The iPhone 4 has
finally been announced, so we finally know what this year has in store for the
consistently dominant iPhone technology.
Here is a detailed look at the ins and outs of what the fourth
generation has in store for us, where it jumps forward in time, and where we
have a little bit of disappointment.
The iPhone touch screen is going to maintain the same 3.5
inch display as before, except this time with the Retina Display that has
changed the expectations for pixel density.
The iPhone 4 over all design is much smaller than before at a width of
only 9.33 mm, but across and height are obviously the same as this is dictated
by the size of the iPhone's touch screen.
The casing is in sheik stainless steal, which is what is going to act as
the perfect transmitter for Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, Wi-Fi with available
networks, and the rest of those elements that the iPhone syncs up with. The white and black binary color dynamic
remains the same, so it may still be hard to pick out the iPhone 4 from the
iPhone 3Gs right off the bat.
Under the Hood
With the iPad Apple unveiled the A4 chip set, and this has
now been ported over to the iPhone 4.
The inclusion of this A4 chip is going to be somewhat substantial for
the iPhone 4 as it will increase speed noticeably. The rechargeable lithium ion battery is a
staple of the iPhone and is extended to the iPhone 4. It has the ability to maintain power for
seven hours of talk time on 3G and a fabled amount of stand by time at a limit
of three hundred hours. You can get
about six hours of internet life if you are browsing using the 3G network, but
about ten hours on the iPhone 4's Wi-Fi.
You will be able to listen to music for almost forty hours on a full
iPhone 4 battery charge, and ten hours of video playback.
The iPhone's own Retina Display refers to the ability of
their new touch screen resolution to basically challenge the ability of your
retina to actually absorb all of the resolution. This may be necessary for the capture of HD
video from the iPhone's camera and the viewing and editing of HD video. There is also incredibly finger print
resistant coating on the touch screen, which may justify the lack of screen
covering on the iPhone Bumper case.
iPhone 4 Video
The video function is a major aspect of the iPhone 4 design,
which is especially indicated by the Retina Display. With the new upgrades to the iPhone 4, Apple
has legitimized this mobile phone as a real format for viewing videos. The iPhone 4 supports the H.264 compression extending
to 720p as well as different specifications with the support of MPEG-4, Motion
JPG, and different other specified formats and audio architectures that
maximize those formats. The number of
formats for the iPhone has always been fairly limited, likely provoked by
Apple's business in supporting iTunes', but here we see that they are at least
pushing professional video formats.
Camera: Still and Video
The iPhone camera is directly tied in to its support for HD
video in that it has the ability to record video at 720p HD up to thirty
FPS. This is an incredible asset, and
part of the reason that iMovie has been announced in accordance with the iPhone
4 release. To match this the iPhone 4
holds a five megapixel camera, which also comes in incredibly handy for still
photographs. There developments are
helping to bridge the gap between consumer image and video technologies and
force them toward centralization within the mobile device realm. The hardware itself has taken a major
overhaul now that the iPhone 4 support an LED flash, which extends another
professional hand to the iPhone camera.
The camera itself has the ability to point from the back or the front,
on the same side as the touch screen.
This is done so that the iPhone 4 can support video chat with FaceTime,
a new tool from Apple to be used as a complete video chat system within the
iPhone. Geotagging is also going to be a
major part of video and photo from the iPhone 4 camera, and will likely be a major
part of internet focused video and photography in the era of social networking.
Science of Sound
The iPhone 4 continues its full sound frequency range from
20 Hz to 20 kHz, which promises for a full dynamic range as well. This is also reflected by the accompanying
headphones, which also come with a speaker and remote so you can easily use
them during phone calls. This is going
to be limited through the audio compression used to get your files onto the
iPhone, but since they have somewhat expanded on their audio formats this may
not be as much of an issue. There is not
as much of an upgrade to the iPhone audio playback with this fourth generation,
but you can still expect that this iPod backbone will remain just as consistent
as it has been in the past.
You've Got Mail
The iPhone Mail section has always been important and this
is continued in iPhone 4. The Mail
section supports most of the necessary files for attachments, including .doc,
.jpg., .pdf, .vcf, and .txt. The same
major email supporters have primary placement up front, and it would have been
nice to see a few new faces to attack the Gmail dominance.
The iPhone sensors play a major role in how the device is
commonly used. These all work in concert
to interact with a device that is fundamentally different in what it asks from
its users than those that came before.
Here the iPhone 4 has in place the accelerometer, the proximity sensor,
the three axis-gyro, and the ambient light sensor. These all work great, even a little nicer now
that the iPhone has shed a little extra baggage from its back side.
Multitasking has been one of the most demanded features
lacking from the iPhone, similar to video, MMS messaging, and Copy and Paste
before recent updates. With the iPhone 4
you will finally have the ability to multitask with multiple iPhone
applications running by going through recently used apps. Whether or not this will be as useful as it
sounds remains to be seen, and we'll see if it really is modeled after a
multiple application format on which home computers are built.
The iPhone 4 is coming in at a basic and accepted price set
up. With a two year AT&T contract,
and upgrade, you can get the 16GB iPhone 4 for only $199 or the 32 GB for
$299. This actually sets up the older
iPhone 3Gs to clock in at only $99, which is a steal for a device that is still
remarkably similar in terms of all fundamental features.