A Rogueish iPhone 4 Review **Updated with Photos**
Thursday the 24th, launch day. I've got a business trip to New Orleans. I pack up and hot the road bright and early knowing that hundreds of thousands of Apple fans are celebrating with their new wonder phone and I'm stuck driving to NOLA with my 1995 Magnavox Brick. The drive is uneventful. The business trip successful. I enjoy a night out in New Orleans and a wonderful hotel room. I awake Friday morning and wander the Quarter before heading home. I miss New Orleans a lot and in my nostalgia I decide to stop at the Lakeside mall on my way out of town. I can browse a bit then maybe even play with an iPhone 4 on display at the Apple store there. But then, a glimmer of hope. There's a line in front of the Apple store. "Pre-order pickups," I tell my self, not daring to hope. "No way they've got any left in stock." "Looking for an iPhone?" the kind salesgirl asks as I take my place in the back of the line. "You have some?" "I'm out of the 16gigs," she says, obviously a little overworked. "But you've got 32s for everyone in line?" I can't believe what is about to happen. "Yep. Want one?" Perhaps you think I'm overblowing this whole ordeal. "It's just a phone!" you might say. You, sir or madam, have never had an iPhone. I sold my 3G the week before. By Friday morning I had been using a dumbphone for 10 days. I was literally going into withdrawals. This salesgirl telling me that I was about to walk away with the newest and shiniest iThing was like winning the lottery. Everybody wanted one, nobody had one and I was about to get one. So, is the phone itself worth the hype and hullabaloo? I'll spoil the ending for you and say yes, without a doubt. The iPhone has redefined the smartphone category and the iPhone 4 has redefined the iPhone. It literally does change everything. Hardware It's incredibly slim. Just the appropriate amount of heavy and shiny. Oh, it's shiny. It's the kind of gadget that you want to pull out and polish every few minutes so that the next time you show it off it'll be even more pristine than the last. The new industrial design is gorgeous with nothing to take away from that bright brilliant screen. And oh what a screen it is. Display
In my dock, I've got the Phone, Messages, Mail and Camera app. I never carried the camera there before because I had a double click of the home button set to launch it. With iOS4 that launches the multitasking toolbar, so I need it handy.
On page one, I've got my Address book, Calendar, Maps, Settings, Safari, Dropbox and iPod all out individuallly. These are my most used apps other than those on the dock. I also have a Utilities folder, News folder, Social folder and a "Must Play" folder of my favorite games. In Utilities, I've got Siri (a personal assistant app), Dictation, the Clock, Calculator, Weather, Notes, Voice Memo and Remote apps from Apple. Also, 1Password, Trip Cubby (mileage tracker), Adobe Ideas (sketchbook) and Prowl (desktop notifications).
My News folder contains Byline (an RSS reader), The Weather Channel and ESPN Scorecenter. My Social folder has Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, AIM, Pandora, Buzz, FML, Boxcar (a twitter notification app), GetGlue and Foursquare. I've just started using Foursquare and GetGlue so, these may eventually go away. We'll see.
My Must Play games are Angry Birds, Catan (Settlers of Catan), Plants vs. Zombies, Words with Friends, Peggle and Tris (yep. I got it way back when before EA shut it down. I love my free Tetris).
Second page I have the following folders: two games, financial, reference, reading, shopping and imaging. I'm not going to bore you (if I haven't already) with all the apps I've got loaded, other than the Shopping folder. I've got the App Store, the iTunes Store, the Apple Store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Craigsphone (Craigslist app), Walmart and Stubhub. Stubhub is new and might not last. Not sure how often that'll come in handy. I can't tell you the number of times I've been in a store looking at something and thought, "I wonder how much Amazon has that for?" and boom, been able to look it up on the spot. Price comparison for the win!
This one isn't really the iPhone 4 exactly, but the new app from Apple is only available (for now) on the iPhone 4 so I'm including it here. It's brilliant. If you've ever used video editing software on your computer, then you'll be right at home here. The video I linked to earlier (you know, the one you should have seen by now) was completely edited on my phone. I then moved it to the computer so I could post it in the higher resolution. You can import photos and videos from your iPhone library and even use music from your iPod app. It's handy, well built and just plain neat. The idea of shooting video, editing video and posting it online all from the device you carry around in your pocket is just awesome. It's the future, people, and we're living in it.
Honestly, if you've read this far, you either already know you want the new iPhone or you're a tremendous fan of me. Either way, here's my short-quote, tweet-able review:
iPhone 4 is simply the best version of the best phone ever made. Hardware, software and services combine to beat all rivals.
And if they ask who told you so, tell 'em the Rogue did. I'll be glad to debate it with 'em.