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01. 09. 2007

Apple finally releases the iPhone

iPhone.jpg

The iPhone is now a reality, and it looks like a very handy device running an embedded form of OS X. By combining all the best features taken from Palm, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Apple's own iPod, the company has created a device that doesn't do everything, but does all the fun stuff very well. This could just be the single device that a lot of us have wanted, but be prepared to wait. The domestic rollout isn't until June, and Asia won't see the phone until 2008!

The form factor is similar to an iPod: 4.5 inches tall, 2.48 inches wide, but still very slim at 0.46 inches thick. There are no controls other than a single Home button as everything else is done through the touch screen. The official numbers are 5 hours of talk time, and any video usage comes out of that five hours. Strictly as a music player, the iPhone will deliver sixteen hours of play, and that's about on par with my Nano. The 4GB model is going to cost $499 with a two year cellular contract, and the 8GB is $599.

Go below the fold and dish through the demo screens with me!

I'd just like to say a mighty thanks to MacRumors. I jumped on their feed to watch the keynote live because my other sources were having technical difficulties. The above image is from the nice kids at Engadget's coverage.

widescreenvideo.jpg

First, it's an iPod audio/video device, and the 3.5 inch screen works great for video in portrait mode with a resolution of 480x320. The iPhone will reformat the display depending on the orientation, and wide screen video has been on a lot of wish lists.

audiointerface.jpg

The actual A/V interface reminds me of a prettier Zune; so there's nothing exciting there. Scrolling is pretty neat, though. Accelerometers in the touch screen allow for "flicking" through a list. Drag the finger across the screen quickly and lift the finger; the list will continue to scroll until it runs out of momentum. Great idea, Apple.

Sadly, there's no downloading songs and video directly from iTunes. You'll have to sync up from a computer to add media.

onacall.jpg

As a phone the iPhone looks acceptable if a bit large. The sound quality in the samples were good, and it's easy to merge conference calls. The biggest feature is the Visual Voicemail that was unveiled, and it's something that we've all been eagerly awaiting. No more listening to all the messages in my inbox now that I can just select the one I want to hear on the phone screen. I've been using GotVoice for the same type of thing, but Apple's implementation on the device is all kinds of wonderful.

addressbookdial.jpg

The contacts interface isn't as easy to use as it could have been. My Treo allows me to scroll all numbers in the list, and the iPhone user first selects a name, and then the individual number. Bad idea, Apple.

horizontalreading.jpg

Where the iPhone shines is as an internet device. By making full use of the multisensor touch interface Apple's team has implemented an intuitive method for zooming, moving, and typing. To zoom in on an area: Put two fingers apart on the screen and drag them together to close. This "Pinch" tells Safari to zoom in on a small section. It's invaluable for reading webpages on a small device, and I've been waiting for a company to use the technology.

starbucksmap.jpg

Google and Yahoo integration both figure heavily into the integrated experience of the phone. Integrated GPS combined with Maps.Google will deliver localized search, and Yahoo's push IMAP email will offer service comparable to what Blackberry users love. Innovative? No. Convenient? Aww yeah.

The last really great web feature is the use of Widgets. These little end user apps allow for single minded functionality, and work the exact same way as their OS X counterparts.

weatherwidget.jpg

Wireless earpieces are a definite with Bluetooth, but data service is via EDGE as the phone is currently a Cingular exclusive (I'm very disappointed). Hopefully users will be able to avoid big data transfer fees by using the auto sensing b/g Wifi, but expect iPhone plans to be a bit pricey.

Tomorrow we'll take a look at the other MacWorld announcements, and go in-depth on the new AppleTV!

Posted by Johnny    Category: devices | feature
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Comments (10)

erik:

What kind of screen type has the Iphone? LCD or OLED?

PJ:

At what point is it a PDA with phone capabilities instead of a phone with extras?

Denise:

First of all it's nice to be part of a discussion that isn't not saying how bad other current smart phones are and how they and the companies and designers suck and deserve to be eradicated from the market. Posting like that do nothing but attempt to show "how intelligent I am by trashing another product". I hate to use a gender stereotype but it seems to be a regular occurrance on some of the tech forums. If you don't like something, say so civilly and then don't buy it.

That said, I think the concept of the Iphone is great, however I don't see myself giving up my treo 680 or 60gb video ipod for a few reasons. The first being space, I like the fact that I can carry my entire music collections plus several movies and photos with me. The iphone at least for the time being has storage comparable to the nano. Which is sufficient for a lot of people needs. The 2nd thing is that most of us customize our smart phones and use 3rd party products. i have a good 20 or so palm appls that I consider essential. The lack of 3rd party appls was what made me give up my Nokia e62 (a brief detour between the treo 650 to ther 680). lastly, I carry a purse carrying an ipod and a phone dsen't make a size or weight difference for me. I also carry a digital camera. What are others thoughts?

Bobbelieu:

Anyone know if the iPhone (an Apple product) will play nice with my Windows PC for syncing?

I seriously lust for this widget.

B~

lukas:

I don't think it has GPS or AGPS. Steve searched for Moscone West to pinpoint his location and there is no mention of GPS on Apple's website. I double checked the keynote to make sure. That's not to say they won't add GPS before it is completely finalized but people are getting there hopes up for something that has not yet been promised

Denise:

It is supposed to be windows compatible. It will probably, like the ipod it will update quicker on a mac than it does on windows, but works the just the same. The apple site has all the tech specs for it.
http://www.apple.com/iphone/

Roger Smith:

iPhone is available with Cingular ONLY!? And what if I am stuck under contract with a carrier OTHER than Cingular but still want a iPhone?

Well, the only solution I could fine was http://www.Cellswapper.com - they get you out of any cell phone contract!

Roger Smith:

iPhone is available with Cingular ONLY!? And what if I am stuck under contract with a carrier OTHER than Cingular but still want a iPhone?

Well, the only solution I could fine was http://www.Cellswapper.com - they get you out of any cell phone contract!

Roger Smith:


iPhone is available with Cingular ONLY!?
And what if I am stuck under contract with a carrier OTHER
than Cingular but still want a iPhone?
Well, the only solution
I could fine was http://www.Cellswapper.com -
they get you out of any cell phone contract!

elly:

this is the coolest!!!

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