Top 8, err... 9 features of Apple iPhone 4

Top 8, err... 9 features of Apple iPhone 4

Summary: As expected, Steve Jobs announced the Apple iPhone 4 today at WWDC 2010. Here's a list of the top 8 (I mean, 9) features of the new phone.

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As expected, Steve Jobs announced the Apple iPhone 4 today at WWDC 2010. He highlighted 8 9 features as being particularly important in the new device:

1. All new design. The new phone is very thin, only 9.3mm. It has a stainless steel outer cover that doubles as the antenna for Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, UMTS, and GSM. There's a camera and LED flash on the back, and two microphones for noise cancellation (like the Nexus One). There's a black and a white version.

2. Retina Display. At 326dpi, the iPhone 4 has the densest display on the market. According to Jobs, 300dpi is about the limit that the human retina can distinguish at 10-12 inches away from the eye, so he's calling this the "retina display". It uses IPS technology for a wide viewing angle (just like the iPad) and has an 800:1 contrast ratio.

Using the same 3.5 inch diagonal size as the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 packs in 4 times as many pixels (960x640). Because the aspect ratio is exactly the same as older iPhones, no change is needed from developers and all old apps run unmodified. However, developers can include higher resolution graphics if they choose.

3. New processor. The iPhone 4 will use the same A4 chip used in the iPad. Along with a bigger battery, the chip provides up to 7 hours talk time, 6 hours 3G browsing, and 300 hours of standby. Up to 32GB of storage is provided.

4. Gyroscope. The new device has a real gyroscope in addition to the accelerometer that is standard now in most smart phones. The combination gives you 6-axis motion sensing. Developers can use a new CoreMotion API for extremely precise movements. The standard compass, proximity sensor, and ambient light sensor is there too.

5. Camera. The camera's megapixels have been increased to 5, plus they're using a backside illuminated sensor for higher quality. In addition to great pictures it will also record HD video, 720p at 30fps. Geolocation embedded for both photos and video. There's a camera in the front too (more on that later).

To go with the new camera, Apple has written a new app called iMovie for iPhone. It allows you to edit movies with transitions, music, titles, and so forth right on your phone. It's for sale now for $4.99 in the App Store.

6. iOS 4. Formerly called "iPhone OS 4", the new operating system has a ton of new features including multitasking, unified inbox, conversation threading, and so forth. Google will still be the default search engine on the iPhone but users will have the option of choosing Yahoo or Microsoft Bing.

The name change simply reflects that the same system will be running on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. The golden master candidate of iOS 4 is being released to developers today. iOS 4 will be free to all 3GS, 3G, and iPod Touch 2nd generation users on June 21st.

7. iBooks. The iBooks app that originally appeared on the iPad is now available for the iPhone as well. That includes a new capability to read any PDF files, and iBookstore integration. You only have to buy a book once and it's available on all your iOS devices. iBooks will automatically sync your place, bookmarks, and notes.

8. iAds. Advertisements allow developers to make money on free and low-cost apps in the App Store. With the new iAd platform, there's a standardized, supported platform to create in-app ads that don't bounce the user out into the browser. Apple sells and hosts the ads, and developers get a 60% cut via iTunes connect (the same way you get paid for your apps).

iAds will be enabled July 1st but Apple has been selling spots for 8 weeks. So far they've sold over $60 million. JP Morgan estimated the entire mobile ad market to be worth $250 million this year, so that's a significant number.

Originally Steve said he was going to highlight 8 features, but he couldn't resist adding "one more thing"...

9. FaceTime. Video calling makes its Apple debut on the iPhone 4. It works with WiFi only right now. You can set it up so the other person sees you (via the front camera) or what you're looking at (via the back camera). FaceTime is being proposed as an international open standard. It uses other standards like H.264, AAC, SIP, STUN, RTP, SRTP, TURN, and ICE.

So how much is all this going to cost you? With a 2 year contract, $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model. AT&T will let you upgrade to an iPhone 4 6 months earlier than usual if you re-up for another 2 years.

Preorders start June 15th, with the phone in stores on June 24th. 18 more countries in July, 24 more in August, and 40 more in September (total of 88 countries).

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Smartphones

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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67 comments
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  • Real gyroscope?

    Does it mean that iPhone now has a spinning gyroscope with electric motor inside? Or is it driven by vacuum pump like in the old airplanes? :)
    paul2011
    • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

      You won't see a spinning wheel in there. These things are built with tiny MEMS devices now. See for example:

      http://www.starlino.com/imu_guide.html
      http://www.analog.com/en/mems/gyroscopes/products/index.html
      http://tom.pycke.be/mav/92/kalman-demo-application
      http://invensense.com/mems/gyro/tripleaxis.html
      Ed Burnette
  • Hmm nothing new to report

    Guess by next year, iPhone will need more catching up to do. It barely met Android specs.
    Uralbas
    • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

      @Uralbas - Wow! So Android offers that kind of display? HD video recording and editing? Ads that don't take you out of the program you're in and face to face video calling? Oh Uralbas, guess you're just another mouth breathing Apple hater, rendering you not only irrelevant, but boring.
      gregv2k
      • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

        @gregv2k <br>yes ANDROID does !<br>get out of your bubble, you will find out that there is a big free world out there <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink"><br><br>ANDROID phone do that and even more, ALL android phones had an 800px plus screens for more than a year, the new HTC Evo 4G have a 4.3" screen ! and the incomming Dell Streak has a 5" screen for those who need a big screen.<br><br>the Evo 4G not only records HD 720p video but it also transfers it through an HDMI cable ! can the iPhone do that ? NOPE.<br>the Evo can also do video chat over 3G/4G network, unlike the iPhone which is limited to the WiFi ...<br><br>you have been in the cave for a long time, time to get out and freshen up.
        samiup
      • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

        @gregv2k
        The EVO has an 8MP camera if I'm not mistaken. iPhone is playing catch up, and they haven't even caught up.
        Droid101
      • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

        @gregv2k - mouth breathing? Seriously, how can you find using a derogatory term for someone with Downs Syndrome appropriate in any discussion?
        klockheed
    • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

      @Uralbas
      Let me know when Android Phones play music and video seamlessly like iPhone does until then I don't think there is nothing iPhone have to catchup with Android.
      --Ram--
      Ram U
      • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

        @Rama.NET - Play music and video seamlessly? Have you not used an Android? I stream music, podcasts and the like to it continually OTA with Grooveshark, Google Listen and other apps. With VLC and other apps you can stream video to it as well.

        I don't think the iPhone has to catch up to Android, except perhaps in its carrier selection, they're both fantastic.
        klockheed
      • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

        @Rama.NET <br><br>Does IPAD play video playlist of any kind of videos?? NO<br>Does IPAD allows you to click on a hyperlink in appointment?? NO<br>Does Iphone/Ipad supports bluetooth AVRCP profile?? NO<br>Does Iphone support Snooze feature for appointments?? NO<br><br>I hate that Iphone doesn't support Flash, but above are the issues open for years...apple just dont care to fix them cause they dont care about feedback...and thats why I know what you get is your luck rest dont expect, though try begging and steve might give you one day...<br><br><br>BTW I have Mac-Air,Ipad & Iphone and still waiting for a better product which allows me to do what its capable of...not what steve thinks I should be able to do...<br>

        Why multitasking , why teethering, why video chat now...cause apple was forced to provide that...cause competition is way ahead...

        Apple shares are going to go down now onwards...Mark my works...
        <br>Wake up abd be strong if you really want apple to listen to you!!
        heda_prakash
      • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

        @Rama.NET
        "Why multitasking , why teethering, why video chat now...cause apple was forced to provide that"
        exactly....when apple does something its so wonderful and revolutionary...in fact its just something apple was forced to make because compition is doing the same. interesting how apple's is always so much better tho right?? sheep sheep....baaa apple sheep
        doubleOseven
  • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

    I think my EVO compares rather nicely. I didn't read anything about a second camera (and the 1 camera is only 5 MP's?), having a larger screen, or 4G coverage. I also can swap a second battery and can get it insured if it passes away or is stolen.
    Meat45
    • Better read it again...

      @Meat45

      Um, I don't think you're EVO has two, front and rear (with LED flash) facing cameras (and megapixels are not the sole measurement of how good a camera is), your EVO (and no other smartphone for that matter) has such a high quality display, or an interface in which the inertia scrolling or pinch and zoom responses work as smoothly, or 220,000 apps, etc, etc. And you can get your iPhone insured.

      I love how these Apple haters love to compare a Ford Pinto to a Ferrari and have the Pinto come out on top!!
      ShazAmerica
      • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

        @ShazAmerica ...I'm pretty Apple-centric, but can report that the Evo does have two cameras as @Meat45 said, along with 4G in certain markets. The screen is a bit lesser as far as resolution goes, but it's a tough argument either way.
        Werd2U
      • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

        @ShazAmerica
        so apple puts a camera on the front and back of a phone and they magically revolutionize the mobile phone market? baaa baaa apple sheep....baaa baaa. i hardley think the iphone is a ferrari..its just this years model of an apple pinto. next year another companies pinto will be better and you'll still be defending your baaa baa iphone.
        doubleOseven
    • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

      @Meat45 Typical of Apple haters, a valiant effort at spinning the inferior to make it sound superior. Look, Meat45, it's not our fault you wasted your dough on the ridiculous EVO before the Apple announcement. But try to spare yourself some dignity by at least being somewhat accurate.
      gregv2k
      • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

        @gregv2k Talk about wasting money. Have to send your silly iAppleOwnsYourTechnologyWhatevers to Apple to get a new battery. What a rip off. I would prefer a real carrier and open, non-proprietary software on my smartphone. Guess that means Android.
        jgoode1
      • I was wrong the iPhone does have 2 camera's, but the carrier + plan = suck.

        @gregv2k
        Meat45
      • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

        @gregv2k
        just because he isn't an apple sheep and spent money on something else? wow.
        doubleOseven
    • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4: Top 8 features

      The EVO 4G's screen is bigger (4.3" vs. 3.5") but I'd love to see a version that has the iPhone's higher resolution. Both the EVO 4G and the iPhone 4 have 2 cameras, front and back.
      Ed Burnette