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Apple’s iPhone 4: Everything That Matters

Another day, another Steve Jobs appearance. At today’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Jobs announced the newest Apple product which is going on sale June 24th. It’s the iPhone 4, and it’s got some legitimately cool new upgrades that apple-lovers will want to get their hands on. We’ve sorted these new innovations into two categories below, for your skimming convenience.

What matters a little:

  • New Design: The new iPhone is sleek and 24% thinner than the old iPhone, making it the thinnest smartphone on the planet.
  • Retina display: The iPhone 4 display is 326 ppi. The human retina can only process 300 ppi from the distance at which one holds a phone. Basically, the image can’t possibly get any clearer.
  • Gyroscope: The iPhone 4 will have 6-axis motion detection, making playing Jenga much more realistic, as evidenced by Jobs’s demo. Personally, I want to see how it works with Super Monkey Ball.
  • iBooks upgrades: You can hightlight and add bookmarks and notes now. Also, all the books you buy are paid for on all of your Apple devices, so you can get all the books you bought for your iPod or iPad onto your iPhone for no charge.
  • iAds: A bit of a rehash of their past iOS4 announcement: Apple has come out with its own version of AdMob, with ads to appear in apps and help lower pricing. Conveniently, these ads don’t open anything in a new window and can be easily closed. They’re also interactive in a lot of cool-looking ways.

What matters a lot:

  • Cameras and video: There are now cameras on the front and back of the iPhone. You can record HD video from the iPhone, edit it using an iPhone version of iMovie, and share it with a single click. Quickly-made videos look incredibly professional. YouTube will be overwhelmed.
  • Battery life:  The battery is the biggest component inside the phone, and it’s actually gotten bigger, to support these staggering numbers: 7 hours talk time. 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of WiFi browsing, 10 hours of video. 40 hours of music. 300 hours of standby. Sweet.
  • iOS 4: A lot of new features, most notably (also, the only one demoed) multitasking. Run multiple apps at once, each working in the background while you work with one. For the demo, Jobs used Pandora and kept it running in the background while he used Mail. This may be the most important new feature, but there are supposedly many more. Some that aren’t exciting: more folder controls and Bing.
  • FaceTime: What’s the point of a front-facing camera (besides sweet MySpace pics) if you’re not going to have video chat? In 2010, this video chatting service will only be available iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 via WiFi, as more dealings must be worked out with the cellular providers.
  • Price: $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB.

All in all, an exciting device. Video chat has been a longstanding demand of the consumer, the new battery life is very impressive, and the video recording and editing features are mindblowing, especially with the new display resolution. Unfortunately, the big new iPhone reveal was preceded by a much less positive announcement: Farmville app. Gross.

Apple’s official iPhone 4 promo video:

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