Apple Announces iPhone 4, Coming to Canada in July!

Today at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Steve Jobs took to the stage to deliver the keynote address. To no one’s surprise the new iPhone 4 was announced!

Jobs claimed that there were over 100 new features of the phone but he went over just 8. The new phone is a thinner phone than the iPhone 3GS and  has a much larger battery. It also features a front facing camera that can be used in a new Wi-Fi, iPhone to iPhone only video chat application called FaceTime. They have added an led flash to the camera and the ability to record 720p, 30FPS HD video. In addition a new application will be available for purchase called iMovie for iPhone, allows you to edit and produce video directly from the phone including adding titles and transitions. iMovie will sell for 4.99. The camera resolution has been bumped to 5MP and has a new backside illumination sensor that is supposed to allow for less noise in low light photos.

The screen resolution has been much improved using a technology called retina display that provides 326 pixels per inch. The screen resolution is 960 x 640. Reports from people who have seen the displays are saying it is incredible and has to be seen to be understood.

They have added a gyroscope to the phone and linked it in with the radios so motion control gaming should be better.

The stainless steel frame around the phone has been turned into the antenna and the phone

Several of the announcements made also included some of the previously announced iPhone 4 software which has now been renamed iOS 4.

iBooks is being updated and ported to the iPhone and will now allow to read PDF documents in that app directly on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and will support wireless purchasing and syncing between devices (unfortunately no word on when books will be available in Canada).

The phone is being released in the US and select other countries on June 24th and the new iPhone OS that offers multitasking is being made available free on June 21st. iOS 4 offers the ability to create folders on the home screens, offers multitasking on newer devices and more. For a change iPod touch owners will also get the upgrade free instead of having to purchase it. No exact date was given for the phone release in Canada other than July 2010. It was not confirmed whether Canadians will have to wait for iOS 4 until July either or whether we will be able to download it on the 21st as well.

Apple has also announced their own cases for the phone called Bumpers and available in a variety of colours.

To learn more about the phone follow this link to the Apple Site or for the tech specs click here.

With this announcement today I may finally breakdown and get myself an iPhone! I started to consider it when iOS 4 was originally announced as it had some of the features that I was waiting for in the iPhone, such as the ability to connect a Bluetooth keyboard and multitasking. One thing I am concerned with though is whether or not Rogers will offer a good data plan with the phone. While I do qualify for an upgrade from Rogers, I also have a year left in my 6GB data plan contract that is at a very good price (30.00). For the last week I have stopped using my Blackberry Bold 9000 and have switched to a Google Nexus One Android based phone. I am awaiting the announced 2.2 FroYo upgrade for this phone as it offers many desirable features and this phone already does do many of the things that an iPhone doesn’t yet (multitasking). I am still getting used to the new device and will have more to write about it later.

One thing to note as well is that the new iPhone uses the new Micro SIM card that is also currently in the iPad 3G. It will be interesting to see if Rogers will let me get a new Micro SIM card for an iPhone and keep my old sim card active so that I can use the iPhone, Nexus One or my Blackberry (not of course not at the same time).

Watch this space for more information as I will soon be writing about my thoughts with the Nexus One as well.

Why I Might Change My Mind and get an iPad!

Way back when on January 27th, I got out of bed got out of bed while vacationing in Kauai, poured a cup of coffee and fired up my laptop. I immediately went to Engadget’s live blog of the Apple announcement regarding the much rumoured iPad.

My first thoughts on seeing what the iPad could do was that while it was a cool device, I really didn’t think I would get one anytime soon. To me it was just an overgrown iPod Touch. With it you could read eBooks, play music and video (not high def though), show photographs and use iPhone Apps. All in a device that weighed 1.5 pounds.

I use a Sony PRS-600 Reader and really like the experience of reading on that device (although the screen is not as good as my older PRS-505). It is fairly small, easy to handle and comfortable to read for long periods of time with it’s E-Ink screen.

As time went and more specs on the iPad were released there were a few things that really started to make me think it wasn’t the device for me. Apple was saying it would get 10 hours of battery life and I have come to learn with most manufacturers, you can take that number down by 20 or 30%. I think the real turn off in regards to this device was the fact that it wouldn’t support ePub books using the Adobe Digital Editions DRM scheme which is most of the books in my library and that Apple would have it’s own fairplay DRM on eBooks. Once again Apple was putting it’s users in a closed system and forcing users to buy from them alone.

One of the things that I really like about my Sony Reader is the fact that it does support the ADE DRM scheme. Last fall Sony’s own book store went all ADE ePub from a proprietary format and they have been supporting the ADE format on all of the readers since July 2008. This is very important to me as I am not tied to the Sony Store to purchase my eBooks! In fact I have bought books from Sony,, and Kobo as well as renting them from my public library. This open system has not tied me to one book seller and I can shop around for the best prices on my eBooks.

So what has changed over the last few weeks that I have re-sparked my interest in the device. Well there are several factors. I do have a iPod 3rd gen Touch device that I carry for pocket computer use more than as an iPod (I use a Microsoft Zune 120 and a 32 GB Zune HD hooked up to a Zune pass for music and podcasts).  I have found several apps though for the Touch that I use frequently and that I feel would work very well on an iPad. These apps could also allow me to use the iPad instead of my Asus 1000H Net Book.

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