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The best and first comprehensive Apple 3G iPhone review

First review about Apple New 3G iPhone

Apple finally took the wraps off its 3G iPhone. Thinner edges, full plastic back, flush headphone jack, and the iPhone 2.0 firmware -- Apple's taking a lot of the criticisms to heart from the first time around. Obviously 3G is at the forefront, but they're also making sure it's available all over internationally, works with enterprises, runs 3rd party apps... and does it all for cheaper. Apple claims its 3G speeds trounce the competition, with pageloads 36% faster than the N95 and Treo 750 -- and of course it completely trounces the old EDGE data speeds.

Battery life isn't getting put out to pasture though, with 300 hours of standby, 8-10 hours of 2G talk, 5 hours of 3G talk, 7 hours of video and 24 hours of audio. GPS is also a go. Apple is using A-GPS, which supplements regular satellite GPS data with info from cellular towers for faster location. (WiFi data is also worked into the mix, which should give users a pretty solid lock on where the heck they are on this planet.) Unfortunately, as expected there's no front-facing cam, and while its edges are thinner than before it's still about a millimeter thicker at the center (12.3mm over 11.6mm before). Apple hopes to launch in 70 countries this year, with the black 8GB going for $199 and 16GB for $299 in black or white. (Both price points require a contract, of course.) Apple will be hitting the 22 biggest markets, including the US, on July 11th. More info after the break.

Detail info of Apple new 3G iPhone:

  • It's a teensy bit thicker. 4.5 by 2.4 by 0.48 inches (115.5 by 62.1 by 12.3 mm), and weighs 4.7 ounces (133 grams).
  • Radios galore: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), UMTS / HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100MHz), GSM / EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz), Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
  • A SIM ejector comes in the box, at last. That would be a paper clip.
  • There's no dock included, just a USB power adapter and dock connector.
  • On AT&T unlimited iPhone 3G data plans for consumers will be available for $30 a month, on top of voice plans starting at $39.99 a month. Unlimited 3G data for business users will be $45 a month, on top of voice. There's a minimum two-year agreement, but we're not positive what that'll look like for those currently enslaved to an AT&T contract -- you could be looking at a solid four years of time if you just took the plunge.
  • Apple's new MobileMe service will be coming with the iPhone 2.0 software, bringing push email and contacts for all.
  • Apple's official page is here, and you can watch the new ad here.
  • Available on July 11th in: Australia, Austria, Belgium (French), Belgium (Dutch), Canada (English), Canada (French), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (French), Switzerland (German), UK, USA
  • The rest of these are slated to get the phone this year: Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, C. African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macau, Madagascar, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Niger, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Singapore, Qatar, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey, Uruguay.
  • On the chatting front, developers will be able to ping a centralized push server with their apps, to keep down battery usage and app overload on phones.
  • No mention has been made of MMS, video recording or built-in iChat. What gives, Apple?

First review about Apple New 3G iPhone

iPhone 3G purchase and activation will be in-store only

Like many, you were probably planning on hanging back, sipping on Bacardi 151, and waiting for your new iPhone 3G to arrive in the mail following a timely pre-order. Unfortunately for your foot-kicked-onto-desk plans, Apple and AT&T have something else in mind. Word on the street is that you will not be able to purchase and / or activate a new device via any other method than in-store, thus doing a full 180 on the way the dream team was doing business last time around. So not only has Apple's revenue sharing gone into that good night, but it appears the innovative DIY activation that was such a big deal this time last year is shuffling off as well. So what gives guys? And more importantly, why are you making us leave the house? Hear what AT&T reps had to say about it after the break.

"There is no question that many enjoyed the convenience of at-home activation, but we also found that many others wanted to complete purchase and activation in one step so they could walk out of the AT&T store with their iPhone up and running. We have decided to take the latter approach and we think customers will like it. It will be especially helpful if any questions or issues arise during activation. They can be resolved on the spot and in-person.

This is the way our wireless phones have been activated for years and customers have been very happy with it. And, activation should take just a few minutes."

First review about Apple New 3G iPhone

iPhone 3G and MobileMe

* Lower Price: This was the announcement that got everyone all atwitter: 3G, 8GB iPhones for just $199. Considering that I bought my 8GB iPhone less than one year ago for the low-low price of just $600 (I had to, I was writing an iPhone book), this is a big step towards affordability land for folks who've been craving an iPhone but couldn't stomach the price. Keep in mind that the 8GB iPod touch is currently selling for $299, so that means barring any price slashes from Apple, you can now purchase an iPhone for less than an iPod touch. Likewise, the 16GB iPhone is now selling for $299 versus the $399 16GB iPod touch.

The catch, naturally, is that with the iPhone you've got to pay at least $60/month for your cell phone plan from AT&T (a number that I'm pulling from current iPhone plans—who knows if AT&T will up their charges for significantly quicker 3G data network).

* GPS: Apart from the price drop and the faster 3G network, the best feature in the new 3G iPhone is, without a doubt, the inclusion of GPS. We've already shown you how a location-aware device will change your life, and the addition of GPS to the iPhone will only take this to more exciting heights. And, of course, live turn-by-turn directions (which better be included, though we haven't seen proof) are fantastic.

The 3G iPhones will be in stores on July 11th.

* Camera: No improvements on the 2.0 megapixel camera, which is currently below par among the iPhone's competition.
* Headphone Jack: The new headphone jack is not recessed so you no longer need to buy special headphones to fit your iPhone. This would be a good thing, if the recessed jack weren't such a stupid design move in the first place. You can't fix a mistake and call it a feature.
* Improved Audio: The iPhone's speaker is abysmally quiet, making a speaker phone conversation almost impossible. Jobs says the audio is improved, but made no specific mention of the speaker phone, so we'll see. This is still a big question mark.

First review about Apple New 3G iPhone

The iPhone 2.0 Firmware

* Push Notifications for Third-Party Apps: The new iPhone 2.0 firmware, set to release in July with the 3G iPhone, promises a slew of new features for iPhone users, most notably through the App Store. (Is it just me, or does the App Store look strangely ugly in the screenshots?) Probably the biggest concern for those paying attention to the iPhone SDK the last few months has been that Apple doesn't allow third-party programs to run in the background to conserve battery, among other things. The problem with this is that, if you'd installed an instant-messaging application, for example, you wouldn't be able to receive updates when a new IM was sent your way unless you always had your IM app open. Apple came up with a solution to this problem by offering developers to send push notifications to any user's iPhone through their network, so that even if your application isn't running, you're still receiving updates as if it were. This is pretty ingenious, and although it's not going to be available until September, it's got all kinds of promise.

Apart from that, the folks at Apple showed off a lot of games and other applications that don't necessarily have all that much utility for the productivity set. (What percentage of the world's population does Apple think are M.D.'s? Seems like every iPhone-related keynote is showing us how doctors can use their iPhones.) If you can't wait until July for third-party apps on your iPhone, check out the apps we think are worth jailbreaking for and then take a few seconds to jailbreak your iPhone.

Steve Jobs made a point to repeat that they've added everything that everyone wanted them to add to the iPhone. Well, *ahem*, although they added lots of features that everyone is excited to have, a lot of the added features were unexpected. What they did not add that everyone really wanted:

*MMS Messaging: There is absolutely nothing as tedious as viewing an MMS message sent to the iPhone. You get a text message directing you to AT&T's lame MMS site (viewmymessage.com), but you have no link to get there directly from the MMS, so you have to type it in manually. Then you have to enter a username and password in a form to access your message. They're too long to memorize easily, so you have to switch back and forth between the text message and the browser to fill it in. In short, for all practical purposes you cannot view MMS messages on your iPhone at all—you need to find a desktop browser. On top of that, the ViewMyMessage site is insufferably slow. Guess nobody wanted MMS, though. Photo by telethon.

*Note-Syncing: The biggest waste on the iPhone is that the Notes application is completely standalone. It won't sync with anything, which means you're left with all sorts of buckets that don't sync up. When Apple released Leopard they included a Notes feature in many of their productivity apps (like Mail and iCal) that share the exact same styling as Notes on the iPhone, but they don't talk to the iPhone at all. In addition, the new MobileMe (see more on it below), which syncs virtually all of your iPhone's productivity apps, has no love for Notes, despite the fact that this is the app that one would imagine should be easiest to sync.

*Wireless Sync: MobileMe will introduce wireless syncing of your data for a price, but we still aren't seeing any Wi-Fi sync of your iTunes music—the one feature that Microsoft's Zune has up on its Apple counterpart. At least Linux users have iPhone-to-iTunes wireless sync figured out.

First review about Apple New 3G iPhone

MobileMe Replaces .Mac

* Push Email, Calendars, Contacts, Photos, and Data: .Mac has been a theoretically wonderful idea for a long time, but Apple's implementation always fell just short. With MobileMe, the new and improved version of .Mac, users get full push email, contacts, and calendar for their iPhone, which means, for example, that a newly created contact on your computer will instantly be synced to your iPhone over the air and vice versa. Apple is marketing it as "Exchange for the rest of us."

The impressive thing about MobileMe is that it promises syncing of all of this data between your Mac, Windows PC (sorry Linux folks), iPhone, and iPod touch. In addition to email, contacts, and calendar push, MobileMe also syncs your photos and files (with up to 20GB of iDisk storage).

*No Notes: MobileMe does not sync notes, which means no simple to-do list management built into your iPhone.

*Web-based versions: We heard a lot boasting at the keynote about how the MobileMe web access looks and feels just like their desktop counterparts on the Mac. That's great for many of the applications, but when you've got an app like Mail.app that's light years behind web-based email applications like Gmail in terms of smart and innovative design, it just means more of the same stodgy, cumbersome email interface. When will everyone who's not Google realize that threaded conversations are the wave of the future?

*Charge $99: This was inevitable and expected, since .Mac was always a $99 affair, but nothing keeps away new users like a price tag. If Apple were somehow able to push out a free version of MobileMe, there's no reason you wouldn't sign up for an account.

First review about Apple New 3G iPhone

iPhone App Store
iPhone makes it possible for the world’s best developers to create applications that are nothing short of amazing. Designed to leverage the groundbreaking technology in iPhone — like the Multi-Touch interface, the accelerometer, GPS, real-time 3D graphics, and 3D positional audio — these applications are unlike anything you’ve ever seen on a mobile phone. And they’re coming soon, right to your Home screen.
Browse and buy at the App Store.
Downloading applications to iPhone is easy. Just tap the App Store icon, browse whatever categories you’re interested in, then download your purchases wirelessly. Many are even free. Once you own an application, the App Store automatically notifies you when there’s an update. You can even shop the App Store on your computer, then sync applications to your iPhone using iTunes.

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