06. 08. 2009
iPhone 3G-S D-Day- June 19th!
Another summer, a new iPhone model. The highlights:
- Much faster phone in general, so apps will load faster, run better, less crashing.
- Way better battery life: Up to 12 hours of talk time on the 2G network (still 5 on 3G), 9hours of wifi Internet surfing, 10 hours of video playback.
-Voice dialing and Voice Control of iPod functions.
-3.0 Megapixel camera with video, at last, and in-phone video editing. MMS (multimedia messages with photos and video) will be supported but won't be available until the end of the summer.
-Built in compass (in addition to the GPS, of course) to further help the directionally challenged.
-Spotlight search: search across the entire iPhone for any search term- you don't have to look separately in your calendar, contacts, etc...
Bottom Line- Do you need it if you have an iPhone 3G?
I think yes. But I'm crazy and I also have an Android G1 phone, the Palm Pre, and, um, a few others. The improved battery life of the iPhone 3G-S is reason enough for me to upgrade. The added processor speed (makes the phone about twice as fast) helps too, if you're a power user or use a lot of apps. The compass is good if you can't find your way out of your own house, like me.
But... other than the battery, processor, compass, and voice controller, most of the upgraded features will be included in the iPhone 3.0 firmware upgrade, which will be available for free on June 17th. This uncommonly gracious move allows iPhone owners to play around with the new features before deciding if they need the upgrade to the new hardware.
Features included in iPhone firmware 3.0:
-MMS- again, this is not available until the end of summer.
-Tethering- sharing your iPhone's data connection via Bluetooth or USB, with your computer. This much-desired feature won't be available on the US carrier, AT&T until the end of the summer.
-The keyboard will finally work in landscape mode for Mail, text messaging, and Notes.
-Cut and Paste. This has been a much lamented shortcoming of the iPhone, but I haven't missed it much. Still, it will be very helpful to be able to copy text from web pages and put them directly into notes or emails.
-Spotlight search (searches across contacts, emails, calendar, notes, and iPod)
-Direct browsing and purchasing of movies, tv shows, and audiobooks.
-Mobile Me Find My Phone and Remote Wipe: You can find your phone if you lose it, even have it play a sound if it's in silent mode. When you log-in to Mobile Me, you can locate your phone on a map. Stolen? You can wipe the phone clean of all your personal data remotely and send an arresting officer to the thief automatically. Well okay, not the officer, but at least your private photos and info will be deleted.
-Sync your notes. This is much much needed, but I've found a great app called Notespark that does this already, in a free app that provides a much more robust memo-ing experience. Sorry, going into marketing speak. Been to too many press conferences lately.
-Shake shuffle. Shake the phone to bring up a random song.
Phew, I'm exhausted. Expect long lines on June 19th, but I predict smaller mobs than during last July's launch of the iPhone 3G. Most who want an iPhone already have one, and a pretty new one at that. Also, some people just shelled out for the Palm Pre (also a fun phone, review coming) this week, and will be happy with the multi-tasking it provides, as well as the physical keyboard. And most of the new features will be available in the free software update. Oh that software update will be for the iPod Touch as well, but will cost $9.99.
Pricing is as follows: $99 for the iPhone 3G (same phone, but much lower price point), $199 for 16 GB iPhone 3G-S, and $299 for 32 GB 3G-S.
More details at Apple.