If an iPhone awaited you under the tree this Christmas, we understand if you're a bit excited. Reception woes aside, the iPhone is a remarkable device in many respects. It offers a great multimedia experience, efficient e-mail integration, a spiffy Web browser, and thousands of third-party apps that do everything from helping you choose a seat on an airplane to guiding your way to the airport. And now that it has multimedia messaging, we're no longer waiting for any basic cell phone features. Granted, those pesky network issues won't go away soon, but you may get lucky and have no problems. And even if you do, at least you have a shiny new gadget, right?
If you've never used an iPhone before, getting started can be a bit overwhelming. With so many apps and accessories available, it's not easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. And even if you're a veteran iPhone user who's graduating to the newest model, exercising discretion, particularly when purchasing apps, is wise. You might say, "It's just 99 cents!" but 99 cents multiplied scores of times can result in a hefty iTunes bill.
Luckily, CNET can offer some basic guidance. Though providing a definitive "Best iPhone apps list" is even beyond us (we'd have to update it every day), we can highlight apps and accessories we think are cool or downright terrible. We also track the latest iPhone news daily, and keep you updated on user tips and troubleshooting. So to get you acquainted with your new friend, check out the links below.
iPhone Atlas is CNET's primary place for everything iPhone related. It's stocked fresh daily with gossip, gear, games, and guides.
Fancy an accessory for your new iPhone? At the very least, we'd recommend a case to protect it from bumps and bruises. And considering how fast a iPhone battery can go from full to empty, a battery booster will help you zap your handset back to life when all the juice is gone. iPhone Atlas' accessories section is a good place to start.
Tips and troubleshooting
Like any other gadget, the iPhone is not without its quirks. Our iPhone Atlas troubleshooting section can help you fix your problems. And to help you use your iPhone better, check out David Martin's regular Tip of the week.
From here to there
If you need to get to the airport, there are a handful of available apps that bring full GPS capabilities. CNET Car Tech's Antuan Goodwin recently reviewed the TomTom Car Kit, which is one of the most iPhone's most popular GPS solutions.
Are you game?
As we said earlier, the list of iPhone gaming titles is endless. Yet, that didn't stop Download.com's Jason Parker from rounding up the 17 best iPhone games of 2009. Jeff Bakalar, who covers gaming from CNET, also frequently offer iPhone gaming picks. Check out his recent three iPhone games make for perfect last-minute gifts story.
Finding those apps
Speaking of Download.com, my colleagues over there put together the very informative iPhone Starter Kit. It suggests a variety of great apps in several categories.
Even more apps
Download has a regular feature called iPhone apps of the week, which highlights the latest standout apps with short reviews. The iPhone section of the Download blog is also good for app coverage, like Rick Broida's recent Top 10 iPhone apps.
On the go
For those of you who travel frequently or love flying, here's a list of the top iPhone apps for airline geeks that I put together earlier this year. It's a bit old, but it's a start.
And lastly, we couldn't let you go without our iPhone 3GS review. You can contribute to the user comments and tell us what you think of your toy.
Happy New Year and enjoy your iPhone!