I cheated and allowed an Appleinsider RSS feed post the news on the event day, but thought I would post my thoughts on the new iPhone now. Hopefully no one is sick of all the apple news yet as I still haven’t given a bit of a review with the iPad either.
Seeing the new features, design, and specs of the new iPhone make me really glad that I didn’t cave and get a 3GS last year. I knew that it would be worth it to wait it out, but had no idea just how big of a difference it would be. Some of the new features I’m excited about are multitasking/app switching, Faster processor, higher resolution display, video chat, and iMovie.
A lot of people in the tech crowd have criticized the multitasking by saying it is limited. And yes compared to some of the other phone OSes it is limited, but I feel it gets the job done with what most people would want. It allows Pandora to run in the background which is usually the first argument about the iPhones up to now lack of multitasking. This is the one that I can see your average consumer using the multitasking for. It also allows voice over ip services like Skype alert you of new calls which again is one of the main reasons you would want multitasking on the phone and the other that I feel most consumers would use are the background location services, so in this instance a gps app could continue to give you directions while your doing something else on the phone. There are a couple of others, but I think these are the big 3 that most want on a phone. You could argue that you would also want Instant Messaging running in the background all the time, but I still feel that the push notification do a great job with IM, so why waste the extra power/battery life on that.
Apple put the A4 processor into the new iPhone. This is the same as the one in the iPad and if you’ve used the iPad, you know it screams. My old iPhone feels really sluggish after using the iPad and I was hoping it would end up in the new phone. The big mystery that we won’t know until someone can dissect it, is the clock speed. The iPad A4 runs at 1GHZ and it would be great if it was the same speed. Either way it should be quite a bit faster than the 3GS which bumped up the speed to 600 mhz from 412mhz of the original iPhone and 3G model. So even if they went to 800mhz it would be quite a speed improvement.
The High Res display looks like it will be really amazing. One of the big things that everyone was criticizing Apple of as of late was the resolution on the iPhone. As many newer phones have improved quite a bit. The new iPHone has a resolution of 960×640 with 326 pixels per inch which makes it the King of phone displays right now. I’m sure someone will beat it in a few months, but no one can argue that it is an amazing display resolution for a phone. For comparison all iPhone models up to now were 320×480 with 163 pixels per inch, so that is quite the bump. This should make the text on a page really crisp and the detail on images should be much more noticeable.
The video chat is another cool feature. Apple is by no means to try this and many phones in Europe have had front facing cameras for years, but I feel Apple took the time to get it right. You call someone like you normally would and if they have an iPhone 4 a button highlights on the screen which you can tap and a video chat will start. Neither user has to do any kind of setup, signing up of services, or creating a buddy list. This really does set it apart from the other phones that I’ve seen. The only drawback right now is that you can only use this feature on WiFi. It was stated that they will be working with cellular providers to bring this to calls while just connected to cellular networks next year. I imagine they’ve got to work on the streaming codec to work with less bandwidth. Most of the time if I’m on a call anyway I’m at home or work where I am on a network, so it doesn’t bother me too much. At least we know it is coming.
Finally, Apple announced iMovie for iPhone. I was really impressed with this as it is like having a mini editing suite in the palm of your hand. You can edit multiple clips taken from the video camera on your iPhone and include titles, transitions, music, pictures, etc. I don’t imagine doing any large projects with this, but it does make for a nice quick cut that you could make that is better than just sending raw footage to someone. I think this could be even better if they made an iMove app for the iPad and who know that could very well be coming. From what I understand you can import videos from the iPhone to the iPad with the USB camera connection kit, so it would be fairly easy to do. The iMovie app runs $4.99 which seems like a steal to me.
So after all of that, Will I be getting an iPhone 4? Absolutely! I’m out of my AT&T contract, so I qualify for the $199 and $299 subsidized prizing of the new iPhone. I should be able to get around $250 for my old iPhone, so I will be paying about $50 for the upgrade. That will then be my primary phone for another two years. This year, like last, you can preorder online and have the phone shipped to your house. There won’t be any line waiting like the last time.