Review: iPhone 4
Apple is in trouble. When the original iPhone was launched, Steve Jobs said it was five years ahead of the competition. Now, while the competition is eagerly catching up to Apple in all of the iPhone's best features, Apple seems unwilling or unable to move quickly to catch up to the social networking features on Android, WebOS and even BlackBerry devices.
The iPhone 4 is still great, and Apple excels at proving that unexpected features can make a dramatic difference. The screen is the best I've ever seen on a phone, and the camera is as good as a standalone point and shoot. The iPhone has always been the best at music and video playback, with strong backing from the iTunes desktop application. For gaming, the iPhone is in a class by itself, and finds more competition in the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS than any other smartphone.
Still, for the first time with this generation of iPhones, Apple is seriously behind the curve. Features like widgets, deep social networking integration and even advanced messaging options are common on other platforms, but unheard of on the iPhone. Third party apps fill in many of the gaps, and Apple's curated App Store offers the best selection and the easiest way to find new apps, but many other phones do a better job integrating contacts, events and photos from social networks, and that's important to smartphone users these days.
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There may also be significant hardware problems. Reception can dip dramatically when the antenna is blocked the wrong way. The earpiece was not loud enough to overcome a noisy environment. I'm also not comfortable with the all glass front and back. The overall design doesn't impress me much, though my fellow editors disagree, so this is just a matter of taste.
The iPhone is still one of the best smartphones on the market, but it's no longer safe to simply call this The One and go home. Depending on your needs, there may be better options out there for you. But if you want great multimedia, superior gaming and app options, and a screen that looks picture perfect, the iPhone 4 is the one to choose.
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.
Feb 14, 2012
Google today provided a minor update to the Google+ application for iOS devices. Google+ version 22.214.171.12478 adds the ability to set instant photo uploads, see who has +1'd your posts, and adds access to the What's Hot stream.
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.
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.
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.