iPhone: The Missing Manual

Our Review by Gary Lucero on January 16th, 2009
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: RECOMMENDED
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iPhone - The Missing Manual is a Stanza ereader based book that thoroughly explains every feature of the iPhone, from its cell phone features to its iPod features, and its vast array of apps, those built-in and available from the iTunes app store. It cove

Developer: Lexcycle
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.5

iPhone Integration [rating:3]
User Interface [rating:3]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:4]

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

iPhone: The Missing Manual is an ebook wrapped in the Stanza ereader app. It's a well organized and well written book that explains every feature of the iPhone, including its cell phone features, its iPod features, and its vast array of apps. It covers the 3G version of the hardware but also makes references to the first gen version. While it might be useful to iPod Touch owners it does spend a considerable amount of time discussing such features as making calls, voice mail, and using the iPhone's camera.

Since iPhone: The Missing Manual is based on Stanza, it's not really an app; it's an ebook. It leverages Stanza's features, so you can bookmark pages, touch links to jump to other pages, and customize the text and background colors. It is well organized and includes a table of contents as well as appendices.

Since this is an electronic version of a print book, though, it doesn't really leverage the iPhone hardware in any special way. It provides a long and clunky table of contents and if you have used Stanza and have any issues with it, you'll encounter those same issues here. Though it's a well written book and is definitely appropriate for newcomers to the iPhone platform, it is less appropriate for anyone who is technical enough to figure out the device's features all on their own.

As the missing iPhone manual, iPhone: The Missing Manual works well. It definitely covers every aspect of the iPhone's usage, from making it go to sleep, to answering phone calls, to surfing the Internet, to listening to music and adding apps to it. It also discusses the computer side of things and helps you use iTunes on your PC or Mac.

While it does offer a few tricks and tips for technically minded people, the honest truth is most people won't need this book. It definitely has an audience, and for that audience it's an excellent book, but if you've already deciphered most of the iPhone's features, or if you own an iPod Touch instead, it is definitely less useful.

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