“Now stop me if you’ve seen this.” And so Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 4 yesterday. Featuring stainless steel banding around the sides and a glass front, the iPhone 4’s “closest kin is a beautiful old camera.” It’s 24% thinner than the iPhone 3GS at 9.3mm thick, which Apple claims makes it the smallest smartphone on the planet or “a quarter thinner than something you didn’t think could get any thinner.” The three stainless steel bands surrounding the device that look very un-Apple actually serve two purposes: they add to the structural integrity of the device and double as antenna boosters. Smart.
The iPhone 4 has a 3.5″ display that has 78% the pixels of the iPad. With a resolution of 960×640 — or 4x the resolution of the first three iPhones — the iPhone 4 has four pixels where the other devices only had space for one for a total of 326 pixels per inch. Apple calls this “Retina Display” technology and says it translates to images and text so incredibly sharp that you’ll feel like you’re looking at a “finely printed book” instead of a mobile display. The display technology also means that apps will not have to be rescaled, so everything currently in the App Store will The display also has a 800:1 contrast ratio.
On the Apple iPhone website, we have the new iPhone OS 4, newly named iOS 4, updates:
- Multitasking – Now you can run your favorite third-party apps — and switch between them instantly — without slowing down the performance of the foreground app or draining the battery unnecessarily.
- Folders – Organize apps into folders with drag-and-drop simplicity. Get faster access to your favorites and browse and manage up to 2160 apps.
- Even better Mail – See messages from all your accounts in a unified inbox, organize messages by threads, open attachments in third-party apps, and more.
- 5x digital zoom – Get closer to your subjects by zooming in up to 5x.
- Tap to focus video – While shooting video, tap the display to choose where to focus.
- Faces and Places in Photos – View photos based on who’s in them and where they were taken.3
- Home screen wallpaper – Change the background wallpaper on your Home screen.
- Spell checking – A built-in spell checker works in Mail, Notes, and other apps.
- Wireless keyboard support – Pair a keyboard based on Bluetooth wireless technology with your iPhone.
- Compatibility – iOS 4 works with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G. Not all features are compatible with all devices. For example, multitasking is available only with iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS.
My takes? Multitasking, finally. So long as it runs with every app. As far as I know, the multitasking selection is limited. App folders are going to be nice, I have 12 pages of apps and they’re out of control. Unified mail boxes should have been around awhile ago. Digital zoom update and focus-video I am guessing will be a iPhone4 thing only, but who knows! I can’t wait to put my idle bluetooth keyboard to good use, assuming it functions as it should.