MacWorld 2007 — Apple today officially unveiled its iPhone which, as many had been hoping for, is quite a revolutionary product indeed. Steve Jobs heralded the iPhone as an industry-changing device that throws out old assumptions and conventions and brings in the new. With all of its features and design cues, the iPhone should prove to be an extremely hot device.
The largest feature on the plate for the iPhone is clearly its display. The iPhone packs a 3.5-inch display with a resolution density of 160 dpi, one of the sharpest screens in the industry. In fact, the screen takes up virtually the entire surface area of the iPhone. There’s no keyboard or direction stick on the iPhone, just a big screen. The iPhone operates entirely on touch-screen technology and is something that Apple had been working on for a long time. Global Tech News last reported that Apple had submitted filings with the FCC for touch screen technology involving intuitive gestures. Many assumed that the technology would be used in a next-generation iPod, but today it made its debut on the iPhone.
Users are able to navigate the iPhone by using a virtual keyboard that’s smart enough to know when accidental tapping occurs. The screen also takes in gestures such as scrolling, pinching and stretching motions. The screen itself is also smart. The user interface automatically changes from portrait mode to landscape mode depending on how a user holds the phone. The virtual keyboard can be called up and tuckd away at any time.
Music is very much part of the iPhone and Apple does not disappoint. Integrated into the iPhone are all the usual iPod features that many users have come to love. Music and iTunes syncing, album artwork support, smart playlist features and, most importantly, movie playback. Steve Jobs demonstrated the iPhone playing back Pirates of the Caribbean 2 in full screen.
In terms of applications, the iPhone supports the usual set of smart-phone features: email, text messaging, web support, address books, photo, video and music playback. However, the iPhone uses smaller versions of applications already used on its Macs. Jobs demonstrated browsing the Internet on the iPhone using Safari — full websites loaded very quickly and in full detail. Lest there be any doubt, the audience was definitely impressed by the iPhone’s speed and rendering capabilities. Users can even pinch the screen to shrink webpages on the fly to fit the screen. Email capabilities are in full force too with support for such sophisticated features as full HTML email support and even IMAP supported through Yahoo! email.
The iPhone’s operating system is based on a slim version of Apple’s powerful OS X. One of the neatest features on the iPhone is the support for widgets — the same tiny utility-type applications found on OS X’s Dashboard. Jobs demonstrated navigating Google’s virtual satellite mapping system and how easy it was to get around applications and widgets on the iPhone’s touch-sensitive navigation system. Of course, being OS X, all graphical animations and transitions were silky smooth.
Jobs indicated that the iPhone was also a workhorse. The unit can talk for roughly 5 hours and play back audio for 16 hours. There will be two GSM models released, a 4GB model and an 8GB model, for sale at an introductory price of $499 and $599. As Global Tech News previously reported, the iPhone is confirmed today to be a Cingular Wireless exclusive product. The demo iPhone that Jobs showed already had a Cingular log on it.
The iPhone will begin shipping in June of this year.
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