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Apple Announces iPhone 4; HD Video & Video Calling

Today at Apple’s annual WWDC event, the company announced the next generation iPhone, iPhone 4.

In 2007, Apple launched the original iPhone, which was followed by the iPhone 3G in 2008 (the first Canadian iPhone!) and then a year later the iPhone 3GS, which mainly brought speed enhancements and a video camera.

Today, Apple announced iPhone 4, that among feature enhancements, also received a video calling feature called “FaceTime”.

Hardware

The new iPhone 4 is 24% thinner than the iPhone 3GS, making it one of the thinnest smartphones on the planet. When the original rumors broke showcasing the next iPhone, one of the biggest mysteries was the inclusion of the seams/lines around the device.

The keynote this morning explained that those seams break up into two separate bezel casings that give the iPhone its wireless signals (antennas). The left side bezel provides the GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth and the right side bezel provide the wireless carrier signal.

The new iPhone 4 has also seen a radical hardware redesign with stainless steel making up the body and glass panels on the front (3.5-inch IPS display) and back. The new device also features what Apple calls “Retina Display”, which is essentially increasing the pixels by four times the amount found in the iPhone 3GS. The higher pixel count, 326 pixels per inch, enables extremely sharp images and text.

A4 Chip & Battery

iPhone 4, like the iPad, is also powered by Apple’s own custom made A4 chip. Internally, the iPhone 4 is packed edge to edge, with the largest space making up the battery. The larger battery has also dramatically improved the battery life:

  • 3G Talk: 7 hours
  • 3G Browsing: 6 hours
  • WiFi Browsing: 10 hours
  • Video: 10 hours
  • Music: 40 hours
  • Standby: 300 hours

iPhone 4 also features 802.11n WiFi, which will dramatically increase the speed of WiFi over the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

On the outside of the iPhone 4, the Micro SIM tray is on the left side of the device, dock/speaker/mic/sleep/wake/headphones all stayed the same, and the wireless carrier speed also stayed the same at 7.2Mbps. There is however a secondary microphone next to the headphone jack for sound suppression.

Gyroscope

The other new piece of hardware debuting in iPhone 4 is a Gyroscope.

This hardware is adding a 3-axis gyro which is being tied to the accelerometer, compass, and gyro together for six axis control. The feature is ideal for gaming, but is sure to have many apps take full advantage of the hardware.

Camera & LED Flash

The iPhone 4 also features a new 5 mega-pixel with a LED flash. The camera further includes a 5x digital zoom and tap to focus, the latter of which was present in the iPhone 3GS.

The camera also features video, like the iPhone 3GS, however the iPhone 4 video camera will be able to record HD video. Adding to this feature, the device will support a new app launching called iMovie for iPhone.

For users who have used iMovie on the Mac platform, you will be familair with the app. Otherwise, the app is a video editor and creator right on the iPhone 4. The new app will be available in the App Store for $4.99.

iOS 4

With the debut of iPhone OS 4.0, Apple introduced over 1,500 new API’s and has revealed 100 new features, many of which have been long time wishes of many users such as Multitasking. Among multitasking, other features include:

  • In-app SMS
  • Automated testing
  • Full map overlays
  • Full access to still and video camera data
  • Carrier information
  • Half-curl page transition
  • Quick Look
  • Package-based documents
  • Call event notifications
  • iPod remote control accessories
  • Draggable map annotations
  • 5x digital zoom
  • Tap to focus on video
  • Gift apps
  • Geotagging
  • Places in the photo app
  • Home Screen wallpaper
  • Bluetooth keyboards
  • Spell checker

Multitasking (iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch Third Gen)

One of the key highlights of the iOS 4.0 is Multitasking support. As an example, users can now open Safari, go into Mail, come back to Safari, then go into Tap Tap Revenge and still be kept where they were before.

With each newly opened app, every one of the apps such as Mail, the game, and Safari retained the state that they were in instead of launching from the start (as apps would typically do). From the Home Screen, users can also access the Multitasking Tray.

Multitasking was made possible from the combination of seven features in iOS 4.0:

  • Background Audio: Ability to play audio while using any app (like playing Pandora)
  • Voice over IP: Skype calling while using other apps
  • Background Location: The iPhone constantly updates your location
  • Push Notifications: Alerts pushed to the users home screen immediately
  • Local Notifications: Like push notifications but does not access Apple’s servers. The notification is local on the device.
  • Task Completion: Processes compete downloading even if they are exited
  • Fast app switching: Exited apps save their current state and restart where the user left off

Folders

Folders are also debuting in iOS 4.0. This feature operates exactly as you would expect folders to work on a computer. Users can drag existing home screen apps into a folder to create a single folder with up to nine apps.

To create a folder, users simply drag one app over top of another and a new folder is created with the two apps. The folder is also automatically named based on the category that these apps came from. For example, if users drag in two games, the folder will be named “Games”.

Mail

iOS 4.0 also introduced support for multiple Exchange accounts. Previously, the iPhone could only support one Exchange account at a time.

Other mail enhancements include a Unified Inbox, similar to what is seen on Mac Mail. Users can now have multiple email accounts filling into one unified inbox. The benefit of this is not having to jump between inboxes to view mail.

Release Dates

iOS 4.0 will be available for free for the following devices:

  • iPhone 3GS: June 21, 2010; All features available
  • iPhone 3G: June 21, 2010; Some features unavailable, like Multitasking
  • iPod Touch Third Generation: June 21, 2010; All features available
  • iPod Touch Second Generation: June 21, 2010; Some features unavailable, like Multitasking

iBooks

This morning’s keynote also unveiled the availability of iBooks for iPhone 4. The iBooks app, along with the iBookstore, is where users can download free and paid books and use iBooks to store and read the content. Just like with the iPad, iBooks for iPhone deliver iBook enhancements that allow users to post Notes in their books and also allow the syncing of PDF documents.

At this time, the only way to mark anything in the iBooks app is by using the Bookmark feature. In terms of PDF documents, users must convert their PDF’s to .EPUB in order to view them in iBooks.

Any downloaded books can also be moved across devices, similar to how apps work. In other words, users can purchase and download a book wirelessly and then download the same book to all their devices at no extra charge.

Users can buy a book on their iPad, download it to their iPhone and iBooks will automatically and wirelessly sync the current place in the books, bookmarks, and notes.

Video Calling

As rumored, iPhone 4 introduces a video calling feature called “FaceTime”. At this time, the feature is WiFi only, no setup required, and only works between iPhone 4 devices using the front or rear cameras.

Pricing

The pricing for the iPhone 4 is as follows:

  • 16GB Black or White: $199 (on contract), $699 (no contract)
  • 32GB Black or White: $299 (on contract), $799 (no contract)

The iPhone 3GS has also seen a price and capacity drop. The iPhone 3GS is now available for:

  • 8GB Black or White: $99 (on contract), $599 (no contract)

Availability

Here comes the epic fail.

The iPhone 4 goes on sale June 24, 2010 with pre-orders starting on June 15, 2010 in the following countries:

  • United States
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom

Seems to be a country missing, eh? That’s because Canada got a the royal shaft and won’t be seeing the iPhone 4 until “July”. In July, the following countries will receive the iPhone 4:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • CANADA <— (*@$#)
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

The entire keynote was magical right up until the release date information. Comments are open for frustration.

[Images credit: Gizmodo, Engadget]

Reports on iPhone news, reviews apps and accessories. Also an armed ninja with an iPhone 4S.

  • jl564

    stupid delay to canada. fuck.

  • jl564

    stupid delay in canada. fuck.

  • http://twitter.com/Brian_Milligan Brian Milligan

    Two features are interesting to me as a developer, the front facing camera and gyroscope. This could enable some really cool interactions with games and apps. I wish these were in my iPad :(

    But the battery extension was marginal, and we'll have to wait for a teardown I guess to see if the graphics hardware was improved to take advantage of the resolution. RAM and GPU are the upgrades I'm looking for, might be next year before we get the “S” version.

  • djepsilon

    TOTALLY called video chat for Wi-Fi only. Lets hope our trusty jail breakers can find a fix for that!

  • zack

    STTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTUPIDDDDDDDDDDD. I SOLD MY 3GS AT THE END OF MAY AND HAVE BEEN USING A MOTOROLA RAZR WAITING FOR THIS STUPID (SPECTACULAR, TERRIFIC, UPLIFTING, PERFECT, INSPIRING, DEVICE). WTFFFF

  • mike

    FUCKKKKK Canada gets treated like a piece of shit, expected but always stings.

  • xxJDxx

    I can't believe they are not releasing in canada. WTF? why? we got the 3GS same time as everyone else. Makes no sense…..

    I'm tired of being treated like 2nd class. I guess if robbers wont let me upgrade I'll be skipping this gen iphone anyway. Thanks apple, way to win over the canadian market.

  • LeSenorNinja

    How to i upgrade from a 3gs :(

  • Zeke2d

    3G Unrestrictor ftw!

  • http://twitter.com/excaliburca Joost Ueffing

    Will be replacing my wife's old BB 8800 World Edition with this when it comes out in July… and mine shortly thereafter.

  • http://twitter.com/excaliburca Joost Ueffing

    That will be fixed by the jailbreak community soon enough…

  • rorypiper

    The release delay shouldn't be that big of a surprise. Didn't we just wait 2 months for the iPad? If you really want iPhone 4 on June 24th, pre-order one in the US, and go get it at the non-contract price, and then jailbreak/unlock it. On June 24th, I'll be in Vancouver, rocking with Iron Maiden!!

  • Oli

    When I see that the Canada is not in the list, I say What the F***!
    I come from Quebec and I'm VERY frustrate

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  • Jason

    I don't get why everyone is freaking out that Canada got left off the original release list. July is only 6 days after June 24. We all know how there has always been a struggle between Apple and Rogers, nevermind that Canada has 3 main cell carriers now that need to work out deals. Cool out people, we will have them in a few short weeks.

    What I want to know is if the OS has customizable text tones and email tones? This needs to happen! There is nothing worse than being out with 3 of your friends who have iphones and someone gets a text or email. Only 1 tone is not annoying to use.

  • xxJDxx

    I think its weird that someone is tech crazy enough to keep up to date on an iphone blog and post the day the news is announced, but doesn't see why its a problem to wait… You obviously aren't a tech enthusiast because to those who are the wait is agonizing. Even if we got it on june 24th the wait would STILL be too long for me!

    It is also an unspecified date in july, probably closer to the end of the month if I had to guess, and as has been mentioned before, if supply becomes and issue it could be longer…. as for tones, just jailbreak, there is a walkthrough on this site about how to do it (jailbreak and create custom sms tones). You've been able to create custom ringtones from any song from the itunes store for awhile now…

  • Jason

    I am one of the biggest “tech enthusiast's” I know, however I understand business. You cannot just get something unlease there are deals set up. We are always behind on things in Canada, so I also accept that and expect that there will always be a delay before we get something

    As for tones of course I know that you can get them through Jailbreak, but there is no good reason why apple should not allow them without having to do so. My 7yr old Nokia could do it then.

  • drumstyx

    Just for that delay I won't get one! (actually $700's a bit steep, since i just grabbed a new contract to get my 3gs last year)

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  • Scott

    it will be interesting to see how long it takes jailbreakers to allow FaceTime on 3G…. if the jailbreak works for iOS 4.0 like they claim the software unrestrictor3g should work perfectly !

  • Matyu

    I don't know about everyone else but Im not that impressed. I'm by no means a tech so I'm sure the actual tech behind the phone is actually quite impressive. As a regular end-user, I don't feel that this phone is as revolutionary as the orignal iPhone.

  • kenny smartz

    I dunno . . . sure it's a new product, a slightly higher res camera, front facing camera, a bit thinner, a bit sexier . . . but I'm pretty dialed in to my jailbroken 3gs. I can multitask, do all sorts of icon/background/winterboard mods. Plus I've got two contracts with Rogers for my original 3g and my 3gs. Yes the 4g will be even cooler when its jailbroken and I can put all the 3rd party aps on but I won't be able to “restore” those apps to a new 4g.
    I guess I'm saying I don't see the need to run out and get another iPhone right now.

  • Taha

    okay now that we know that the iphone is definately on the way
    many 3gs users still arent breathing a sigh of relief
    i think we'd really like to know the refreshed upgrade policies for the carriers (N)

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  • patient

    Well, before everyone gets all pissed, did you guys think maybe it's being delayed in Canada because we actually have networks who support true video calling over the cellular? (Rogers, Fido, Telus and Bell ALL support it) so maybe the delay is to get the true video calling support over the cellular networks up and running? I think that's VERY worth the wait!

    Sure, not if you don't want video calling it's not, but lots of people do, and I would rather have the option to have true video calling between my iphone and any other video calling phone on my network (hopefully all the networks if they start FINALLY allowing that) OR wifi and wait an extra month, rather than getting it now and ONLY having wifi video calling AND only between me and other iPhone 4 users.

  • Zeke2d

    I am 99.99% sure this Facetime thing could be done over 3G, its just Apple being restrictive as usual. Why can every other phone that has a front-facing camera video chat over 3G but not the new highly technilogically advanced iPhone 4G can't. My LG Xenon can video chat and it isn't even a smartphone! Anyways, if jailbreaking goes well, I think everyone will be using 3G Unrestrictor just to get around this restriction as usual.

  • patient

    Yeah, but the thing is there's not a single American Cell phone carrier that offers video calling. (Not even At&T. They have Video share, which is simply being able to record a video while taking and sending it to the other person while on a call) so Apple just made it wifi only, but the countries that do have video calling needs to have the programming for the networks added into the iPhone, and since they weren't releasing information about the iphone, (not counting the leaked iphone) they don't exactly have any local networks they can actually use videocalling protocols for. The closest being Canada, but then they would have to make it available for the Canadian carrier to be able to integrate it. Now that it HAS been officially announced, they can now release iPhone to the networks to get the integration needed for it to work over 3g.

    While I understand your Xenon comparison, it's actually a completely flawed comparison. It was made by a cell phone company who has already made video calling phones in a country that has video calling very prevalent over a cellular network, so it's not hard to make MORE phones that do the same thing. Apple has never made a video calling ANYTHING before, (their computers only do it over wifi) doesn't have access to a video calling network unless they go to another country and basically work with the carriers there to do whatever it is they do to make video calling work. Sure the Xenon does video calling, (I have the same phone) but you can ONLY call Rogers or Fido on it, (or Bell to Bell, or Telus to Telus) you can't do video calling between networks yet, so why is it so hard to believe that Apple couldn't do real 3G video calling until they have access to a video calling 3G network?

    Again, before when they were trying (badly!) to keep this phone secret, they couldn't do 3G video caling tests without giving away more info, but now that is HAS been announced, it's completely feesable that the Canadian delay COULD be because they can now work with video calling carriers to make it work over 3G.

    However, that is just an assumption. As I said in my first post, MAYBE this is the reason, I have no idea why, as all the first release countries in the list (EXCEPT the United states) have video calling so I am hoping that this is the reason why. Although who knows, cause Canada isn't even listed on this list of video call capable countries, even though we had it since 2007, so wtf?

    http://www.etisalat.ae/assets/docs/VideoCall/Vi

    Who knows what the reason is. At the VERY least, any bugs and glitches will be found in the month before it comes to Canada, so we can see what might be wrong with the thing before WE spend OUR Canadian dollars on it at least.

  • Zeke2d

    I am 99.99% sure this Facetime thing could be done over 3G, its just Apple being restrictive as usual. Why can every other phone that has a front-facing camera video chat over 3G but not the new highly technilogically advanced iPhone 4G can't. My LG Xenon can video chat and it isn't even a smartphone! Anyways, if jailbreaking goes well, I think everyone will be using 3G Unrestrictor just to get around this restriction as usual.

  • patient

    Yeah, but the thing is there's not a single American Cell phone carrier that offers video calling. (Not even At&T. They have Video share, which is simply being able to record a video while taking and sending it to the other person while on a call) so Apple just made it wifi only, but the countries that do have video calling needs to have the programming for the networks added into the iPhone, and since they weren't releasing information about the iphone, (not counting the leaked iphone) they don't exactly have any local networks they can actually use videocalling protocols for. The closest being Canada, but then they would have to make it available for the Canadian carrier to be able to integrate it. Now that it HAS been officially announced, they can now release iPhone to the networks to get the integration needed for it to work over 3g.

    While I understand your Xenon comparison, it's actually a completely flawed comparison. It was made by a cell phone company who has already made video calling phones in a country that has video calling very prevalent over a cellular network, so it's not hard to make MORE phones that do the same thing. Apple has never made a video calling ANYTHING before, (their computers only do it over wifi) doesn't have access to a video calling network unless they go to another country and basically work with the carriers there to do whatever it is they do to make video calling work. Sure the Xenon does video calling, (I have the same phone) but you can ONLY call Rogers or Fido on it, (or Bell to Bell, or Telus to Telus) you can't do video calling between networks yet, so why is it so hard to believe that Apple couldn't do real 3G video calling until they have access to a video calling 3G network?

    Again, before when they were trying (badly!) to keep this phone secret, they couldn't do 3G video caling tests without giving away more info, but now that is HAS been announced, it's completely feesable that the Canadian delay COULD be because they can now work with video calling carriers to make it work over 3G.

    However, that is just an assumption. As I said in my first post, MAYBE this is the reason, I have no idea why, as all the first release countries in the list (EXCEPT the United states) have video calling so I am hoping that this is the reason why. Although who knows, cause Canada isn't even listed on this list of video call capable countries, even though we had it since 2007, so wtf?

    http://www.etisalat.ae/assets/docs/VideoCall/Vi

    Who knows what the reason is. At the VERY least, any bugs and glitches will be found in the month before it comes to Canada, so we can see what might be wrong with the thing before WE spend OUR Canadian dollars on it at least.

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