Apple iPhone 4 Announced

apple-iphone-4-steve-jobs-wwdc-keynoteApple have just announced their brand new iPhone at WWDC 2010, imaginatively named iPhone 4, just that, no iPhone 4G or iPhone HD – and yes, it would appear to be the iPhone 4G prototype model that we’ve all seen leaked by Gizmodo!

Hardware Design

At the announcement, Steve Jobs said that the new iPhone 4 brings over 100 new features to the table, focusing on just a few for the keynote. The casing is made from glass at the front and back, with steel around the sides and this new design makes it the “thinnest smartphone on the planet” at just 9.3mm.

It comes packed with a front facing camera, and a rear camera too. Also, there’s an LED flash on the back, so you can take photos in low light conditions!

It uses the same microSIM tray as the Apple iPad, so you won’t be able to put your own SIM in it unless you cut it down to size yourself.

You’ll also find a second microphone for noise cancellation which is great for calls in loud places, similar to what Google’s Nexus One Android phone has.

A lot of people were curious about the line at the top of the device, as it’s seldom seen with Apple’s focus on ‘unibody’ design. The reason for this is to use the band as part of the antenna system to improve the effectiveness for signal reception. What does this mean? Well, you might actually be able to make calls for starters! Assuming that works well, that’ll definitely a good improvement.

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Screen

The second big feature in the new iPhone 4 model is what Apple call a ‘Retina Display’, which offers four times as many pixels on the screen, to make it a much sharper screen than previous generations. Steve Jobs actually did a live demonstration of the new screen technology using a 3GS and an iPhone 4, and the difference was pretty striking.

Note the difference, with the 3GS image on the left and the iPhone 4 on the right. The iPhone 4 packs 960 x 640 pixels on the 3.5” display, which is a huge improvement over the 3GS.

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Internal Hardware

The iPhone is powered by Apple’s own A4 chip – the same chip that’s used in the iPad – and packs a lot of hardware in such a small case. The battery dominates the case, so they’re squeezing as much power as possible.

It will come with up to 32GB of storage and 802.11n WiFi built in. A new addition not seen in previous iPhones is a 3 axis gyro, which is tied in with the accelerometer and compass to offer six axis control. Jobs did a demo of a simple 3D game with a stack of blocks, and the gyro seemed to be impressive for gaming purposes. It’ll be great to see games on the App Store that take advantage of the new hardware.

New Camera System

iPhone 4 comes with a new camera system that aims to take better pictures, particularly in low light. There’s now a 5 megapixel sensor in the device, but the big difference here is the backside illuminated sensor. 5X digital zoom is also offered, and, of course, it will utilise that LED flash they’ve put in.

So it’s great for taking still pictures, but what about video? You’ll be able to record 720p video at 30 fps, which is great for a mobile device! To take video even further on the iPhone, Apple have even created iMovie for iPhone to allow you to edit your video content without having to transfer them to your computer.

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iOS 4

You may be wondering what ‘iOS’ is… turns out, Apple ditched the ‘Phone’ part and renamed the operating system. Unfortunately, that’s the only thing that’s changed on the OS front, no new features except for what we already know were announced for the iPhone OS (iOS) 4.0 update, although Apple have officially added Bing to their list of search providers on the OS, with Steve saying “Microsoft has done a great job on this” (who’d have thought we’d ever hear that?). You can expect to see the iOS 4 software update released on 21st June 2010.

Video Calling

You know there’s a reason to be excited when Steve Jobs says there’s “One more thing…”. Steve did a live demonstration of a video call using the iPhone’s front facing camera to call Jony Ive. This is a great addition to the iPhone, and a wished-for feature from many users.

The service is called FaceTime, and only works over WiFi at the moment, but it’s a great advancement. Of course, iPhone 4 is required too.

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Availability

iPhone 4 looks like the best iPhone to date, with a much needed update to the look of the device. It’s available in both white and black, with a 16GB version costing $199 and a 32GB costing $299 on 2 year US mobile phone contracts. Pre-orders start June 15th, and it becomes available on June 24th.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the various iPhone mobile networks here in the UK, presumably they’ll end up being quite similar prices again, but I wonder how long us PAYG iPhone customers will have to wait until we can buy one without a contract?

With iOS 4 and the new hardware that comes with it, it’s sure to be a hit. Are you thinking of getting the new Apple iPhone 4? Let us know in the comments!

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Via – Engadget