In the US, the Apple iPhone is out. All over Youtube (who by the way deleted my original account for some reason- BASTARDS), there are tons of vids of proud new owners of Apple's newest and brightest tech device. I've watched a few and so far I've gathered quite a bit of info.
First of all, the iPhone looks incredible, with it's HUGE glass touchscreen (glass means it's resistant to scratches, which is great). The touchscreen does seem to live up to the hype, being far more sensitive and versatile compared to previous device screens- we've all seen the vids. Pinch and draw your fingers out to zoom in or out. Throw your finger to scroll up and down and marvel at the way the simulated physics keeps the momentum going.
The screen makes for a great viewing portal for surfing the web, watching movies and browsing photos. You can watch Youtube vids (it's one of the iPhone's built-in apps) and listen to your tunes. It certainly is the best iPod yet, as promised by Apple.
While it does have a Youtube app, it does not have flash; the videos played are converted to Apple's format through YT's agreement with Apple. As it stands, you cannot really watch every Youtube vid, only 'featured' and 'most popular' vids, and some limited access to the search function. Eventually, this should extend to the whole Youtube repertoire. Maybe.
However, along with the perks are coming some quite glaring flaws.
For one, you WILL need iTunes to sync and put in your vids and tunes. Treat it as an iPod (though I have never owned a pod, so I can only speculate) when loading stuff- you can't just drag and drop with abandon. The iPhone plays only mp4 videos or the native Apple format vids- DIVX, XVID and WMV libraries must be converted. GAH.
The iPhone's 2 megapixel camera is... pretty bland. Apparently you cannot adjust or tweak anything. There's no option to do anything aside from the one button to snap pics (which are pretty good anyway). No flash or auto-anything. AND, you can only take stills- no video. In any case, the iPhone's screen makes for a huge viewfinder at the very least...
There is apparently NO WAY to check how much free memory you have.
There are widgets (small apps that do various functions) in the phone, but no games. Third Party developers are barred from the device, so any app will come from Apple and that's that. You can't put in or set up your own custom ringtones, and apparently no way to put them into the phone. No themes or much in customization aside from the ability to put up a wallpaper. Perhaps personalizing stuff will come later- Apple isn't as used to this stuff like Nokia or Sony Ericsson, after all.
It's an expensive toy- the price ranges from $499 for the 4 GB model, $599 for the 8 GB phone. Then you have to pay about $1000 for the phone plans. As mentioned, the iPhone is exclusive to one carrier in the US (Cingular, I think) for the next few years.
Phone call quality is apparently BAD. Perhaps software updates will remedy this, but initial impressions with texting and calling has been less than stellar. Apple makes great iPods, but it all just shows how much of a neophyte they are in phonemaking.
Battery life is apparently pretty good- at least better than similar devices. Supposedly it will give you up to 7 hours playing video, and 24 for music. The battery is replaceable but Apple estimates that they would last for at least 400 charges (or two years).
Well there it is. So far, the iPhone's on the surface niceties are real- but beneath the lovely, huge, mirrory screen lies quite a few things that potential users will have to take notice off. Apple still has a lot to learn from making phones, but that should be remedied by later models. The one year delay between the initial US launch and the eventual Asian debut of the device will hopefully give us a more updated, user-friendly, even better iPhone. Still, I'm not really that hot with it. I'll probably stay with Windows- DIVX/XVID videos, drag-and-drop ease, third party apps and games aplenty, lotsa customizations and more are just too good to drop for looks and gimmicks alone.
But DAMN that screen looks freakin' beautiful. Dammit.