iPhone 4 Miscellany



The Battery

With every other gadget I’ve owned keeping the battery charged is one of the costs of ownership. The iPad, on the other hand, has an incredible battery. It’s battery is one of the best features of the whole device, and usually is the first thing I say when people ask me what I like best about my iPad. “The battery,” I tell them. “This thing will run for 12 hours.”

The iPhone 4 boasts virtually the same battery life as the iPad. Imagine then what you can still do after the the 20% power warning. The 4 will still have enough juice for a 90-minute phone conversation, an entire movie, 2 hours of surfing the web, or to just be left sitting around for another two and a half days.

When the 20% battery warning comes up on my 3GS it means I go into iPhone survival mode, keeping usage to a minimum to prolong death before I am able to charge it next. But on the 4 a 20% warning will simply mean charge at my earliest convenience (the same way it is for the iPad).

The Glass

Putting glass on both sides is a great move. I have never put a screen guard on any of my iPhones, and I usually place my 3GS face down because the glass front is more scratch resistant than the plastic back.

The original iPhone was well-built. It felt good and looked good. But it was a bit slippery and had poorer cell reception compared to the 3G and 3GS. But what the 3G-enabled models gained in function they lost in form. The plastic back is not nearly as classy.

And so by putting helicopter-grade glass on both sides the iPhone 4 now gets the best of both worlds: a phone that feels good, looks good, and get’s good reception.

The Screen

I’m afraid of the 4’s new display in that it may cause every other device I use (Apple Cinema Display, MacBook Pro, iPad) to look like pixelated crap.

That Wallpaper

The water drops wallpaper which is set as the default in iOS 4 baffles me. I’m not running the iOS 4 beta, nor have I seen the wallpaper in display on an iPhone 4. But in the promotional shots of the new iOS and phone the wallpaper looks tacky to say the least.

My only guess is that the water drops image was used because it was an ideal image for being the Home Screen wallpaper and showing off the Retina Display hotness. Regardless, I expect to be using something more minimal.

Marketing FaceTime

The FaceTime commercial and its section in the iPhone design video both use classic, emotional music. The show all sorts of happy, real-life scenarios, and really pull you in to the emotion of watching real people connect.

Apple is telling a story about the iPhone through FaceTime. It’s not just a device for fun, games, and work. It is something which can add value to your real life. It’s a story wrapped with families and loved ones connecting like never before.

Gina Trapani says:

That’s the thing about Apple marketing. They don’t talk about how many gigabytes of memory or how many CPU cycles or how many apps (much). They aim for your heart, and show you how technology can make your life better during its most important moments.

It’s this feature alone that makes me want to buy my wife an iPhone 4 as well, instead of giving her a hand-me-down.

AT&T

I was with Verizon for almost 9 years before I bought an iPhone, and their service was great. But AT&T’s service in Kansas City (where I live) and Denver (where my family lives) is also great.

I can count on one hand the dropped calls I’ve had since June 2007. My phone always has solid 3G reception and very speedy data. Moreover, whenever I’ve had to deal with AT&T’s customer service it’s been easy and pleasant.

Two other things I love about AT&T: (1) They subsidize my iPhone upgrades more frequently than every 2 years; and (2) they let me change my plan for just a month or two (when I know I’m going to have a talk-heavy event) without making me renewing my contract for another 2 years.