Breaking Down the New iPhone 4 - Rolling Stone
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Breaking Down the New iPhone 4

Better battery life, slimmer design, Netflix for iPhone, live video chatting and more

Even though details about Apple’s newest smart phone leaked online over a month ago, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone 4 at the annual WWDC Conference in San Francisco this afternoon. Jobs revealed that the latest version of the phone, which hits stores on June 24th and is priced at $299 for the 32-gigabyte version and $199 for the 16-gigabyte, comes packed with over 100 new features (although he only highlighted about a dozen of the big ones). Here’s a rundown:

Better Battery Life
The original iPhone wasn’t designed for all the power-hogging apps that most people now have on their devices. The iPhone 4 has seven hours of talk time, six hours of web browsing on the 3G network, 10 hours of WiFi Web browsing, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music playback, and 300 hours of standby time — a vast improvement. Expect the new phone to have a battery life that’s longer than a full day (unlike the current iPhone).

Improved Reception
Thanks to a new, innovative set of separate, dedicated antennas that are built into the stainless steel sides of the iPhone 4, it’ll be easier to pick up WiFi signals, GPS, and, presumably, even AT&T’s less than stellar 3G networks.

Slimmer Design
At just 9.3mm (about .36 inches), the iPhone 4 is the thinnest smart phone on the market and about one-fourth thinner than the iPhone 3GS, which makes it more in line with the size of the super-thin iPod Touch. The phone is also manufactured with mix of stainless steel and glass that Jobs likened to an old Leica camera.

Increased Productivity
The new iPhone 4 will feature Apple’s new iOS, which adds the much-needed ability to use more than one app simultaneously. You’ll be able to stream music on Pandora while checking all your e-mail accounts in one unified inbox simultaneously.

Instant Folders
Organizing all your music apps onto one screen is a time-consuming bore. The new OS lets you instantly create folders of similar apps. For instance, take your Shazam icon and drag it over your KCRW app and you’ll automatically create a folder called Music.

Netflix for iPhone
If you want to watch movies on your way to work, you can now do that with the Netflix app for iPhone, which will automatically pick up wherever you left off on your home TV/PC/Xbox. It also has a convenient in-app search feature, which makes sorting through your Instantly Watch queue much less time-consuming.

Higher Resolution Screen
The iPhone 4’s screen is beefed up to 326 pixels-per-inch, four times as many pixels than the current phone. This translates into far clearer images and more vivid color on everything from music videos to Web pages to e-Book text.

Better Camera and HD Camcorder
The iPhone 4’s camera has a backside illuminated sensor, which helps the new 5-megapixel camera capture more information to create clearer pictures in low light situations. Apple has also added an LED flash. Similarly, the improved camcorder now shoots in real HD (720p and 30fps), which you can edit in the forthcoming iMovie for iPhone and send to friends via MMS, e-mail, or post online to MobileMe. (Users can’t post directly to Facebook — yet).

Apple’s free two-way, live video chat app, which will let users call other iPhone 4 users over WiFi thanks to the iPhone’s secondary front-facing camera.


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