June 10, 2008

The iPhone upgrade, and the new iPhone

In WWDC, there is bound to be a big product launch or two- and this year is no exception. This year, it's about the iPhone- what will become of it, and if there is even a new one.

Will everyone be happy, or will everyone be sad about the long awaited iPhone 2. What about current owners? What'll happen to their obsoletely expensive hacked iPhones? How much will this new iPhone cost? And what'll Globe bring out? All these answers and more coming to you!

NOTE: If you are only interested in the 3G iPhone because you don't own an old iPhone, scroll down until you see a sign. Don't worry, you'll see that sign.

iPhone 2.0

Not to be confused with the 3G iPhone, the iPhone 2.0 is an iPhone software update that's been widely awaited by owners. So yes, longevity of your old iPhone can be rest assured but... what will it have?

Software Development Kit (Games, Productivity, Education)
Apple introduced the new iPhone upgrade features and software and I guess it's pretty cool.
What they introduced with regards to the enterprise users are the Microsoft Exchange server and secure Wi-Fi connection. Although that's not really major for us ordinary people, big corporations have hailed it as a great help to their productivity and at least it's pretty good to see that the iPhone is finally a real smartphone.

Next, Apple introduced once again the SDK program and showed off how people "enjoyed" developing programs for the iPhone. The first program they introduced was a Sega game- Super Monkey Ball- and it is able to be controlled via tilting the thing. Pretty good, but pretty expensive at 10 dollars, although it does have 110 levels- ridiculously many for a phone.

And then, there was the eBay program which was surprising since eBay didn't advise Safari for browsing a long time ago. Loopt, TypePad mobile blogging, the Associated Press mobile news program in which you yourself can submit and read news, etc.- all of which are free for purchase from the App Store.

If you've already watched the iBand video, the program behind it is also exhibited.

Other games like Promac Rally however, seems like it's gonna be really bad because based from my experience with Mario Kart Wii motion-steering, it's gonna be too imprecise.

One of the more promising apps however, is the medical education program that will probably benefit a lot of nursing students called Modality. I don't know if it will cost you anything, but I think it's really looking good. Even better is the body mapping application from MIMVista which lets doctors view x-rays and CAT scans intuitively. And wow.

There is another game in particular that amazed me because of the amazing graphics and animation, but I forgot the name.

Wow, I guess the delay of the iPhone for worldwide release was probably for the best since they want to mature the phone software and features for more practical use- and money obviously.

Office and iWork
iPhone 2.0 software has finally put support for Office and Apple iWork documents- and that's definitely what people have been waiting for. Another obvious thing they should've put in the iPhone was the Calculator in which when you put your phone on landscape, it becomes a scientific calculator; contact searching, and the moving and multiple deletion of messages.

Gearing up for Asia
Asia is finally getting native languages for the iPhone, and like some Nokia phones and TCL phones before it, you can write the Chinese and Japanese characters.

The upgrade is free for existing iPhone users, but if you want it for the iPod touch, you should still have to pay 10 dollars because, obviously, the iPod touch is for music and videos- not the features above.

And I thought the update was just for enterprise users.

MobileMe essentially has the same features as the Microsoft Exchange support- only without the need for Microsoft Exchange. That means you can get Blackberry-like features such as Push e-mail and calendar without having to work for a huge company or set up a so-called "Exchange server".

So for example, if you get an e-mail on Outlook or Mail, it gets pushed to your phone like the famous BlackBerry. Or if your mom has changed the schedule in your iCal or Outlook calendar, it gets sent to your iPhone anytime, anywhere. The same goes for stored contacts: update them in the Address Book, update in the iPhone.

Me.com is now the replacement for Apple's .Mac service and will features Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Photo Gallery, and Online Hard Disk. It's a new web application both compatible for iPhone and the computer and will feature drag-and-drop features, and a fancy-pants interface.


And now...
"It's almost the iPhone's 1st birthday. Let's take it to the new level." Jobs says. And here it is:

iPhone 3G  Twice as fast. Half the priceNew features
Most of the new features of this new iPhone will be the same as the features on the upcoming firmware upgrade. But if you didn't read the above details, here they are in a nutshell:

3G - This feature is obviously not available in the first iPhone, neither is it available in the upcoming update. You probably already what this actually is. If not, then let's just say that 3G is a mobile Internet connection that is significantly faster than 2G's GPRS. And if the phone has a camera on front, you can make video calls to another 3G phone. The iPhone doesn't have a front camera, however, so there is no video calling.

What Apple didn't mention however, is also the inclusion of 3.5G (or HSDPA), which is faster than both 3G and at some cases, DSL.

Calculator - The iPhone finally gets a Calculator- and if you put it in landscape mode by tilting the phone horizontally, it becomes a scientific calculator! Pretty neat way to switch, to be honest.

Asian language support - With support for more than 20 Asian languages, with a lot of emphasis on Chinese and Japanese as well, you can now jot down characters on the screen or use the keyboard.

Third-party Applications - You've probably already heard about the several Java applications made for other kinds of phones, or maybe you've downloaded some apps for your Palm as well. This phone is of course, no different. Deployment of the third-party apps however, will be in the form of Apple's on App Store- so you don't need to go to that Globe website to download some pretty cool games.

Better battery life - Apple managed to get more juice out of the system clocking it at 24 hours on Audio, 7 hours video, 5 hours 3G talk time, 300 hours standby time, 7 hours browsing time and 10 hours 2G talk time.

GPS - Track your location, or let the iPhone help you go to a desired destination with its built-in GPS. Now the iPhone can really compete with the Nokia N95!

Better audio - Apple has finally pledged to put in better audio output, so you can enjoy your music even more.

Enterprise features - Push e-mail, calendar and contacts enable the Crackberries to not miss their BlackBerrys as much. It uses the Microsoft Exchange server as well.

MobileMe - MobileMe is a 99 dollar service that replaces Apple's .Mac hard drive/media/web publishing service. It lets the iPhone update the same database of contacts, e-mail and calendar events wirelessly and quickly.

Office support - Businessmen can view their Office and iWork files right from the get-go!

What's surprising is that the 3G iPhone is very much thinner than its predecessor.

The last time I checked as to why 3G wasn't supported by the last iPhone, it was because "it would make the phone really bulky". That's why I'm surprised. But whatever.

What happened to the backside???
Personally, I like its plastic black back (although there is another color choice for the 16 GB model). But critics say that the plastic back is a sure magnet for smudges- like the iPods before it.

Back to normality
Critics also hated its unconventional 2" headphones jack. This time, Apple amended this to the normal 3.5" headphone jack, so yay!

Still no video recording? WTF?!
For some reason Apple doesn't want to put video recording in the iPhone. This was a gripe among the masses the last time, and it still is.

I wish...
I hope Apple will immediately phase out the 8GB model, lower the price of the 16GB model by a hundred dollars, and put in a newer 32GB model! The screen would be put to waste if the memory can't hold 8 full-length movies!

"And even though 90% of our customers love their iPhone, 56% of the people who didn't have iPhones said it was simply too expensive. So one of the things we should tackle- besides common requests like 3G, Enterprise, Third-party apps and International support- is cost."

And what a price cut Apple did.

If you didn't already buy a hacked iPhone, it would probably be more sulit if you bought the 3G iPhone. Why? Well, the price has been cut from 399 USD to 199 USD- which is about 8000 pesos without the tax. Wow, you can say that it can even rival the famous Nokia music phones because of the bang-for-your-buck!

Globe Telecom
Only Globe has the authorized access to sell the iPhones locally. Yes, locally as it will be sold here finally. Of course, it's the 3G iPhone! Otherwise, everyone will hate Apple!

Release date
Apple plans to get things going on July 11th- which is the release date for 22 countries. After a later time, it will be released in all of the other 48 countries- including the Philippines. Officially, the price worldwide will also be 199 dollars for the 8GB version and 299 dollars for the 16GB version, and Apple will not allow the price to be higher than that exact amount- or so Steve Jobs says.

The iPhone is finally a competent contender in the smartphone arena, as it boasts a lot of very welcome features and viable adjustments, as well as some pricing perks, to finally make it worth buying! No really, I want it myself because I personally think that it's a worthy upgrade to my Sony Ericsson W800i, although knowing me, it's a bit hard to be letting go of the video recording.

But then again, that's what my Cybershot is for!

And oh, I forgot. Here's a mildly funny commercial that Steve Jobs played twice in a row during the keynote. :D

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