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Innovation Insights by Stephen Shapiro

Ok, this may seem like an odd post.  Why would anyone want their iPhone to act like a BlackBerry?  Well, there are some things that the RIM folks got right.

I switched over to the iPhone 4S a couple of weeks ago, and there are a few features from my old CrackBerry that I miss.  I’ve been able to address most of them.  Sadly, the blinking red indicator light that told me when I had an email is not doable on the iPhone.  But here are three other workarounds that you may find useful/interesting.

Push Mail: I use a regular IMAP email server that does not have push capabilities.  I don’t want to bother updating to an Exchange Server or anything like that.  But I also don’t want to wait for the iPhone to “fetch” my mail.  The solution?  An app called “PushMail.”  For five bucks, it gives you push notifications, it is amazingly simple to set up and gives you more flexibility than you can even get with the BlackBerry.  It is my favorite iPhone app by far.

Music Ring Tones: I like assigning songs as the ring tone for people.  One friend might have the theme to South Park while my default is the theme from the James Bond movies.  Unfortunately on the iPhone you can’t do that by simply linking the person to the song in your music library.  The solution?  Create a ringtone in GarageBand.  It is incredibly easy to drag a song from iTunes on your computer into GarageBand, select the 30 seconds you want, and then save it as a ring tone.  Copy the file into iTunes and synch.

Only Ring for Select People: The BlackBerry has some amazing ring profile capabilities.  I could, for example, keep the phone silent, except for some individuals.  If I am waiting for an important call but don’t want to be disturbed by anyone else, I could do that on the BlackBerry, but not the iPhone.  The solution? Create a blank/silent ring tone.  When you want silence, set that ring tone as the default.  Then, for those who you want to hear, go into the contact and assign a non-silent ring tone.

I’ve been tinkering around with some other fun things and may post some tips here from time to time.

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