Everyone is talking about it and so am I. Why?
For once it just might achieve one thing that few thought possible: “world domination”. (yeah … go ahead and laugh… we’ll see).
If the first iPhone did set a turning point in history when it arrived, the 3G iPhone in July 11 will make, in my opinion, another one. It’s all about the features, the $199 price tag and so much more.
3G + GPS
First the features: 3G + GPS. A few years back when I bought my HTC P3300 I had to decide if I wanted a 3G phone or a GPS enabled one. As a user I was frustrated to learn that there wasn’t any mobile in the market with both technologies.
One of the worst things about my GPS program NDrive is how fuc*ing long it takes to find the satellites. It’s sooo fuc*ing frustating.
So when I hear from Apple that they have solved it I tend to believe it. Specially when they explain it so well:
In addition to A-GPS, iPhone 3G uses signals from GPS satellites, Wi-Fi hot spots, and cellular towers to get the most accurate location fast. If GPS is available, iPhone displays a blue GPS indicator. But if you’re inside — without a clear line of sight to a GPS satellite — iPhone finds you via Wi-Fi. If you’re not in range of a Wi-Fi hot spot, iPhone finds you using cellular towers. And the size of a location circle tells you how accurately iPhone is able to calculate that location: The smaller the circle, the more accurate the location.
Another important thing is the Maps thing. It was only a question of time before someone took a GPS enabled phone and do something with it. And they are doing it.
Maps on iPhone 3G use GPS to help you get from point A to point B. Find a location, get directions, and, if you like, follow your progress along a highlighted route with live GPS tracking
No more NDrive for me. Thank you.
Multi Touch has to be experienced for you to truly understand it’s true power. I can’t even begin to explain how good it is until you have tried it.
Accelerometer, as they put it: When you rotate iPhone from portrait to landscape, the accelerometer detects the movement and changes the display accordingly. Now this may seem like a small thing but it’s one of the features I just love in my Canon S3.
Smart Sensors are one of my favorites. If I have something that I really dislike in my phone it is looking at it and don’t see nothing due to the sun’s position. So then I’ll have to make some awkward movements with my mobile to check the hours (yes … I don’t use a watch). It’s sooo fuc*ing annoying. iPhone brings the ambient light sensor that fixes this.
The other sensor fixes something I really hate on my mobile. Whenever I take a call my ear does funny stuff to my mobile. So when I finish the call I usually have about 2 to 5 apps running and a lot of stuff mixed up. Of course I can take a call, turn off the display and the lift the phone and talk but hey I’m lazy and as strange as it may seem, when I take a call I’m not thinking about my phone problems. So iPhone solves this by turning off display automatically when you lift the phone.
So what’s missing?
It’s really hard to find something that iPhone doesn’t have. It has an iPod for audio, YouTube integration for video, a 2.0 megapixel camera with photo geotagging, 3G, Wireless, Bluetooth, GPS, Multi Touch screen, Accelerometer, Smart Sensors for daylight and taking calls and so much more cool stuff.
What’s missing then? Well I would love to see Flickr integration out-of-the-box, more space and more battery. I would also like to see some more sensors.
I would also like to make it “safer”. Geotagging is cool but also dangerous.
The so much more
Those features are all cool for the end user but in the first iPhone they lacked a major issue: Enterprise support.
Exchange Server integration and Cisco IPSec VPN
Apple licensed Microsoft ActiveSync and now supports Cisco IPSec VPN. For me this is going to be one of the killer features on the new iPhone. This is more than a blink of an eye to the corporate world. This will please many, if not all, corporations and IT Managers.
In the near future I can see corporations leveraging phones as they did with computers. Corporations don’t need to have a promiscuous computer base so they try to leverage their servers and computers in one or two brands because they get better support and homogenization. I can see this happening with the iPhone and more: Imagine sales teams with an Iphone in its hand, nurses and doctors taking notes on hospitals and so much more possibilities. That’s where I’m heading.
More information about this on the Apple page here.
The iPhone with all the features, but specially with the Multi Touch, brings a whole new level of interaction and possibilities.
As a developer whenever I think about mobile development I get the same “oh! oh!” from my brain. Why? Well there are a few things that pop into mind: Each mobile has a different OS, I’ll have to go with M$ or J2ME, screen sizes, (my brain just got tired…). And everything seems so much harder to do on mobile than everywhere else.
Another other problem is commercialization. You have to create, distribute, do the marketing and sell your product.
They take 30% from your price (if I heard it right) but they give you a global marketplace and the same fighting chance as everyone else. And, if you check what happened with iTunes with 4 billion songs sold until mid January accounting for 70% of worldwide online musical sales, well you’ll see that it’s a good trade off. One other thing … they won’t charge you anything if you do a free app. Cool.
It will be released in 73 countries (yes that’s right … 73!).
On July 11th the first batch of 25 countries will receive it including our very own little place planted by the seaside: Portugal!
Bottom line: It’s all about the experience
For me as a consumer of something all I’m interested is the experience. If I have a good experience I’ll like it if I don’t I’ll ignore it. I can apply this to everything in my life and get away with it.
Until I had an iPod I didn’t understand all the fuzz around it. That didn’t happen with the iPhone. I don’t have one but I’ll buy an 3G iPhone and I’ll retire my HTC.
And as Apple sends neat stuff to us humans, I can only wonder how much longer will everyone else stand by. Microsoft seems to be hiding on a corner and mobile corporations seem to rely on the same old stuff of blindly adding hundreds of features. Apple also does it… but it does it with style. I can only hope that everyone else follows.
Apple totally got it. More than a user issue, it’s a lifestyle issue. Not only is it cool to have Apple products it is also very rewarding on the experience level.
And this time they did it at a killer price: $199 (about 130€). For what’s being offered? It’s almost a joke.
A mobile this affordable with all it’s amazing features will change the way everyone lives and organizes their lives and it might very well leverage/standardize technology for both developers and users alike. And that’s why I say that this might very well be a defining moment on the History of our little planet. We’ll see in a few years about that “world domination” that I speak about. Until then… you just keep on laughing.
One thing’s for sure … opinions apart we live in very interesting times and I want my 3G iPhone!
update: Vodafone launched the pre-order page here.