1. FacetimeFacetime uses the iPhone 4’s new front-facing webcam to allow video calling. It is very simple to use – just call up any other iPhone 4 user, and click on "Facetime" and suddenly you’re video chatting with each other. At the moment, this is limited to iphone 4 users, but that will inevitably change as Apple has promised that Facetime is an open standard (and thus can be adopted by other devices). For people roaming the globe, one important part of Facetime is that it is currently wifi only – it will not work on cellular data networks. Although this means you won’t be able to video chat with your mom from the Great Wall, this also means that video chats are free of carrier roaming charges. So long as your hotel/hostel/cafe has wi-fi, you can Facetime anyone in the world, for free.
2. Native Bluetooth Keyboard Support
As fun as typing a long blog post on an iPhone is, it can take quite a long time. With iOS 4 (built into the iPhone 4), Apple now supports bluetooth keyboards. I recently tried out an old iGo Stowaway Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard that we had lying around. The iPhone discovered the keyboard immediately, told me what to type to pair it with the keyboard, and it was done. Every app now works with the keyboard. Yes, the “ultra-slim” keyboard is still about 3 times the size of the iPhone itself, but it’s still better than carrying around a netbook / laptop.
3. Camera – Amazing HD Video and Great Still ImagesThe iPhone 4 has a 5 megapixel camera on the back, with an LED flash. We’ve been very impressed with the quality of the photos (especially outdoors), as well as the HD video it produces.
It’s very easy to share these on social networking sites and “blog on the go”. The video can be edited with iMovie, which makes it surprisingly easy to throw together a good looking professional video (unlike the one below). Getting the video onto the internet while preserving quality is a little more difficult – uncompressed HD video upload is not supported natively (Apple expects you to plug in to a computer to access the video). However, there’s an app for that – www.pixelpipe.com , although a little rough around the edges, it enables 720p video upload to any number of sharing websites. See below for a sample of how the video looks.
iPhone 4 Video – Click to see it in HD
4. “Retina” High Resolution Display
The iPhone screen now has a much better resolution of 960 × 640 pixels. This makes a big difference when using the iPhone as a browser – for instance, the Safari browser has incredible detail, making it much easier to read detailed text pages.
5. Battery Life
With a claimed 40% longer talk time and much longer standby time, this is useful when days can go by before you can next “plug in”.
And, we’re not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing yet, but:
For those who jailbreak their iPhones (not us – yet!), the iPhone now supports micro-SIM’s. We’re not sure if this is more common yet overseas – please let us know if you think this is a positive or a negative in the comments!
Do you have an iPhone 4? What do you think? Please let us know in the comments!