Well, the WWDC keynote is over, and the only announcement made was the new 3G iPhone (although that included the SDK and other news for developers, the App Store, the new firmware, and the rebranded .mac (which looks to be fairly tightly-coupled with the iPhone)). Most of the obvious rumours were true, which made the overall announcement somewhat underwhelming.
The two major positives were the battery life and the new low price ($199 for the 8G, $299 for the 16G). The fact that it’s thinner and has GPS was a nice addition. Proving again that I am not the typical user, there’s no 32G version, presumably to keep the price down, although would it have killed them to offer a 32G version of $399 or even $499 (I was prepared to pay that anyway)?
So now I have some decisions to make. Oh, I’m over 95% positive I’m getting one, but it’s not going to be replacing my iPod any time soon, and it would appear that the specs on the camera didn’t change at all (the Apple Store’s iPhone 3G page lists the camera’s sensor at 2MP), so I’m definitely not giving up the camera.
The one positive in this is that they trotted some developers on stage to talk about their apps. Most of these demoed apps that will be around the $10 mark, but a number of really good, clever and useful apps were also shown that are going to be free. That gives me hope that using this as a PDA is going to be a no-brainer. In fact, I will go so far as to say that because of the reach this new device is going to have, I see an extension of the so-called “Web 2.0” business model to release, for free, a companion app for the iPhone. And given that I can do most of what I want in a PDA on a collection of Web 2.0 sites these days, I’d say my problem will quickly be solved. What will be nice about that is you won’t need to worry about installing yet another sync conduit – your data will just be there whether you access it from your iPhone or any other web browser.
The biggest disappointment in all of this of course, is that the new iPhone won’t be available until July 11th (I betcha those over-enthusiastic people who started lining up in front of Apple stores a couple of weeks ago are feeling a little foolish right now!). An interesting move on the part of a company that wants to move millions of these things this year, especially considering the previous-generation iPhone has been out of stock for over a week. Oh, well, I’ve waited a year, I can wait another month. More time to get more detail on this device, it’s new OS, and what kind of software will be available. If I get buyer’s remorse on this one, it’ll be my own fault.
Yeah… about the camera.
The camera on the iPhone is really a ‘just barely good enough’ camera. I’ve used it a few times. It’s passable. If you’re taking pics of scenery or relatively stationary objects (like, something that’s not a 1-year-old on the move), it’s really fine. But if you were looking to replace your powershot, you were going to be in a losing proposition anyway, because *all* the iPhone camera does is take 2MP pics. There’s no control over any part of the camera AFAIK. There’s an on-screen view finder, and a button to take the pic. That’s it. No WB, no aperture, no color replacement, no… nothing.
On my iPhone (purchased about 2-3 months ago or so) you can’t even send pictures from your iPhone to your buddies.
Another big annoyance you, specifically, will go bonkers about is that there are (or, were – didn’t see any updates on this from yesterday’s events) no voice commands on the iPhone, so that nice bluetooth headset you have is that much less useful, because the iPhone cannot be used while driving in a completely hands-free way.
All of that said, I still think that it meets the 85% rule. The camera is good enough for 85% of the pics you’re likely to take, the phone is good enough for the 85% of the time you’re not in your car, and the available disk space is good enough for… well, that might be another story, but regardless, you can at least retire the blackberry and clamshell, which are the two biggest gadgets you carry 🙂