“One year and 11 days ago, our nation was swept by iPhone Mania… It was a stunning black slab of glass: a cellphone, a brilliant music and video player and the best pocket Internet terminal the world had ever seen. The huge, bright, touch-sensitive screen made it addictive fun to rotate, page through or magnify your photos, videos and Web pages,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times. “Today, the iPhone is in the hands of six million people. Clumsy touch-screen lookalikes from rival phone makers line the shelves.”
“This iPhone can bring you the Internet much faster. It can exploit AT&T’s third-generation (3G) cellular network, which brings you Web pages in less than half the time as the old iPhone,” Pogue reports. “As a handy bonus, 3G means that you can talk on the iPhone and surf the Internet simultaneously, which you couldn’t do before. There is, however, a catch: you don’t get that speed or those features unless you’re in one of AT&T’s 3G network areas… AT&T hastens to note that its 3G coverage will expand, and also that it will get even faster over time.”
“The other drastic change is the iPhone’s price: $200 for the 8-gigabyte model, $300 for the 16-gig. Those are terrific prices for a machine with so much sophistication, utility and power; a year ago, an 8-gig iPhone would have cost you $600,” Pogue reports. “The third improvement is audio quality, which has taken a gigantic step forward. You sound crystal clear to your callers, and they sound crystal clear to you. In fact, few cellphones sound this good.”
Then there’s the “App Store , a central, complete, drop-dead simple online catalog of new programs for the iPhone [and iPod touch]. Hundreds will be available when the store opens Friday, with thousands to follow. You browse, download and install new programs directly on the iPhone; they don’t have to be transferred from a computer, and you don’t have to hack the phone to use them. Most of the programs will be free or cheap,” Pogue reports.
“One coming program, called iCall, will give you free phone calls when you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot. Another, called G-Park, exploits G.P.S. to help you find where you parked… You can also expect to see a time and expense tracker, home-automation remote control, voice recorder, Etch-a-Sketch, a recipe box, tip calculator, currency converter, e-book reader and so on,” Pogue reports. “In short, the iPhone is about to become much more than a phone. And here’s the best part: the App Store is also available to the original iPhones and the iPod Touch.”
There’s much more in the full review – highly recommended – here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Citymark” and “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]