What Are the Functions of an iPhone?

By Amy Dombrower

The Apple iPhone serves as a mini computer, mp3 player, phone, camera and more. It has a touch-screen interface, so everything you do is right there on the large screen. With countless iPhone applications available for download, the iPhone is used as a phone, iPod, camera, video camera, GPS device and web browser.

Phone

On the iPhone, just open your Contacts, and tap a name to make a call, or make a call directly from a text message or a website. The phone features include Visual Voicemail, which allows you to see a list of your voicemails. Choose which one to listen to first instead of having to listen to them all in the order received. In Contacts, click a friend's address and a map will automatically appear to show you directions from your current location. Another unique feature is the ability to do multiple things while on a call. If you're on hold, you can search the Internet, look at a map or play a game.

iPod

There's no need to have multiple devices because the iPhone also serves as your personal music player. Tap the iPod icon to open your music library. Scroll through your music just as you would on an iPod, give it a shake to shuffle songs and tap the "Play, Stop, Fast-forward or Rewind" icons to control your tunes. If you get a call on the iPhone while listening to music, the music pauses. Use the iTunes Genius feature to get music recommendations. Tap the Genius button and it will create playlists from your music library that go well together. You can download music and videos right from your phone via the iTunes store, so you don't need to hook up the iPhone to your computer each time. When you're ready to watch a video, turn the iPhone sideways for wide-screen viewing.

Internet

Use the Safari web browser for all your online surfing needs. Save bookmarks so you can go back to certain pages later. If you need to zoom in on a page, just tap the screen. Rotate the iPhone for a larger view.

Email

The iPhone will upload a variety of email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail or AOL. You can add multiple accounts, which makes it easy to get all your emails promptly. When you need to respond to an email, use the on-screen keyboard that auto-corrects as you type, and tap a button to cut, copy or paste text. If you get email attachments, they will open in the correct form, whether a PDF or Microsoft Office file.

Map

One of the most popular functions of the iPhone is its ability to sense your exact location. It uses the wireless connection and GPS to pinpoint where you are. Enter an address and find directions, and the iPhone will help you get there with GPS. Use the maps to find nearby public transportation, walking or driving directions. You also can mark your current location, and if you're running late, send the map to a friend via email or instant message. The digital compass always knows which way you are facing, so it will rotate the map that way.

Camera

With a built-in camera, you just aim the iPhone and tap the camera icon to take a picture. Make sure the camera/video switch is set to camera. You'll hear a shutter sound when the camera takes a photo. Use the camera to create wallpaper and send photos via instant message, email or post them online. And the iPhone is a video camera, too. Select a photo or video you've taken to email or send an instant message to others. Click the arrow icon, then tap "Email Photo/Video or MMS."

Store

Find thousands of useful and entertaining apps in the App Store. Directly from the phone you can browse through apps and download them. Then launch a game, social network or whatever you choose while on the go. For instance, keep up with the news with the CNN Mobile app or use the Yelp free app to look up reviews for local restaurants nearby.