The Apple iPhone 4 launches this Friday (Jul. 30) in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and 14 other countries. Is the phone suitable for business users? Here's my take on the latest iPhone after using it for work over the past 4 weeks:
- The iPhone 4's operating system (iOS 4) is the same as that running on the iPhone 3GS with the latest software update, so don't expect any new or different software features on the iPhone 4.
- I like the stainless steel frame around the phone and the glass front and back of the phone. The steel and glass design reminds me of skyscrapers--the phone looks more business-like and less like a toy. I'm not embarrassed to use the iPhone 4 at work.
- You need to wrap the rubber/plastic bumper around the steel frame to work around the antenna reception problem, making the phone look somewhat cheaper. But the phone feels thicker and more comfortable in my hand with the bumper. When you put the phone on a table, the bumper raises the glass front and back panels off the table, thus, protecting the glass panels from scratches.
- The iPhone 4 doesn't fit into the iPhone 4 charging dock with the bumper on. You need to remove the bumper if you want to use the iPhone charging dock.
- The Retina Display is densely packed with tiny pixels and is great for reading small text, like e-mail messages.
- The iPhone 4's 5-megapixel camera with LED flash is much better than the iPhone 3GS camera for snapping meeting notes scribbled on whiteboards. The camera may also be used to record video in 720p quality (1280 x 720 pixels), although the video quality is definitely worse than HD camcorders.
- FaceTime on the iPhone 4 is similar to 3G video calls, except that FaceTime works only on WiFi. Since the video quality for FaceTime is substantially better than 3G video calls, I may use it for troubleshooting IT problems remotely.
- For some apps, the iPhone 4 feels faster and more responsive than the iPhone 3GS. Check out this video.
Here's a useful tip for copying PDF documents into the iPhone 4's storage wirelessly: Install Dropbox on your PC or Mac, then drag and drop your PDF file into the Dropbox folder. On your iPhone, install iBooks and Dropbox from the App Store and launch Dropbox to open the PDF file. Tap the icon at the lower right corner to open the PDF file with iBooks. The PDF file will be stored in the iBooks storage and will be available for offline viewing. This trick works on the iPhone 3GS too.