More Thoughts on the iPhone

After some further review of the announced specs, as well as varied input from the Mac community, here are some revised/additional thoughts on Apple's new iPhone.

NO FM RADIO – I don't think anyone will care, myself included, but this is something I feel like I have to mention. A lot of higher end phones seem to have this thrown in, because it's such a gimmick. I'll admit that when I was looking into buying my K750i, the idea of having a ubiquitous FM tuner on hand at all times seemed great. In reality, though, I never use it.

NO FLASH/TORCH/LIGHT – Something that I do use frequently on my K750 is it's built-in high intensity LED. It works pretty well for brightening photos in darker environs, but I more frequently use it as a straight-up flashlight. You'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) at how handy this thing is – I look under the couch with it at least once a week.

NO SWAPPABLE BATTERY – This is very much in line with Apple's iPod strategy, where you cannot remove or replace the built-in battery. There will be battery recycling/replacement initiatives, I'm sure, but at what cost to the consumer?

NO USER UPGRADEABLE MEMORY – It appears that there will be no expansion slot for the inclusion of larger capacity flash disks. My K750 has a memory stick pro duo slot, in which a 2GB chip currently sits. Sure, I might not use more than 2 GB in a regular cell phone, but I would imagine that 4GB or 8GB in a smartphone that will handle movies, music, photos, etc might get a little cramped. I shouldn't have to buy a whole new iPhone just to get a memory upgrade.

NO WIRELESS SYNCING – This is something I heard from David Pogue's quick hands-on notes. I'm sure this refers to the lack of an ability to sync wirelessly via wifi for use with photos and music and movies; I can't imagine Apple would not include their stupid-easy Bluetooth contact/calendar syncing via iSync. It's something I've come to depend on really, so I hope I won't have to resort to using a [*shudder*] USB cable to do something I've been doing wirelessly for years.

NO THIRD PARTY APPS – Granted, we're WAY early in the game here, but I've heard various rumblings about the iPhone's lack of an SDK. Developers need an SDK if they're going to be able to write apps that will run on the device. Developers also need time to develop apps. Even if Apple releases an SDK and dev kits to developers NOW, that only gives them about 5 months to learn the SDK and build their apps. That might be a little bit of a cramped time-frame. Like I said, it's still early; Apple could easily surprise us by proving that yes, this thing actually does run OS X. If that's the case (which I find sort of unlikely…) then it should be no problem to just move the app over to the device.

OS X – Ok, so that last bit segues nicely into this next bit. What makes this thing tick? Steve said it runs OS X, but that was about it. Just by looking at the interface, it's pretty obvious it's not any version of OS X with which even the most evangelical of Mac enthusiasts is familiar. (Something that would be awesome to see: a new version of Xcode that has a new compiler checkbox: add "iPhone" to the already existing "PowerPC" and "Intel.")

No MIDP/JAVA ENVIRONMENT – Something else I use a lot on my K750i, is it's Java environment, by way of MIDP 2. I can install and run any variety of third party java apps or games. Since the desktop variant of OS X uses Java as one of it's foundation layers, I'd be surprised to find that the iPhone doesn't include something similar. After all, it runs OS X, right?

 

 

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