Tag Archives: iphone

Wherefore art thou, iPhone? (Part I)

Alternate title: iPhone 4 review. ‘Cos this is what this is.

It’s just a phone, guys.

Aha, but you see, dear reader, that is where the distinction ends. It’s a phone, but it’s also a gateway to the Internet. An incredible communication device. An excellent media player. A brilliant email client. And even a capable games console.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the iPhone 4.

As I stood outside T-Life Northgate, eagerly lining up for the midnight launch of the most anticipated smartphone yet, some Optus-reseller employee comes up to us. After a short chat about mobile telco’s (there is no comparison between Telstra and Optus, especially in Tasmania), he decided to give us a sneak-peek at his stores’s demo unit. A couple of hurriedly-tweeted TwitPics later, some Angry Birds launch-time speed tests between the 4, a 3GS and a 3G, and not a few “oohs” and “aahs” at that gorgeous retina display, and our iPhone 4 lust hit fever pitch.

That last hour was the longest hour of my life. But it was cool, because I got to spend it chilling with some very cool Apple camaraderie – who provided an ample supply of entertainment, gummy bears, and decent conversation. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

After what seemed like an age (but in reality was only five hours) I was second into the store, behind the very nice man who had provided my night’s transport – I felt I owed him that much, at least. Out again not 20 minutes later, one 32GB iPhone 4 in hand, I was the first out – beating the first guy in by mere seconds. The front half of the line (which by now spanned more than 100 people, easily) applauded me as the first to emerge from the T-Life gauntlet, and I was the first person in Tassie with the Apple’s most highly-coveted offering so far.

Bringing it home later that night (or early that morning, as the case was) and setting it up from the comfort of my own bed was an absolute joy. Downloading my most frequently used apps, setting my email, Twitter, Facebook, IM accounts – the first thing I noticed was how much faster the thing was. Downloads, installs, any operation at all, just flew along. Sheer unadulterated speed oozing from every animation, every transition, every app launch, every fast app switch. And no keyboard lag!

Early the next morning I took out my cut up SIM (that I had converted from a mini-SIM to a micro-SIM the night before with my handy-dandy SIM cutter), and put in the official micro-SIM that had been provided as it had been activated and was ready to go. No dramas there.

Spent the whole of Friday babying the thing – the whole experience wasn’t as “wow” as it was when I originally got an iPhone almost two years ago now, but it was still a worthy upgrade (thanks in part to iOS 4 suffering serious performance issues on an iPhone 3G). Again, speed was the most noticeable thing here – the phone was markedly more responsive. It kept me entertained through dull Games Physics lectures, and was an excellent public-transport companion thanks to the small music selection I had synced on earlier that morning.

The camera is nothing short of amazing. The colours of any photo just “pop”, and it’s nice to finally have a camera that has an autofocus that actually works – which means macro photos are now able to be taken without any of that blurriness the 3G camera exhibited. While I haven’t yet used the video camera for any serious purpose, I’m sure the opportunity will eventually arise.

While the screen is the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever laid eyes on (if I had a girlfriend this sentence would read differently), to be honest you have to be looking pretty hard to notice the difference in everyday things (typing out messages, – maybe it’s because I’m using it with an anti-glare screen protector (which sacrifices screen clarity for a more matte look [as opposed to the glossy]), or maybe it’s because my eyesight is absolutely terrible. Either way, the difference is figuratively night and day when placed to a previous-generation device like the iPhone 3G or 3GS (as they have the same screen). Text is one of the things that benefits the most from the much higher pixel density and improved screen tech (IPS vs traditional TN) – increased contrast and no more jagged edges means text is now clear as, well, crystal. The new font is a welcome change as well!

Technologically, it’s very impressive – the best mobile display on the market paired with an impressive (but not exhaustive, Apple aren’t known to have features for the sake of it) feature list, and one of the best smartphone platforms on the market today? A winning combination, indeed.

Bookmarks Clearout, Part I

Few of my bookmarks I had long since forgotten about (warning: most of these are pretty old). I’ll assume these were for blogging, so here you are, in no particular order:

Here ends the bookmarks.

A message to the Internets regarding the iPad

Today Apple announced the iPad. Amazingly it did not fulfill every expectation that was floating out there. Most importantly, it does not fulfill every, specific desire you have and expected. The rumor machine of tech web sites promised you so much more.

Oh noes.

Let me explain it clearly and talk you off the ledge before you go and do something stupid.

Remember way back to January 2007, when the iPhone was announced? Oh Internets, you wailed and gnashed your teeth endlessly. No 3G network? No MMS? No apps on the iPhone? No replaceable battery? Oh, your complaints were endless. You were sure that the iPhone was doomed because it didn’t meet all your requirements.

And what happened? Well, Apple has sold 40 million iPhones. FORTY MILLION. They have become the largest mobile device company in the world.

So today, you moan on and on about all the features you expected and demand in the iPad. What no Verizon? No two-way camera? It’s not weightless? A full half inch thick? Only 10 hours of battery life? You make tons of predictions on the success and failure with scant details and without ever actually trying one.

via Cruft: A message to the Internets regarding the iPad.

You’ll forgive me that this is a little old – what was being said then still applies now, on the verge of the US launch of the iPad.

Why Most Touchscreens Miss the Point

One reason why Apple’s touch sensor is so sensitive to light touch is that the company uses a 12-volt power source for the sensing lines in the touchscreen sensor, versus the 3- to 5-volt power source that most other component manufacturers have. That higher voltage drive takes a toll on the battery life because it uses up more power, but it also translates into more accurate sensing, which means a better touch experience, say researchers at Moto.

via Finger Fail: Why Most Touchscreens Miss the Point | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.

Nexus One from an iPhone Developer’s Perspective

Overall, it’s just a general lack of attention to detail that defines the differences between the iPhone and the Nexus One, and that lack of attention to detail exists on both the hardware and software side. The Nexus One isn’t a bad phone by any stretch of the imagination. Had it come out three years ago, it would have been revolutionary. But you do have to train yourself to Android’s idiosyncrasies much more so than the iPhone. If you’ve never owned or used an iPhone, you’ll probably find the Nexus One to be a very adequate device and will assume that the minor annoyances are just part of owning a smart phone. If you’ve owned an iPhone for any length of time, you’ll likely feel, as I do, that it’s a rather half-baked device with some good ideas but generally weak execution.

via iPhone Development: Nexus One from an iPhone Developer’s Perspective.