunes sync with the iPhone and the next morning I was watching TV on the way to work, great quality, really watchable even on the screen size that it is (I think handbrake crops the video as well as shrinking it so you may lose some of the edges of the frames, but it doesn’t make everything really tiny).
The only thing I have to be careful of now is missing my stop on the train cos I am too busy watching tv :)