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Monday May 20th 2024

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Apple iPhone 4 Features + Apple iPad update

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Steve Jobs invoked the Apple iPad, then unveiled the Apple iPhone 4 to the audience at WWDC  (World Wide Developers’ Conference) held in San Francisco on Monday, June 7th, as most of the Mac world anticipated. After opening his address by discussing a few nice updates to Apple’s new iPad, he introduced Apple’s latest generation of its smartphone, and as its image appeared on the immense screen, Jobs said, “I don’t know if  you’ve ever seen this…”

And that familiar shape, from the pages of Gizmodo, was there on the big screen above him.

There’s a rumor that Apple’s made an ad that jokes about the prototype loss, starring John Hodgeman of  the original “I’m a PC” fame. It supposedly takes place in a bar, where a young nerd is drinking too much… I definitely hope this is more than rumor and we get to see it. And for the favorable publicity, I hope Apple relents and makes peace with Gizmodo. They were not invited to this conference.

This unveiling comes quickly after the party the world gave for the Apple iPad, and the utter success of that launch allowed Jobs to be very brief on improvements of the iPad. This conference was really all about the iPhone.

Still, a couple of welcome items about the Apple iPad:

1) They’re adding PDF document viewing.

2) Apps such as the iBooks are improved; for instance you’ll be able to take notes in your iBooks. The bigger thing, though, is that iBooks will be available to the iPod Touch (2nd gen. or later) and iPhone too.

3) Certain other things, like the eBay app and the Netflix app which livestreams movies to iPad, will be available on iPhone 4 also, this summer.

The progress of apps development, and the success of the participating developers was lauded, and Marc Pincus, the owner of Farmville, one of the most popular games in the Apple App Store, spoke. An endearing quote from him: “I’m most excited about how good tractoring just got.”  Farmville for iPhone? Now available.

Jobs then said a few nice things about HTML 5 ( look at these amazing demos: http://www​.apple.com​/html5/ ), which we all know he loves while he does NOT love Adobe Flash for its battery hungry ways, supposedly …. and then gave all his attention to the new phone in town.

He announced a new operating system, called iOS 4. This is what iPhone 4 will be using.

A summary of the information given in his talk —

1. IPHONE 4 INTRODUCED. Jobs called it “the biggest leap since the original iPhone” and raved about its design. “Glass on the front and back, and steel around the sides.” The glass is a special kind developed by Apple, 30 times harder than plastic. Jobs compared it to a “beautiful old Leica camera.”

Cost: $199 for 16 GB, $299 for 32 GB.

On sale June 24th. Pre-orders start June 15th.

2. Some iPhone 4 Specs:

*New OS for iPhone announced: iOS 4.

*Thin, it is just 9.3 mm thick.

*Has two cameras, one front-facing for Video Calls and one on the back. These went from 3 megapixel to 5 and increased photon capture to aid in low-light photography. 5X digital zoom. LED flash/video light. Tap to focus picture. HD (720p) video recording too. You can record, edit, and email video right on the phone.

* 2 Microphones, noise suppression for clearer sound and reduced background noise.

* iMovie for iPhone is $4.95 in the App Store.

* iBooks for iPhone 4 will be available and will look like it does currently on Apple’s iPad.

* iBookstore right on the phone. (This will also be available on the iPod Touch.)

* Integrated antennas

* Retina Display offers Increased pixel density: 326/inch, better than the human eye. Has four times what the old iPhone had, or nearly 2/3 of the pixels the iPad has. Results in dramatically sharpened images and fonts. Increase was from 163×163 pixels/inch to 326×326 pixels/inch. No longer can you see the individual pixels / dots. Backlighting is LED.

* 3.5 inch, 960×640 screen resolution, a huge increase from 320×480.

– Old resolution: 153,600 pixels (320×480)  New: 614,400 (960×480). 4x. This is a huge difference for viewing videos, movies, and photos.

* Almost unscratchable/unbreakable screen and rear panel, 20-30x stronger than plastic, made out of a glass so tough it is used in helicopter windshields.

* New CPU – the same fast, power efficient A4 processor used in the Apple iPad.

* Smart Multitasking – applications can not drain the battery at will

* Bing Search added as an option to Google Search

* Increased battery life due to the battery being 40% larger.

Battery life, according to usage:

3G talk — 7hrs

Browsing, 3G — 6 hrs

Browsing, WiFi — 10 hrs

Video — 10 hrs

Music — 40 hrs

Standby — 300 hrs

*3-Axis Gyroscope, for precision sensing of motion and tilt – allowing remarkable gaming ability. This is the first phone in the world with this feature.

*Videocalls enabled for WIFi only, iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 only. This capability is called FaceTime. It can switch from the front camera to the back camera to show people what you are seeing. This feature offers an alternative to SkypeMobile, and a smack to VerizonWireless, I guess, if it goes beyond the U.S. as I expect it to.

*Accessories: Dock, called aBumper”. $29

3. Things Not Mentioned

What Jobs did not discuss was 4G connectivity, an advanced broadband network, that would be (not) be provided by carrier AT&T, or some other. And that’s rather vital:  4th generation refers to both the phone itself and the technology to improve the speed and integrity of data signals. He made some fleeting mention of carriers, but didn’t explain anything at all.

Also — Do they plan to unlock it in a reasonable period of time? Sprint in the U.S. is ready with 4G, but is any other broadband company? The international launch in France, Germany, UK,  and Japan will also be June 24th, with 22 more nations in July to receive the iPhone 4, and it’s likely they’re more prepared than we are here.

4. A Few More Good Things

Jobs announced that a free upgrade would be offered by AT&T to current  iPhone customers if your contract expires this year. This means you can get the new iOS 4 on your iPhone 3GS, 3G, and iPod Touch, too, except for the 1st generation. There are some limitations to the iOS 4 features you can utilize for some of these devices, as you might expect.

— Nearly all of the new info and features look pretty great. The increased capability of the cameras is a good thing, since many digital cameras of the smaller sort are not getting that much better, especially in low light. Apple rightly is addressing this problem.

— And Videocalls (without a clunky iSight camera hookup)? Wonderful.  Plus NetFlix Movies streaming right to the phone.

— The book Winnie the Pooh, given out free in the iBookstore, is now more famous than ever.  We expect the Heffalump to be on Dancing With The Stars any time now.

In conclusion, Apple has a home run here.  This is a break through smart phone offering a stunning new display, longer battery life, tougher screen and case, less bulk, better sound, ground breaking video conferencing utilizing dual cameras, HD Videos at a smooth 30 frames/sec, a low noise 5 megapixel camera, and position sensors that will allow game and application programmers to build knockout applications.    This is remarkable engineering, indeed.


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