“Despite the strong initial, positive reaction, this must still be a nerve-racking time to be Apple; the iPhone is no longer the only worthy contender. Phones running Google’s Android software are gaining rave reviews and packing in features that iPhone owners can only envy. The Android app store is ballooning, multiple phone makers are competing, and Google updates the software several times a year. Apple releases only one new model a year, so the new iPhone had better be pretty amazing to compete,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times.
“It is,” Pogue reports.
“The new phone uses the same custom chip that’s in the iPad; it’s really, really fast. It makes a difference every time you tap the touch screen” Pogue reports. “It’s not the first phone with both a front and back camera. It’s not even the first one to make video calls. But the iPhone 4 is the first phone to make good video calls, reliably, with no sign-up or setup, with a single tap. The picture and audio are rock solid, with very little delay, and it works the first time and every time. This feature, called FaceTime is pure Apple.”
Pogue reports, “However, you can enjoy this classic ‘show Grandma the baby’ fantasy only if you and Grandma both have the iPhone 4, and only when you’re both in strong Wi-Fi hot spots. Both limitations may change in time; other software companies are free to create FaceTime-compatible programs for other gadgets. And Apple implies that next year, you’ll be able to make such calls over the cellular airwaves. Clearly, Apple is giving its ball and chain, AT&T, time to get its network ready.”
Pogue reports, “The new screen, with greater contrast, is excellent. It packs in four times as many pixels as before; at 326 dots an inch, it’s now the sharpest phone screen on the market.”
“Now, peculiar as it may sound, phone calls have always been the iPhone’s weak spot. It took too many steps to dial. Audio quality wasn’t state-of-the-art. And from Day 1, dropped calls in several big cities have driven people there wiggy,” Pogue reports. “With the iPhone 4, Apple tried to relieve the wigginess. Sound is much better on both ends of the call, thanks in part to a noise-canceling microphone and an improved audio chamber (which also helps speakerphone and music sound). The stainless-steel edge band is now part of the antenna…. Does any of this mean no more dropped calls in New York and San Francisco? No. But there do seem to be fewer of them.”
Read the full review here.
MacDailyNews Take: Ball and chain.