Review: iPhone 4
The iPod app on the Apple iPhone is the best media player on any phone. First, the iTunes and iPod combo provide a one-two punch that makes it incredibly easy to organize and transfer your media library to your phone. It's simple to buy music on your phone and transfer to your desktop, or vice versa. Album artwork and advanced settings, like custom start/stop points and shuffling preferences, come through perfectly. iTunes could be better. I'd like to see hierarchical folders and better options to autocorrect large groups of song names and tag info, but as it stands its the best music transfer software around.
Second, the music player on the iPhone is fantastic. It is the unsung hero of the iPhone system, and it just keeps getting better. You get all the basic playback controls, plus variable speed scrubbing to scan through tracks quickly or very slowly. This is indispensable while listening to audiobooks. Making playlists has always been easy, but the new iOS4 lets you edit an existing playlist, clear the songs to start fresh or delete the list altogether. You can even use smart playlists that adapt dynamically as you listen, or genius lists that create playlists similar to a single song choice. There are preset equalized options available, and the fantastic cover flow browser to flip through album artwork quickly.
The iPhone doesn't come with removable storage, but the 16GB and 32GB capacities available should provide plenty of space for a week-long selection of music. It won't hold every song you own, but it will last through a vacation or a month of long commutes. The phone comes with a set of white earbuds with a built in remote control and microphone, so you can skip through songs, pause the music, change the volume and take calls without removing the phone from your pocket.
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I wish the iPhone would abandon the proprietary dock connector and opt for microUSB instead. Apple has already indicated support for microUSB as a standard, but has never followed through on its devices. Of course, since the iPhone and iPod have used the same connector almost since the beginning, it isn't hard to find cords and accessories that fit. Still, it's nice to have standards.
Verizon Won't Charge for FaceTime Over Cellular
Sep 12, 2012
Verizon Wireless today said that users of iOS 6 devices will be able to use the FaceTime feature over Verizon's cellular network without paying extra for it. The feature will be available to the iPhone 5 and other Apple devices as a part of their monthly data allotment.
Google+ for iOS Gains Instant Upload and What's Hot
Feb 14, 2012
Google today provided a minor update to the Google+ application for iOS devices. Google+ version 188.8.131.5278 adds the ability to set instant photo uploads, see who has +1'd your posts, and adds access to the What's Hot stream.
Failed AT&T Deal Paved Way for T-Mobile's LTE Play
Mar 13, 2012
T-Mobile USA CTO Neville Ray today said that company was able to develop its current LTE migration strategy thank in part to the collapse of its acquisition by larger rival AT&T. "We're getting new AWS spectrum as a result of the termination of the AT&T deal (pending regulatory approval), which we will use for LTE," said Ray.
Vocre 2.0 Offers Instant Translation within Video Calls
Mar 10, 2012
A small company called Vocre is offering an application that lets users conduct a FaceTime-like video chat that includes live language translation between the two participants. Users can join a video chat session and communicate even though they don't speak the same language.
OTA iOS App Downloads Bumped from 20MB to 50MB
Mar 8, 2012
iPhone owners can now download content from the App Store over 3G cellular data networks that are up to 50MB in size, which is an increase from the previous 20MB limitation. The size increase applies to applications and music.