It’s a business expense!

It finally happened.

I succumbed.

I…I got an iPhone.

I absolutely could not afford one forever, but Kevin offered to put me on his family plan–an entirely new level of commitment, let me add, as we are now joined by paperwork, something we had so far evaded*–which meant that, after some phone-line hanky-panky on the part of the very nice guy at the AT&T store, my phone bill went away and Kevin’s went down. (I will nevertheless be paying for my share, but even that is like $15 bucks less than I WAS paying.) And since my elderly Razor was dying the slow death–the “I won’t tell you about your voice mail until a day later” and “occasionally I will not carry audio” death–I needed a new phone about four months ago, and now needed one Really Really Bad, and after all the huge discounts…

*sigh* Now I’m one of those people.

It’s a business expense, goddamnit. They have apps that let you take credit cards. I could do that at a convention. TOTALLY A BUSINESS EXPENSE. Yes. That’s it.

I signed up for Birdpost, which is a “post your bird sightings on Google maps” (a fantastically good idea!) and am contemplating the bird guides–Kevin likes the Audubon, and it’s a good stopgap, but I’m a Sibley girl, except that the Sibley app gets awful reviews, and I don’t want to lay out $30 for a crappy app. iBird is supposed to be pretty good, but their free demo isn’t really rockin’ my world.  Still, it would be lovely not to have to carry my field guide with me…

Any suggestions of awesome apps (free or cheap preferable, but for a good birding app, I will pay money!) welcome.



*We are also going to be putting me on his insurance soon. I think it’s serious.

5 thoughts on “It’s a business expense!

  1. Victor Luft says:

    Well, as far as the whole accepting credit cards thing, Square ( and makes that fantastically easy and painless. And they’ll even send you a free little thingy that plugs in to it so you can actually *swipe* credit cards.

    Other apps…

    As far as art stuff I’ve heard good things of Brushes ( and in fact some guy’s done several New Yorker covers with it ( I haven’t actually tried it myself because my level of artistic talent could best be described as negative.

    The now-official “Twitter for iPhone” ( is the result of Twitter buying the best Twitter client that was out there before and making it free, so that’s highly recommended.

    Miscellaneously, there’s SimpleNote( which is fantastic for dumping random things you want to remember into and then having it automatically sync to both a website and a variety of computer applications. InstaPaper ( is a client for the service which stores things you want to read later from the web and nicely formats them for reading.

  2. genmaicha says:

    I really like iBird Pro. I’ve had it since I got my iPhone last summer, and it’s been an amazing help. It can be a bit clunky at times, but the ability to listen to bird song on my phone to compare it to what I’m hearing out in the field (but seeing no hint of the singer) is amazingly helpful. Though, of course, I make sure to listen via headphones, so as not to harass birds with sudden calls of potential rivals.

    It may be $30, which is expensive for an app, but think of it as a fully customizeable field guide with bird song that fits in your pocket. I think I paid far more than $30 for my Sibley guide, and we know how heavy that birder’s Bible is.

  3. Graydon says:

    The first couple of reviews I found didn’t strike me as awful, they struck me as “this is still a book, not a database; the searching is just like what you would do with the book, rather than a webapp to tell you what bird that was”.

    Personally, I am going to be sticking to paper field guides for the foreseeable; none of the electronic devices are as yet meaningfully durable.

  4. Zeh Dwarf says:

    The Amazon Kindle App and the B&N eReader App are both free. The ebooks are not free but they are at least a lot cheaper than buying regular books and the iPhone is so much lighter than your average novel.

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