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What the iPhone Got

A week ago I blogged about what I thought the new iPhone needed. Today Apple demonstrated the new phone so how much of what I wanted did I actually get?

I wanted tethering and I got it… well sort of. The new iPhone has tethering built in (actually the new iPhone OS does) but it is up to the network to activate it, and no doubt there will be a charge. I can’t see why I should pay extra because I already pay for a certain amount of data and whether that is directly from the phone or through the phone from a computer shouldn’t make any difference. Still, cell phone service companies aren’t exactly know for their fair deals!

Next was video. As expected, we are getting that, along with quite nice basic editing. Again this is provided by the new OS so owners of existing phones will also get the video capability.

The notification service will also be in the new OS and we will just have to wait for a while to see how well it works, especially compared with the multitasking in phones like the Pre (which I don’t think is as great as some people think).

The new messaging system handles MMS as well as simple text messages and that will be useful for many users. Yet again this is an OS feature so we might be wondering at this point what the new hardware is really going to give us!

Well there’s the digital compass and this will work well if it is sufficiently accurate. One of the demos made it look like the accuracy might not be that great but, again, we will need to see it in action to really know.

I didn’t see any information about which bands the new phone supports but I hope it supports the second band Vodafone uses here in New Zealand or it won’t be possible to use the 3G network in half the locations.

There is no video chat because there is no forward facing camera. I know that is a fairly significant addition but I would like to see it in the iPhone. Maybe next time.

As expected, there is no OLED screen but the current screen is so good already that this isn’t a critical issue. No doubt these screens will become standard in the future but the cost is currently still too great.

The new camera is very welcome. More pixels are great but the autofocus (and manual focus by touching the area to focus on – nice!) is even more welcome. And the macro will now allow scanning bar codes and lookup of information and prices – that’s something other phones could do but the iPhone couldn’t.

There’s no FM transmitter and that’s not surprising and not a particularly important omission anyway.

Extra memory, extra storage and extra speed are always useful and we’ll get all those. That will allow better performance from existing apps and the possibility of more sophisticated apps in the future.

So that’s it. Will I upgrade my existing iPhone to get a new one? Maybe not straight away. I’ll upgrade the OS first then see what hardware upgrade paths are available later.

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