Highlights from WWDC10 Keynote

Apple

Apple announced a few things today, namely the iPhone 4. Rumors were all over the board as to what we could expect today. One of the expected announcements was the iPhone on Verizon. That didn’t happen. Others had hopes for a new Mac OS. Didn’t happen. What did happen then? Today was focused mostly on the iPhone 4.

The iPhone 4 is the leaked phone that got Gizmodo in trouble. It has some really great new features, and some not so great, but somewhat interesting. Apple announced 100 new features, but focused on their favorite 8. Let’s start with the cool features.

Apple introduced Retina Display, which was described as having 4 times the normal pixel display. There are 326 pixels per inch, which is said to be more than the human retina can process. That is a pretty impressive display. This puts the pixel count to more than 70% of the iPad, a much larger device. The iPhone 4 has a 3.5″ display, with an 800:1 Contrast Ratio. Again, pretty impressive.

iPhone 4

Another feature that is worth noting is the gyroscope. Steve Jobs played a game of Jenga, showing the different angles that can be manipulated through apps. That was among the best features of the keynote.

The next feature worth noting is the dual-camera. One in front, one in back. This enables video chatting, and within limits, video calling. Jobs demonstrated a video call, which can only be accomplished between two iPhone 4 devices. The iPhone 4 can record 720p video as well. That sums up the best of the features, at least to a non-fanboy. Here are the formal specs:

  • 16 or 32 GB Memory
  • 3.5″ Multi-touch display with Retina, 960×640 resolution, 326ppi
  • GPS, Digital Compass, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • 3-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, and Proximity Sensor
  • Dual noise canceling mic
  • 100 new features
  • 5MP camera, 720p video, rear camera

One of the big areas discussed today was the iAds. It looked a lot like Google’s HTML 5 ads, but didn’t seem to relevant for the average techno-phile. To consumers, it is another way to get an ad thrown your way, while to a developer cash registers are sounding off in their heads.

The glass on the front and back of the device is particularly strong, which should help those users who suffered from cracked displays on their first iPhone. It looks pretty solid, and the form factor looks sharper than the earlier models. You can change the colors easily, reminiscent of the old Swatch watches.

Also of note is the name of the OS. No longer called iPhone OS 4, it is simply iOS 4, which will likely be applied to the iPad and iPod as well. All versions of the iPhone will get the upgrade, though the 3G is going to be limited. Basically, you need a 3GS or the iPhone 4 to get the most use out of iOS 4.

All in all, this is a decent-looking phone. The camera is not as good as some comparable Android phones, but is decent enough. A second camera is a good bonus, and increases the possibilities for cool apps. The form factor is decent, and the number of apps that can be used is impressive. The gyroscope and Retina display are my favorite areas, and I am sure they’ll be quite popular. All that being said, there seems to be a bit of a letdown in the air. It wasn’t quite what people were hoping to see today. If you are in the market for a smartphone, you can be happy with the iPhone 4. You may, however, be just as happy with an Android device.

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  • http://lawmedia.pepperdine.edu/solis/ David

    As you promised, a well balanced review. I definitely think this might put some price pressure on those manufacturers looking to put out Android phones and of course Blackberry. Competition is good in this market, and new developments need to be pressured into the mainstream offerings.

    A side note, I am surprised that Apple has responded so completely to the complains about the original iPhone. Apple is rather famous for giving you the computer you “should have” not necessarily the one you “want”. This response is encouraging.

  • http://jdpadgett.com Jared

    This is the year of big corporations learning the ropes it seems. Microsoft added web-based Office Suite apps, and Apple made a better iPhone. What’s next? It should be interesting to see what’s coming in the future.

  • http://lawmedia.pepperdine.edu/solis/ David

    I, for one, welcome our new customer-responsive overlords.