iPhone 4 unveiled

Yesterday, Apple unveiled the newest version of the iPhone, the iPhone 4. It is now apparent that the leaked photos from Gizmodo and from Vietnam were accurate (actually, Steve Jobs already admitted that it was about a week ago). The iPhone is billed as a slimmer, faster, more efficient and simply better iPhone than all the previous versions. This is the 4th generation of the smartphone (hence the name), but it is the first one to have a completely new design since the first one was launched in 2007.

The iPhone 4 has a larger battery, which should mean more battery life as well as, the same Apple A4 chip found in the iPad. Apple says that the new screen which uses a new Retina display is the highest resolution display that is currently found on any smartphone. They say that it is so good that the human eye can not actually see individual pixels. I am definitely looking forward to seeing it up close and personal to put that to the test.

By unveiling the new iPhone, Apple also showed how the new software update will look like and behave. Multitasking, the ability to change the home screen wallpaper, updated email and other features will be coming not only to the new iPhone 4, but most of the updates will be available for iPhone 3G and 3GS. This makes this announcement relevant to most of the iPhone owners around the world.

Some features that the new iPhone 4 will have, like 2 cameras and the ability to edit videos are somewhat more for the hype than for practical use. Instead, they could have made the battery even better than they have or add some other feature that would be in higher use for the average iPhone owner. Another interesting feature that the new iPhone will have is video calling which Apple calls FaceTime. In the video (you can see it on www.apple.com), this feature seemed to work pretty well although, even in that video you can see that there is a tiny lag, which is still better than other video calling options like Skype, for example.

The only potential problem I see with the FaceTime video calling is that you would most likely benefit from it when you talk to someone that lives far away which means it will be long distance. At least in Canada, Rogers and the other cell phone carriers charge an arm and a leg for long distance calls, making this feature likely to be very lightly used for anyone that isn’t rich. Hopefully a useful app will be made available that will allow for free talking via Wi-Fi that won’t be counted toward the minutes or long distance and will still utilize the FaceTime app to its full potential.

Later this month the iPhone 4 will be sold in the U.S. and it sounds like in the coming weeks or 2-3 months tops, it will be in Canada and likely most other countries as well.