It's Here At Last! The Apple iPhone
"The Apple iPhone has been released at MacWorld boasting more features than erm... well... than a REALLY big movie theatre. Alright, well horrible joke aside, take a look inside for more details..."
Published: 10th January 2007 | Source: Apple |10/01/07
Source: Apple + Engadget
Alright, so after years of speculation and a whole lot of wishing, the Apple iPhone has finally been released. Believe it or not, unlike most overly hyped releases, the iPhone may very well bring more to the table than anyone imagined. The "phone", if you can even call it that, is quite revolutionary - in fact, it doesn't even have any buttons. The iPhone is navigated all by a new "Multi-Touch" system, giving you precise control of what's happening on your iPhone and making it easy to navigate and use.
• Screen Size 3.5 inches
• Screen Resolution 320 by 480 at 160 ppi
• Input Method Multi-touch
• Operating System OS X
• Storage 4GB or 8GB
• GSM Quad-band (MHz: 850, 900, 1800, 1900)
• Wireless Data Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) + EDGE + Bluetooth 2.0
• Camera 2.0 megapixels
• Battery °° Up to 5 hours Talk / Video / Browsing
°° Up to 16 hours Audio playback • Dimensions 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches / 115 x 61 x 11.6mm Weight 4.8 ounces / 135 grams
When we hear "phone", we think "calls people", but apple seems to think "do everything I've ever wanted to do with any tech gadget". The iPhone can of course be used as a phone, but it can also be used as an iPod with an updated and even more beautiful interface, and a web browser. So I know what you're thinking... big deal, my phone has all of those features, and web browsing is nothing new, but you probably don't know, that no longer will you have to browse in the ugly zoomed in view of web pages, nope, the iPhone has a new Safari based browser that views web pages zoomed out and can be zoomed in to read important information or further analyze a picture.
Let's talk about the iPod interface. Big deal, I have an iPod, right? Wrong. This iPod is the whole shebang, with the ability to view pictures, listen to music, and watch widescreen video. This widescreen iPod has also been talked about for years, and finally we see it come out of the woodworks with all the controls you'll ever need on-screen.
Onto the Phone interface... Alright, we have a phone, self-explanatory. It calls, it texts, it takes pictures, nothing we haven't seen before. In Apple style, they have of course made it prettier, and much more fun to use. An on screen keypad is used for dialing numbers and the everyday contact list is still in use.
When looking at the new texting interface they have found some much more convenient ways of browsing things. When sending text messages from the average cell phone, to read your old texts or a conversation you texted with somebody, you have to go back through and skim your text messages and open each individual one, all messages from you in one folder, from others in another, which does nothing but make it a royal pain in the you know what. Apple has added a conversation like view of text messages, which let's you browse through old texts with ease.
Along with this nice arrangement of text messages, we have another new ways of looking at voice mails. Everyone is used to the "Press 1 to listen to your messages" clunky audio interface offered by most if not all major cell phone providers. However, the iPhone throws your voice mails into a visual interface, allowing you to see when and by whom the voice mail was left. This allows you to easily sift through your messages and pick out which ones are important and you need to listen to.
So moving onto the web browser. Alright, web browsing isn't exactly new on cell phones. Microsoft Mobile has had Internet Explorer for quite some time, but it uses a very annoying "zoomed in" interface where you have to browse all over a page to actually find what you want, while safari has integrated an interface where one can see most of a web page from the standard view and must zoom in to see text and such. This makes web browsing much easier and less frustrating. Along with the web browser, everybody's favorite Mac tools, the widgets, have been included. News, weather, and all our favorites are included, along with Google Maps so anyone can find directions on the go.
So how about this web page look? I say it isn't ugly and clunky, but that's almost hard to imagine. Really, it's actually quite nice as far as anyone can tell. The interface makes it easier to find the information you want efficiently, it is not just a feature tacked on to a phone, it is integrated with the use of OS X and usability in mind.
Need to check your email before going into the board meeting? Probably not, but you may need to check to see if you have any news jokes in your email before arriving at your friends house to sit around and play Counter Strike all night. The iPhone has you covered with integrated email checking that works with any IMAP or POP3 based email (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) and even displays the inappropriate pictures I'm sure you don't receive!
Moving on to the Widgets. There isn't much information on widgets so far, only what one can draw from the pictures. It seems like there will be a very nice looking weather widget and a stock market widget. I think it's safe to assume that more will be released in the future.
Along side there web features, there is a nice Google Maps interface which is integrated into the menu. This obviously coming in handy when on the go and you need to find directions, or finding the cool Firefox crop circle. Either way it's definately a plus to have.
So who exactly will be carrying the iPhone under their service? Well, judging from all the pictures, it's obviously Cingular. If you don't have Cingular, you better hope that your contract is up ASAP so you can pick one of this babies up!
The Apple iPhone, after all this time of speculation, is finally announced, and going to be released in June 2007. No one is sure how Apple kept such a revolutionary product this confidential, but they definately succeeded. They hope to have 1% market share by 2008, meaning ~1 million phones sold, and for anyone who can possibly afford it with a steep $600 price tag, I'm sure it is the only phone on their list.
So tell us what you think. Is this phone just a big fat waste of money, with plenty of better alternatives; or is it the one and only "phone" worth owning? Tell us how you feel in the forums.