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iPhone 4

Yesterday Steve Jobs got up on stage and announced the new iPhone, iPhone 4.  It has a list of slick features, I'll write a couple, then an opinion or two about each.

1. FaceTime

Facetime is a new feature to the iPhone family.  It's basically, Video Calling.  Using the front or the back camera of the iPhone you can make a Video call with one another.  Right now FaceTime is limited to Wifi only, and Apple is going to work with the cell carriers to get their networks up to speed to allow FaceTime on 3G calling.

Opinion:  I think is a really neat innovation.  I can see a lot of use for this, however...  I have a feeling that no one will use it, it will be a pain in the ass for it to work, and it'll get bad press.  I am sure there will be ports to open on the firewall for it to work, and it won't work for $REASON.  I guess we'll find out, but overall I think this is really neat and I'd love to use it with my family, especially after my new baby is born.  It's also going to be an "Open Standard", so hopefully lots of people build this into their phones/apps.  iChat probably won't get it until 1o.7, and the iPad won't get a camera until Round 2.

2. Retina Display

The Retina Display is a higher resolution screen 960x640 at 326 dpi.  It seals the front glass to the LCD by lamination (I believe that's how it works) so it eliminates the "Depth" in between the front glass and the icons.

Opinion:  Cool.  Love me some higher resolution.  Not much bad you can say about that.

3. Multitasking

The iPhone 4 has Multitasking through the use of services (instead of full apps running in the background).

Opinion:  Cool.  About time.  I've been really, really content with using one app at a time, EXCEPT when I am using something like Instant Messenger, or where I need to go back and forth really quickly between apps, and the app I need to switch back and forth to doesn't remember where I was at the last time I used the app.  Really annoying.  So glad this is getting fixed.  I've occasionally wanted multitasking on the iPhone, but I've wanted it more on my iPad.

4. HD Video Recording

You can now record HD (720p) video on the iPhone with it's new 5 Megapixel camera, put it into iMovie (a new app for the iPhone) make your own home movies and send them out on the internet.

Opinion:  Good.  I've been very content with the camera that is in my iPhone 3GS, so a better camera is always welcome, however, I know once you record video on the 3GS and try and MMS it to someone, it can be annoying as shit waiting for the upload to take place.  I know uploading a video from the iPhone 4 to Youtube, unless some magic happens, especially on the processor side..  sending a 720p video somewhere is going to be awful and take forever.

5. Mail

Unified inbox, email threading, and multiple Exchange accounts

Opinion:  About time.  I've been just fine the way it has been, however, I'm glad they are making it better.  The unified inbox especially.

6. Folders

The ability to group your apps together in a single button.

Opinion:  Useful.  I'll definitely use it to group things like games and Productivity apps together.  I've tried not to put too many apps on my phone.  But I've met some people that have pages upon pages of apps and this will be good for them.

7. iBooks

The ability to read your iBooks that you've purchased for your iPad up until now, on your iPhone.  Also includes a PDF reader (also coming to the iPad).

Opinion:  Okay.  I think reading a book on that small of a screen will be difficult, but we'll see.  I really like reading on my iPad, but it's big.  I also like the fact that PDFs can now be in a native app.

8. Stainless Steel case design

It doubles as the antenna for the phone and it gives it rigid stability.

Opinion:  Great.  Especially if it reduces the amount of calls I drop.  Looking at you AT&T.

9. Glass front and back

It has black (or white) Glass on the front and back of the phone as faces.

Opinion:  Am I going to scratch the shit out of this thing?  My iPhone glass hasn't scratched yet, so I feel okay I guess.  Whereas the plastic black of my iPhone 3GS is scratch city.

10. Extra Microphone for Noise Cancellation

There is now a Microphone on the top of the phone to listen to ambient noise and cancel it out.

Opinion:  If it's as good as the Jawbone, AWESOME.

Things that are missing still:

  • The ability to open a .ics file (Calendar invite) in Mail and add it to your calendar.  I mean, seriously?  It's not clear if iOS 4 will allow this, but we'll see.

  • Note syncing OTA.  Really?  I still have to plug in my iPhone to my laptop to sync notes?  No thanks, I'll use Evernote.

  • The ability for the "place" in a movie or song to auto-sync back to your actual library, through MobileMe, and down to other devices.  That way when I put down my laptop and pick up my iPad to watch the same movie, it's at the same place.


Chandler said…
Internet facing voice search, WHERE THE HELL IS IT?!
Joel Esler said…
In the google app.

Sent from my iPad
Chandler said…
True, but I'd rather it be integrated into the OS ala Android. I know Apple hates playing "me too" but that's a pretty big feature that I absolutely love from Android and would love to see.
Joel Esler said…
Again, I think this will be less of an issue when multitasking arrives. Switch over to Google app, do your search, switch back.

Not making excuses, cause I like that feature of Android the most. But it will be more tolerable I think.
Roland Dobbins said…
I've read more than 200 books on my iPhone via the Kindle App - it works surprisingly well. From the moment I started using the iPhone to read, my hardware Kindle gathered dust.

Now I use the Kindle App on both my iPhone & my iPad - each one simply picks up where I last left off reading on the other device.

iBooks is useless - little content, all of it overpriced. Amazon are the ones with the content, and their apps work just fine on both the iPhone and the iPad.
Joel Esler said…
Useless? No. I read books on my iPad, purchased from the iBook store all the time. Overpriced? No. Most of the publishers are the same as Amazon's prices. Amazon does have more content, I agree with that. No problem with it, I think it's great that there are platforms like this that exist to consume the media on.

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