Wall Street Journal reported on some non-music uses for the iPhone and iPod Touch. A quick survey of students in the library seems to agree that the apps for the iPod Touch, at least, are very cool. While the general consensus was that they didn't think the service on the iPhone was as good as other phone systems, the iPod Touch is "way cool."
According to the Wall Street Journal, there are now more than 25,000 apps or widgets that can be purchased for the iPhone or iPod Touch. They end their article with, "It's the software, not the hardware, that makes these gadgets compelling." The Wall Street journal mentioned some great games, the Kindle e-book reader, and some social networking software, but I wanted to see if there were any good educational apps (since I am in a school). I found a lot of tools for small children to learn words and foreign languages that look like normal computer educational games. I was disappointed in the math programs that I found. While they may be great for checking one's work, I thought they might actually hurt students' understanding of math concepts because of the temptation to check for the answer without doing the work. I was really excited when I saw the reference section, though. As a birdwatcher and sky-watcher, I loved seeing the field guide that would play bird songs loud enough to attract the birds closer to me and the animated planetarium and star finder apps. Some of the productivity apps looked interesting, too, but many of them require wireless access in order to work. Of course, there's the free wireless access locater, so that might be useful, but I think I can carry my laptop around for now. After all, I've barely learned to use my iPod.