I woke up today, turned on my laptop, and I’ve been “wow’ed” ever since. Even my father, who almost never pays attention to the computer industry told me that he heard about “a great new gadget from Apple that can do everything a computer does”.
With the exception of the embedded cameras on cellphones today, not much has changed in them, except for their sizes. In general, they all keep getting bigger. When I heard Steve Jobs talking about how many blackberry customers had also bough an iPod Nano, I instantly related to it. I’m one of those people! I don’t own a Blackberry, but the #1 reason I didn’t buy an iPod with video was because it was too big to carry in my pocket.
But “now”, now as in from June onwards (for Americans), you’ll be able to carry a wireless digital device around that is just about the same size as an iPod, but does everything your current cellphone does, but better, and most of the thing that your computer can do, but on the palm of your hand.
ForeverGeek readers, I give you the iPhone:
Continue reading to see what the whole “fuss” is about.
Steve opened up the iPhone introduction by saying that he had 3 products to unveil: a widescreen iPod with a
touch screen, a revolutionary phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device. In fact, all of the 3
products are in fact one. And the iPhone really does bring the best out of the 3 worlds into one small package,
without sacrificing any of the features that you’re used to.
If you’ve been reading the news for the past few months, you’ve certainly seen quite a big share of mockup
designs for the widescreen iPod. The iPhone’s interface is pretty much as you’d expect, but, it doesn’t have a
“virtual clickwheel”, as some expected, instead, you scroll through your files as you would on a PC, by simply
scrolling up and down. The only difference between the scrolling in an iPod or a PC and with the iPhone, is that
the scrolling has it’s own aceleration, therefore it speeds up when you start scrolling and slows down when you
stop scrolling, I found that small feature excellent.
What you’ll have on display when searching for the music or video you want is pretty much what you’d see on an
iTunes interface it you could only show one column. And when you’re playing a music file you’ll have this:
I hate to follow Steve’s “lullaby” speech to take us to wonderland, but damn, that looks really great (and it
reminded me a bit of the Zune’s interface, so despite it having bad sales, at least it showed that Microsoft did
do something right).
I’ll tell you a bit more about the videos in the next section of the article.
When Steve started talking about the phone functionality, the first thing that he made clear, is that the
killer app is making calls. And he couldn’t be more correct! Don’t take me wrong, I love my Sony Ericsson K750i,
it takes excellent photos (for a phone), has a pretty interface, but… it sucks at making calls. The sound
quality isn’t as good as my older Nokia 6230, nor is the quality of the signal that it manages to pick up.
If phoning with the iPhone is as good as Steve mentioned, then that should be one of the first reasons for
which someone would consider picking someone up. But from what I read so far from another
blogger, the sound quality is good and clear.
This is what looking at at Contact looks like in the iPhone:
Another thing which you’ve probably grown accustomed to doing on your cellphone, is taking and/or looking at
pictures. A small part of you probably see small videos on your cellphone, or carry around videos on a separate
the dice, like the PSP (like myself).
The iPhone does both of these things better than any other device out there. And why is that? Well, first of
all, because the software is quite fast, during the keynote, and with a version of the product that isn’t final,
he was able to browse through dozens of pictures, open and close movies, in hardly any time at all. And also,
Apple was able to finally solve one of the problems that has plagged many digital devices, including some of my
own, the problem with vertical and horizontal photos.
What problem is this? Well, when you’re viewing pictures on a cellphone (for example), and you have both
horizontal and vertically taken pictures, you either have to contempt yourself with a scaled-down version of the
picture depending on what type of screen you have, or, you have to rotate every single “odd” picture that doesn’t
fill your device’s screen to the max. Some devices, like my old Nokia 6230, don’t even allow me to rotate
pictures. To fix this issue, Apple placed a sensor, similar to the one used in the Nintendo Wii remote, that
allows it to detect when you turn your iPhone horizontally or vertically, and automatically rotates the image for
you to fit the position your screen is in. Brilliant!
Not brilliant enough? Well, in that case, how would you zoom in a picture on your cellphone? You’d have to go
to the menu, select a Zoom option, and wait patiently for the poor cellphone’s processor to do it’s magic. In the
iPhone, you simply touch the area you want to zoom in with two fingers, and then separate them aside to zoom in.
To Zoom out, just do the oposite gesture. And it’s all done fluently, no waiting, no slowing down, it’s all done
in front of your eyes like resizing a window with your picture in an OS.
In order to make the iPhone a revolutionary Internet device Apple hooked up with some of the best: Yahoo! and Google. What the iPhone has right now, or at least at the time in which it was presented, is Google Maps support, Mail support for all providers you can think of (with free Yahoo! “push mail” for iPhone owners), and Yahoo! and Google search straight on the browser (which is Safari btw). Don’t forget people that Yahoo! owns Flickr, so there is a big chance that we might be seeing more of Yahoo! in a near future, or on a future iPhone.
The browser is incredibly fast, and easy to use, pretty similar to browsing pictures. After watching Steve browsing through the New York Tymes website like it was nothing, I decided to try it out on my PSP. Although I can’t comment on the speed at which the paged loaded, because my connection is obviously as good as the one he had, it was terribly slow just to scroll the site, and for Steve it took only a second for the area he was scrolling to appear, and yes, you can also browse it with the iPhone horizontally:
Multi-touch touchscreen, Mac OS X, Wifi and EDGE, HTML email, video, photos, web-browsing, Google Maps…
Cellphone companies everywhere should start taking notes, THIS is how a cellphone should be.