Apple announces iPhone 4

By on June 7, 2010 at 1:32 PM.

Apple announces iPhone 4

iphone-4-facetime

“Now stop me if you’ve seen this.” And so Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 4. 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.

Moving on the the processor. Yes, indeedy, the iPhone 4 is powered by an Apple-designed A4 SoC. Apart from providing raw power, the A4 also sips juice from the battery as opposed to gulping it. This means the iPhone 4 is good for 7 hours of 3G talktime, 6 hours of browsing over 3G, 10 hours of browsing over Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music and 300 hours of standby. As expected, 802.11n Wi-Fi is included as is a quad-band HSDPA radio capable of 7.2Mbps down and 5.8Mbps up. The iPhone 4 also introduces a dual-mic system for noise cancellation and a gyroscope which combined with the accelerometer allow for 6-axis motion sensing.

The iPhone 4’s main camera weighs in at 5 megapixels. What makes it special, according to Apple, is its backside illuminated sensor. This allows more photons to bombard the sensor resulting in better low-light photos. A sole LED flash straddles the camera sensor. Digital zoom tops out at 5x, while video capture has been stepped up to shoot 720p at 30fps. The LED flash is fully functional when capturing videos.

Not included with iPhone 4 but to be available in the App Store for $4.99 is iMovie. iMovie for the iPhone is pretty much what you’d expect — that is if you were expecting a feature-rich mobile movie editing application that’s capable of manhandling 720p videos. You can rearrange clips by dragging them about; add in photos, transitions, titles, and music; and use geolocation so you’ll have no excuses for forgetting exactly where you were when you shot the film.

And then there’s the front-facing camera. It runs the open application FaceTime. Apple is currently working with wireless providers to bring forth bonafide 3G video calls, but as far as 2010 is concerned you’re stuck with Wi-Fi. If for some reason you don’t want the person you’re calling to see your mug — or perhaps you just want them to see what you’re looking at — you can switch from the front-facing camera to the 5MP camera on the back.

So when can you get the iPhone 4? If you live in the US, UK, Germany, France or Japan you’ll be able to pre-order it on June 15th and pick it up on the 24th. In the US, AT&T will sell the 16GB model for $199 and the 32GB model for $299 (both assuming a 2-year contract). At an unspecified time in July, 18 other countries — Canada included — will get the iPhone. Oh and how could we forget? The iPhone 4 will be available in both black and white. More →

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AT&T kills off unlimited smartphone data, announces cheaper rates

By on June 2, 2010 at 5:58 AM.

AT&T kills off unlimited smartphone data, announces cheaper rates

att-logo-GOOD

Ladies and Gentleman, unlimited smartphone data from AT&T is a thing of the past. Or at least it will be as of June 7th. Starting that day, AT&T will introduce two new data plans to replace its current $30 unlimited smartphone plan. Without a bunch of preamble and crying over the changes, here’s the skinny on the plans that AT&T says will make it possible for “more affordable for more people to enjoy the benefits of the mobile Internet.”

DataPlus

  • 200MB of data for $15 per month. AT&T says this will be enough data to meet the needs of 65% of its smartphone users. If you go over the 200MB cap, AT&T will charge you $15 per 200MB of overages.

DataPro

  • 2GB of data for $25 per month. According to AT&T, only 2% of its smartphone customers manage to blow through more than 2GB of data per month. Go over the limit and you’ll be charged $10 per GB.

Tethering

  • Smartphone users that want tethering and have a DataPro plan can add the feature for $20 per month. This means you’ll be sharing 2GB between your phone and your laptop for $45 per month. Not great at all, but remember this: A 5GB data card plan costs $60 per month. This means — with overages — you’ll be able to have 5GB of smartphone and tethering data for $75 and not have to worry about two contracts. Oh, and “Tethering for iPhones will be available when Apple releases iPhone OS 4 this summer.” About bloody time.

iPad

  • The $29.99 unlimited data plan for the iPad has not escaped the chop. Starting June 7th, new iPad customers will have two options: $15 for 250MB and $25 for 2GB of data. Any iPad customers who wish to stick to the $30 unlimited plan are free to do so, but AT&T is hoping most people will opt to save $5 and change plans.

As much as it hurts to see unlimited plans die off (and don’t pretend we didn’t know it was coming), the new rates will make data more accessible to those who don’t have a lot of coins in their coffer. And again, to be perfectly clear, you are welcome to stay on the current $30 unlimited smartphone data plan, but if you think you can squeak by on the new plans and save $5 to $15, AT&T will move you over to the DataPlus or DataPro plan without renewing your data commitment. Awww, so sweet. More →

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iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4 now available

By on May 18, 2010 at 8:25 PM.

iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4 now available

iphone-os-4.0

Whether you’re a genuine iPhone developer or someone who just paid $10 to have someone add your iPhone’s UDID to their developer account, you should be pleased to note that Apple has just released iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4. No changelog has been release, but just like the last time, we’ll be back if we spot any substantial changes. More →

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Another next-gen iPhone shows up in Vietnam

By on May 13, 2010 at 3:20 PM.

Another next-gen iPhone shows up in Vietnam

iphone-4-vietnam

Apple’s corporate security team could use a good kick in the pants, because it looks like yet another iPhone prototype has been misplaced only to re-appear in Vietnam. Unlike the first next-gen iPhone which wouldn’t boot up or yesterday’s which showed a bizarre “Inferno” homescreen, what makes the iPhone in the photo so special is that it looks to be the first functioning iPhone 4 complete with a functioning copy of iPhone OS 4.0. Unless this is this is a Photoshop job, something which we can’t rule out, we can imagine it’s yet another dark day at 4 Infinite Loop.

[Via Engadget] More →

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Hot new features uncovered in iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3

By on May 4, 2010 at 7:17 PM.

Hot new features uncovered in iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3

iphone-os-4.0

Here’s the thing… We just installed the newly released iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 and found quite a few changes. There are a lot of minor things like how the background of the multitasking interface matches the background in the iPad’s browser, but all of the big new changes are awaiting your perusal after the jump. More →

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iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 released to devs (Updated)

By on May 4, 2010 at 2:45 PM.

iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 released to devs (Updated)

iphone-os-4.0

The last iPhone OS 4.0 beta was a bit of a wash what with the Camera app constantly crashing, the ability to take screencaps mysteriously vanishing and the code overall being buggy as hell, but we’re really hoping out hope that the newly released beta 3 will be a heck of a lot better. We’re installing it on a few devices as we speak, but we’ll report back if we find any major changes. You’ll do the same, right?

UPDATE: Apple has removed beta 3 from the Dev Center. We’ll try and figure out why. More →

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iPhone OS 4.0 beta 2 up for grabs

By on April 20, 2010 at 3:05 PM.

iPhone OS 4.0 beta 2 up for grabs

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Alright, iPhone developers. Kick everyone out of the room, lock your door and grab a chilled can of Red Bull because Apple has just released iPhone OS 4.0 beta and the accompanying SDK. We haven’t had a chance to play around with it yet so we’re not sure what surprises await us, but we’ll be back if we find anything of interest.

More →

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iPhone OS looks to be getting social media integration

By on April 19, 2010 at 4:05 PM.

iPhone OS looks to be getting social media integration

facebook-iphone-integration

Even with thousands of curious people picking away at the file system, it’s always amazing how some things slip through the cracks for a relatively long period of time. Gunning For Safety was snooping around in iPhone OS 4.0’s file system and found multiple references to social media integration for the Contacts app. More specifically what as found was a .plist file for Facebook contacts. It would allow users to add their friends Facebook profile to their contact card just as they would their email address or AIM handle. What’s particularly special about the way Facebook integration is that they’re a “separate type of contact” meaning it’s entirely possible OS 4.0 will offer much more than a simple method for keeping details about one’s friends neatly organized. The Calendar app is also said to be able to interact with Facebook much in the same way. It’s too early to tell if these features will survive — for all we know all of these references could be dropped come the next beta and not resurface for a long time — but we’re really hoping their expanded upon and support is broadened out to things like Twitter and LinkedIn.

[Via Giz] More →

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Jailbroken iPhone 3G shown running OS 4.0 complete with multitasking

By on April 14, 2010 at 3:59 PM.

Jailbroken iPhone 3G shown running OS 4.0 complete with multitasking

iphone-3g-multitasking

Although Apple has made it perfectly clear it will not enable multitasking on the iPhone 3G due to “hardware limitations” (specifically its 128MB of RAM and 400MHz processor), iPhone hacker cdevwill quickly discovered that an unbelievably simple modification of the N82AP.plist will enable multitasking on the iPhone 3G. And wouldn’t you know it, today a video was posted to YouTube which shows an jailbroken iPhone 3G with the modified .plist running multitasking as if it were no big deal. While it’s tempting to say Apple is simply restricting multitasking to the iPhone 3GS and up for the sake of hardware sales, it must be remembered that the APIs which actually allow for processes to run in the background are not implemented in any of the applications running in the video. In all likelihood, simply streaming music from Pandora while switching between playing Doodle Jump and firing off some tweets would likely bring the iPhone 3G to its knees. We mean, just look how painfully long it takes to open up the Clock application. But that’s just our take. Check out the video after the jump and let us know yours. More →

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Video chat looks to be a lock in iPhone OS 4.0

By on April 11, 2010 at 6:29 PM.

Video chat looks to be a lock in iPhone OS 4.0

os-4-video-chat

Evidence continues to mount that the next iPhone will feature support for video chats, as multiple references to the feature have been unearthed in the latest iPhone OS 4.0 beta. Inside what appears to be an iChat app for the iPhone, mentions of one-on-one and group video chats were found. It also appears that Apple already has at least three servers set up for the service, although all of them are only accessible through Apple’s intranet. Found elsewhere in the build were references to chat rooms and moderation which 9to5Mac speculates will be put to use in the new Game Center. To be clear, just because something is included in the pre-release software is no guarantee it will ever see the light of day. But, considering the fact that many well informed people have been talking of such a feature for a long time, we’d be willing to wager we’ll see something along the lines of an iChat app with video abilities come June. Where there’s smoke there’s fire, right? More →

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iPhone OS 4.0 to have Exposé-like multitasking, global mailbox, homescreen contacts?

By on March 31, 2010 at 2:27 PM.

iPhone OS 4.0 to have Exposé-like multitasking, global mailbox, homescreen contacts?

Apple Logo-Black + White

Next-gen floodgates = open. Citing people familiar with pre-release builds, AppleInsider published a report today which seems to confirm many of the most popular rumors about iPhone OS 4.0. The lack of third-party multitasking will finally be addressed with the aid of a UI feature similar to Exposé. In OS X, Exposé shows users not only what applications are open but displays thumbnail images of contents of each individual application window so navigation is simple. But as the iPhone is a mobile phone with a screen that is believed to be in the neighbourhood of 3.7″, it would be quite difficult to distinguish one application from another if more than a few are running at the same time. To remedy this, Apple has elected to use nothing but the application icons. Just how Apple plans for users to activate the feature is unclear, but double-clicking the home button seems the most likely option. Also coming is a global inbox allowing users view email from multiple accounts from a single inbox as well as the ability to add contacts to the homescreen. Just when iPhone OS 4.0 will be announced is anyone’s guess, but let’s hope it at least gets its own event like OS 3.0. We’re itchin’ for some beta software. More →

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Is the Apple iPad OS just unfinished?

By on January 27, 2010 at 5:18 PM.

Is the Apple iPad OS just unfinished?

ipad-more

Bear with me on this one, alright? It’s a long shot, but part of me thinks this is a set up. Apple hasn’t gone over things like how notifications work, they didn’t address multitasking, and in some places, it felt like Steve & Co. purposely rushed over certain areas in the announcement.

What if there is going to be an iPhone SDK event/announcement before the Apple iPad actually hits stores? Apple said “late March” for the non-3G unit to be available and that’s curiously right when Apple usually holds its iPhone/iPod OS SDK events and where we’d most likely see iPhone OS 4.0 appear. Is it possible this is just to get the ball moving and Apple has some bigger stuff up its sleeve already? Multitasking, redone notifications, and a whole lot more, coming to both the iPhone platform as well as the iPad? Now, why release an SDK based on iPhone OS 3.2 and have devs code for that and then have to redo it, you might be asking, but iPhone 4.0, if it was announced in March would probably be a beta and not released to the public until June/July. That would give developers time to redo any applications for full 4.0 compatibility. Plus, the general public would get iPhone OS 3.2 while developers concurrently used iPhone OS 4.0 and developed for both that and the iPad. Maybe just wishful thinking, but heck, it would make sense.

352 Comments