Thanks to a young Apple engineer named Gray Powell, the iPhone 4G has made its way into the public scene months before its intended release. The prototype, cleverly disguised as an iPhone 3G, was found on the bar stool of a German beer garden in Redwood City, California, and eventually found its way into the hands of online tech magazine Gizmodo, which ran a feature on it.
Though there are a lot more intriguing nuances to the story, I’ll leave them to Gizmodo, who has posted the complete saga on their Web site. For now we’ll focus on what the leak did reveal about the iPhone.
One of the immediate standout features on the iPhone 4G prototype is the front facing camera, which based on findings in the iPhone 4.0 software, will be used primarily for videochatting. That’s right, mobile-to-mobile videochatting will be possible upon the iPhone 4G’s release, and marks a new era of communication. The world just keeps getting smaller.
Most of the other impressive aspects of the new iPhone deal with the difference in appearance between it and previous generations. The phone’s designers have eschewed the concave plastic back and sides of the 3G, replacing it with a flush glass back and aluminum sides, presumably to allow for a better cell signal.
The phone’s screen is actually a little smaller than the previous generations, but the apparent quality of the screen’s resolution and undoubted enhancements to the multitouch technology should make the change a non-issue.
The phone’s volume keys are now two separate buttons, and the SIM slot has been moved to the side of the device and replaced with a Micro-SIM card. The phone also has two microphones, assumed to be for noise cancelling purposes, and a much larger back camera with a flash. This could end the iPhone user’s need for a non-SLR digital camera, as improvements to the phone’s native camera seems to have been given a high priority. This is merely another confirmation that Apple’s imperialistic forays into other electronics industries are not slowing down any time soon.
One of the biggest features I was planning to be on the lookout for when I went about assessing the new iPhone was whether the battery seemed to be improved, given the multitasking and videochatting capabilities the phone possesses. These features only mean so much if the battery life can’t sustain prolonged usage of them. Fortunately, the battery is 16 percent larger while the phone itself is even slimmer than the 3G generation, so while the specs are as yet undetermined, it’s certainly a good sign.
The phone just looks sexy. Apparently it feels sexy, too. We now have a good idea of what the iPhone 4G will be capable of upon its release, and if I had to make a gutshot reaction based on what we know know about both software and hardware, I would say that this thing is a beast, and will put the iPhone miles ahead of the mobile competition once again. Special thanks to Gray Powell for his contribution to this article.
The MBTA sucks. Really bad. And we’ve all been burned by it. Because you’ll inevitably be waiting for a long overdue train underground in the near future, we give you three insanely addicting apps that don’t require a connection to enjoy.
Doodle Jump– There is just something about this game that makes it impossible to put down. Gamers guide their character, the "Doodler," through a never-ending series of platforms by tilting the iPhone side-to-side, all the while searching for powerups and avoiding monsters, aliens and black holes. The developers, Lima Sky, take extremely good care of their loyal supporters and release new content nearly every week to keep gamers coming back. Doodle Jump is the best $0.99 one can spend in the app store. *****
Paper Toss– When I first heard of the app, I wondered, "Where’s the appeal in throwing crumpled up paper into a trash can?" I still can’t answer that question, but there is something oddly satisfying about it. Players choose different distances from which to throw the paper balls, and throw the ball in a direction based off the speed an onscreen fan is blowing. It is one of the odder concepts in the app store, but it is incredibly satisfying to watch a ball arc around the iPhone’s screen and land in the wastepaper basket. Writing about it doesn’t do Paper Toss justice, but its free price tag makes it easy to try. ****
Zen Bound– The app is half game, half experience, and completely engrossing. The object of the puzzle game is not to beat the high score, but to relax the user while stimulating the mind. The game itself is wrapping a wooden structure with a rope, but that’s only half of the app. Zen Bound has some of the best visuals on the iPhone, and an incredibly relaxing soundtrack that takes the user to another place. Zen Bound is a puzzle game in name only. The only thing users have to worry about is missing that T when it eventually does come. ****
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