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iPhone 4 First Impressions


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I got my iPhone 4 yesterday. But because my computer was in the shop, I didn't really get to play with it until this morning, so I haven't done all that much with it.

In a nutshell: I'm impressed. I think, though, that I may be more impressed than most because I'm coming from an original iPhone to the iPhone 4. Someone upgrading from a 3GS might not be so amazed as I am.

Pros so far:

  • Love both the still and video cameras. They really do a great job, even in horribly low light. The tap-to-focus feature is really well done. In both still and video mode, the quality is outstanding, and the phone remains very responsive.
  • Syncing is super fast. It's as fast as iPad syncing, which I guess makes sense since it's essentially an iPad with a smaller screen.
  • Wifi is noticeably faster with the better processor and N connectivity.
  • 3G data speeds are very good. But then, I was coming from EDGE, so it doesn't take much to dazzle me.
  • The flash works far better than I thought. It's good for about 10 feet. Mostly I've been using it to make my cat look evil.

Cons so far:

  • The new square shape makes slotting it into the dock on a nightstand in the middle of the night awkward and difficult. The old phone's rounded edges provided a natural guide.

Neither good nor bad:

  • I'm afraid to put the thing down on hard surfaces. Something instinctually tells me not to put glass on a stone countertop. I have to train myself to get over this.

I love iMovie on the phone. I don't think it's the best way to edit a movie, but the ability to slap a title on a clip before I e-mail it to friends is very useful.

As for the antenna issue -- it's a non-issue for me. Even though I have huge hands, I don't hold it in a way that causes any problems. I don't know what kind of monkey death grip some people are using to get their calls to disconnect, but I suspect they have anger issues. In order to get the bars to start dropping I have to do a pretty awkward grip.

Multitasking could be useful, but since it's not part of my natural phone workflow, I haven't really had a chance to use it to its fullest extent.

More thoughts to come as I get to use it more.

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Oh, I should have mentioned the screen -- it's really incredible. I know a lot of people have said this, but it really is. I no longer have to tap-to-zoom on web pages. Even the New York Times is perfectly readable just as it loads. It's really amazing.

The downside is that when something isn't updated for the higher resolution iOS devices, you can really tell. Here's a screenshot of my phone (I still haven't gotten around to organizing icons yet)

post-1-014429800 1279381908_thumb.png

You can see that the Apple icons are (as usual) beautiful. But they're even more detailed than before. You can see the rays of sun coming off the weather app. You can see the texture of the address book, and the little tears near the binding of the notepad.

But you can also see that while some companies like Facebook have updated their apps, KDFC, KIRO-TV, the local transit company, and my HP printing icons are blocky and ugly. I feel naturally drawn toward using the apps with the new icons more. Maybe it's just me, but I'm a visual creature.

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Tethering still works. Here's the results from having two bars:

882843643.png

This will be useful in areas where Clear service is not available. But since the upload speed appears a little slow, it's not enough for me to dump the mobile portion of my Clear service.

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I've started using the iPod function, and the sound is considerably better than my old iPhone. I've noticed over the years that every once in a while music sound quality is improved in Apple products, but for some reason hardly anyone mentions it.

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I am looking forward to a new ipod touch with similar capability. However the rumor is that the camera will be 3 megapixels (instead of 5).

I've heard that rumor, too. The only reason I can think of for the Touch having a lower resolution camera is because of its thinness. The Touch has been out for quite a while now and I'm still surprised by its thinness when I see one in public. It would be cool if Apple was able to make the next generation Touch similar in form to the iPhone 4, but even thinner.

Hopefully the touch will have the LED flash. It's turning out to be far more useful than I ever thought it would be. The last two nights I've used it to bust the cat misbehaving in the darkness when she thought I was asleep.

One thing I've never understood is why the Touches always have twice the memory of the iPhones.

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I've had another day to do a little bit with the phone. More thoughts:

Pros:

  • Feels really solid.
  • The glass is fantastic. It picks up way less face and finger slurm than the old glass. I wish I understood the physics of it.
  • The glass also feels really durable. I used to worry about having my headphones in the same pocket as the phone. Not anymore.

Cons:

  • Inserting the headphone feels unnatural -- like you're going to break the phone because the non-glass portion of the phone is only as wide as a headphone plug. More than once I've ended up not putting the headphones in all the way.

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I'm debating an Ipod touch vs. Iphone. I have an old ipod classic, and a phone with a minimal plan through Verizon... I rarely use it, and never to text or send photos or anything else. I like the idea of having internet on my phone now and then, but the truth is I'm never away from my laptop for too long so I don't really need to send e-mails on my phone (but it would be cool to do so). Bottom line--iphone would be very cool to have, but I'm not sure I need it.

Any strong opinions on iphone vs. ipod touch?

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I'm debating an Ipod touch vs. Iphone. I have an old ipod classic, and a phone with a minimal plan through Verizon... I rarely use it, and never to text or send photos or anything else. I like the idea of having internet on my phone now and then, but the truth is I'm never away from my laptop for too long so I don't really need to send e-mails on my phone (but it would be cool to do so). Bottom line--iphone would be very cool to have, but I'm not sure I need it.

Any strong opinions on iphone vs. ipod touch?

From what you've stated, it sounds like you're better off with the cheap phone+iPod Touch. HoustonMacBro went that route for a long time, and might still be doing it. It works fine for him. And now that there's free wifi at Starbucks, if you're a Starbucks person there's even less reason to go the full blown iPhone route.

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Here's another Pro: The device seems to pick up WAY less face slurm when talking than my old iPhone. I know it's supposed to be coated with some kind of "oleophobic" substance. I thought it was just buzzword bloat, but it seems to really work.

Con, though - I have that proximity sensor bug. Though Apple has already stated that a fix is ready to be deployed.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's another Pro: The device seems to pick up WAY less face slurm when talking than my old iPhone. I know it's supposed to be coated with some kind of "oleophobic" substance. I thought it was just buzzword bloat, but it seems to really work.

Con, though - I have that proximity sensor bug. Though Apple has already stated that a fix is ready to be deployed.

Did the latest 4.1 software update correct the proximity sensor bug for you?

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