Yesterday Dave and I got a chance to check out the iPhone 4 in person, so I figured we'd try to answering as many of these burning questions as we could!
See also our Q&A about the HTC EVO 4G: gdgt.com/discuss/got-burning-question-about-htc-ev...
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It is "the same type of glass used in the windshields of helicopters and high-speed trains. Chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic, the glass is ultradurable and more scratch resistant than ever."
Still, as you probably now know, many glasses may be scratch and snap resistent even though they might shatter -- acute impact resistance hasn't been a hallmark of the material. Guess we'll have to wait this one out.
Stiffness is just a measure of how easy it is to deform a material, i.e. how bendy it is and how much you can bend it without it being damaged. But as you mention, hard impacts are how most phones will be damaged, and stiffness bears little relevance in that way.
Same with hardness. Hardness is a measure of how difficult it is to permanently deform a material, the typical test of hardness is poking a very hard point into it and seeing how big a dent it makes. Again, this isn't very relevant when a phone is dropped, since the force is totally different, spread across the whole device, and applied very suddenly, as opposed to a slow deliberate application of force to one small point.
I think people are getting caught up on the idea of an indestructible phone, when really, we should be looking at ways to avoid dropping them at all. I learned very quickly that I needed a case for my iPhone, and I can't imagine not having one on a phone ever again.
Is that the case with the iPhone 4?
I've been describing the feel of the iPhone 4 as clinical, like a medical instrument or something. It seems to me that it's got less character than previous iPhones. But it's still incredibly well designed and built, and far less cheap feeling than the plastic-backed 3G and 3GS.
I should note, though, that I got a chance to check out the colored bumpers Apple is making for the 4, and they definitely soften those edges and corners up even more.
Think you guys missed this unless you just hated the question :)
But it would definitely replace my Kodak Zi6 (which I'm not shooting Oscar award winning documentaries with anyway) and would be one less thing to carry around in my bag.
As far as app availability, it's up to Apple and the developers whether they'll be released on launch day! It sounds like developers are getting ready though. SimpleGeo announced today that they'll have an SDK and API that will support iOS 4 from day one: twitter.com/joestump/status/15716585845
Another question I have that I would like to hear some speculation on if this manufacturing process is a big deal is if others can replicate it. I have no plan to buy the iPhone, I am a fan of the openness of Android and trust that it will be getting the polish it needs in the near future (with the hiring of a certain Palm UI designer). Apple obviously makes some amazing advancements though that I want to see in future competing handsets. So my question is can they patent this manufacturing process preventing companies like HTC from utilizing it. There are clearly already lawsuits underway for other more OS related disputes, but I would really hate to see these advancements not being adopted for fear of litigation in competing handsets. So what do you think?
That said, I took a picture of some bright, well lit wall where people were doing interviews, using both my 3GS and the iPhone 4. The image and dynamic range of the iPhone 4 image looked substantially better! I'm kicking myself for not emailing the image to my account.
Both phones have many things going for them though and I'd consider each to be more evolutionary than revolutionary, with regard to their respective platforms.
does it require an actual phone call and WIFI on? that what it seems to be in the demo. No my guess is that it's not really VOIP/SIP service like skype.
If that's the case then it's way worse than Skype because you won't be able to do video call with people internationally for free.
What do you think?
Granted, Steve did talk at some length about how there was no setup or signup to make FaceTime calls, and right now an addressable phone number would be the best way to accomplish that. But if they do want to make FaceTime an industry standard, they're going to have to extract it from traditional calls since obviously you can't dial up a laptop or a TV with a phone line.
Edit: On Apple's FaceTime page it says:
"Let’s say you want to start a video call with your best friend. Just find her entry in your Contacts and tap the FaceTime button. Or maybe you’re already on a voice call with her and you want to switch to video. Just tap the FaceTime button on the Phone screen."
Also, did you try support for multiple exchange accounts? Can I choose which parts of the exchange accounts are sync'd? For example, can I sync contacts from one account, calendar from another, and email from both?
In my inbox, if there are multiple emails with the same subject (ie, "iOS4" and "RE: iOS4"), Mail groups them into one entry where it shows the summary info for the most recent email in the thread, but next to the arrow on the right side there's a number indicating how many emails are in the thread. When I click on that, it basically takes me to a new folder which includes all the emails in my inbox with that related subject line. Keep in mind it only groups messages from my Inbox and not my Outbox, so it's not like Gmail's implementation where each inbox entry is a "conversation."
I've also been using multiple Exchange accounts--easily one of my favorite features of iOS4 (since as an iPod touch 2G user, I don't get multitasking). Yes, you can choose to turn Mail, Contacts and Calendar syncing on and off individually for each account.
1. I see your above response about not knowing for sure about the antenna yet, but from the people you talked to at WWDC -- Apple employee or otherwise -- have you heard anything about whether the antenna around the unit improves 3G reception? I find it hard to believe that Apple didn't do this to improve reception, and yet the Apple website doesn't brag about improved reception.
2. Do you know of any iOS 4 features that only work on the iPhone 4, not the 3GS, other than the obvious features that rely on the iPhone 4 hardware such as the front-facing camera and flash? And a related question, are there any features that seemed to work much better on the iPhone 4 than the iPhone 3GS, other than the overall feeling of being "snappier than the 3GS" as you note in a comment?
3. Did you have a chance to try out the still or video camera? I'm curious how much better it is in low light and how the video camera compares to a Flip.