Even before the introduction of the iPhone back in 2007, there was this nerd fantasy of employing some type of pocketable computing device for almost everything. It would have the power to launch rockets for NASA while having the battery life to last for days without a charge. It was an impossible, impractical, and unreasonable dream. Those beautiful dreamers are still out there and still convinced that this will finally be the year of desktop Linux. 

They tried to make it happen with the early PDFs, then smartphones. They transferred that pressure to Palm, Windows Mobile, and RIM. The iPhone came along and was instantly panned for lacking copy and paste. All the real contenders that had copy and paste are no longer with us. iPhone is still going ridiculously strong.

Nevertheless, even the iPhone cannot hold up under the pressure of being the everything machine for everyone for all occasions. Nothing will ever be that device. The dream is still impossible, impractical, and unreasonable. True, iPhone is an amazing achievement that happens once in a generation but it has some real limitations that cannot be ignored. Things begin to break down when it is pushed beyond its limits. It can do so much that it is hard to know what those limits are. When using it to cover a big event, here is where things start to break down:

Event Decoration

The best use of an iPhone for event decoration is to open the browser and look for event decorator near me. What you shouldn’t do is try to find an app that provides do-it-yourself tips and tricks, templates, or impersonal and unprofessional shortcuts. If you are preparing for a wedding, you need a professional who has been there, seen that, and sells the t-shirts.

Computers aren’t people, no matter how powerful they get. They lack human judgment. They lack taste. They lack a sense of style and wonder and whimsy. Event decorators can’t have a cookie-cutter mentality. They have to be good listeners and understand the moment. 

A good decorator might incorporate an iPhone into the work by taking photos of the space and objects of interest for inspiration. They might use it to source and order supplies. It will be useful for schedules and reminders. But love the actual decoration ideas to the humans.

Recording Audio

The microphones on the iPhone are some of the best on any smartphone you can buy today. Yet they are completely inadequate for recording anything that matters. Even the best phone mic for travel vlogging won’t make up for the inherent problem of small, omnidirectional mics that are far away from the action you want to record. Your strong desire to make it work will not overcome the laws of physics. 

Big events are often spread out, but usually have some sort of stage for speakers. That stage might have two or three microphones for different recording applications. However, the main mic is likely some type of wireless lav mic. That kind of device keeps the microphone close to the speaker’s mouth at all times regardless of how much she moves around. If you are going to use your iPhone to record the event for your personal enjoyment, that’s fine. Be sure to place the iPhone on the podium where people will be speaking and pray that it survives the event. Bad things can happen to iPhones that are left unattended on podiums that you don’t control. 

Event Photography

iPhone cameras are legendary. They have even been known to shoot an entire movie. But professional photography requires big lenses and plenty of light. Again, we run into the laws of physics with predictable results. You still get better photos with big cameras and talented people who know how to use them. You will only have one shot at photographing special events. Those photos will have to last for a long time. You might actually want one or two large-format photos for display and archival purposes. Use your iPhone photos for social media and personal enjoyment. Use a real camera for everything else. 

At the end of the day, the most expensive iPhone and the least expensive competitors have the same limitations when it comes to big events. They are no substitute for real decorators, real microphones, and real cameras.