Apple iPhone 4 Review

My relationship with smart phones and cell phones has been somewhat erratic. I was a relatively early adopter of a Blackberry. I must admit, it had some nice features. However, several years ago I decided the monthly data cost was too high to justify the Blackberry and reverted by to a basic cell phone. Up until a few weeks ago, I resisted getting an iPhone because I didn’t want to switch from Verizon to AT&T. Any regrets? Not really. I’m glad I waited for the iPhone 4. It is a great little device. Although the AT&T service does have so holes compared to Verizon, overall I’m happy with my decision. Read on to learn more about the iPhone 4, the App Store, and my experiences with AT&T. Also watch the following videos on the iPhone 4 to see it in action.

iPhone 4 Overview and Basic Features

The iPhone 4 is a pretty significant leap over the old iPhone. It is the most significant new release since the original iPhone. The iPhone 4 uses the same Apple A4 processor as in the iPad, so it has considerably more processing power. This is a big benefit since the iPhone 4 is much more graphics and video intensive. The most obvious new feature is the Retina display, with 960 by 640 resolution. This is twice the resolution of the Apple iPhone 3GS. The basic user interface elements look much better, but where the high resolution display is most noticeable is viewing HD video or viewing small text in your web browser. The new version of the iPhone OS now supports multitasking. I guess the Droid commercials will need to find something else to pick on. Although this is a nice new development, it isn’t often that I find myself running multiple applications at the same time. Others may find this more significant than me. The 5-megapixel camera with LED Flash is very impressive. It is a major improvement over the camera in my previous phone. In many situations, the camera quality seems comparable to my point and shoot camera. The LED allows for excellent picture or video quality even in low light environments. Even better, the iPhone 4 has two cameras. One on the front, and one on the back. While the front camera focuses on you, the back focuses on whatever you want to record in a photo or on video. In addition to HD video recording, with the new Apple iPhone 4 iMovie app you can even do your video editing right on the iPhone. The new FaceTime application provides iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 video calling over Wi-Fi and the Internet. A cool feature of FaceTime is that it can take advantage of both the front and back cameras. FaceTime allows you switch back and forth between front and back camera anytime during a video call. The front camera shows the caller your face, while the back camera allows you to show the caller anything else such as your children, the scenery, or whatever you point at with the back camera.

Built-in Applications

The iPhone comes with the same set of applications as available on the previous iPhone 3GS. These include Phone, Mail, Safari, iPod, Photos, Messages, Calendar, Voice Control, Maps and Compass, Search, Keyboard, App Store and iTunes Store. The apps are very easy to use, and well integrated together. If you are familiar with the usability of an Apple computer, you will find the iPhone apps equally intuitive. The phone app now has built in noise cancellation to make calls easier to hear. The mail app supports multiple accounts including MobileMe, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, AOL and other standard IMAP and POP mail systems. It also supports multiple Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync accounts for business use. Some other mail features include the ability to follow an email thread, and open email attachments such as Microsoft Word or PDF files. The Safari web browser, with the A4 processor, makes surfing the web much faster, and the Retina display makes reading small fonts much easier. For more details on the iPhone apps, see the Apple web site. The App Store and Third Party Applications The iPhone 4 can run all of the existing iPhone Apps available from the Apple App Store. There are hundreds of thousands of apps in a wide variety of categories such as games, lifestyle, social networking, and education. Fortunately, it is easy to find apps by category, top apps, featured apps, what’s hot, search, and there is even a Genius feature like to iTunes store to recommend apps based on your existing applications. Check out the Apple App Store to see the ever growing collection of third-party apps. If you have an iPhone, you can access the App Store directly from the iPhone App Store app. Is the iPhone 4 for You? I know a lot of people with an iPhone, and I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love it. It can even get addicting after a while. Even if you don’t think you will need an iPhone, you may be surprised. My kids don’t talk to me on the phone any more, I just get endless text messages. My kids used to abuse me because I was so slow responding. If nothing else, the QWERTY keyboard for texting is almost worth the price of the iPhone. Applications such as maps, GPS navigation and games are an added bonus. You will quickly wonder how you lived without these application. The only potential issue is AT&T service. If you are already an AT&T subscriber than you are aware of any service coverage issues. If you are moving from Verizon, you may want to check out service in the areas you commonly use a cell phone. Personally, I haven’t notice much difference, except in my home office. I get better reception from anywhere else in the house, which is a mystery to me. I had better home office service with Verizon. Fortunately, there is an app to submit service problems, which I have done. I’ll see whether AT&T do something to improve service from my home office. Interested in learning more about the Apple iPhone 4, see the Apple Online Store.

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