Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mainstream media ignore iPhone's awesomeness

iPhone was huge news yesterday. I was on the edge of my seat watching all the updates on Engadget as Mr. Steve Jobs revealed all the succulent details of the phone. Curious as to what the media was saying on the phone, I read several sources, from the New York Times, to the local free dailies, Metro and 24. Some of them even called the phone/device/mp3-player "revolutionary".

But the descriptions of the iPhone, for the most part, seemed watered down. They summarized it as a mobile phone that plays MP3s, or a phone/iPod hybrid. Public response? Been there, done that. Many smart phones, the products Apple Corp is competing with, already play MP3s. So what's the big deal?

The reports didn't mention the 200 technology patents on the new phone - that's more new technology than computers usually get. Some of the amazing features that make my imagination go wild:
  • Accelerometer built in - turn the unit sideways and it automatically switches to widescreen mode.
  • Touchscreen input! The iPhone only has ONE button. Any necessary input can be done by tapping the screen. Subsequently, contextual menus, so you don't have a hundred buttons to choose from.
  • Desktop caliber operating system in OS X. The possibilities are probably obvious to PDA users. I see seamless device syncing, powerful freeware games, spreadsheet apps and document readers that don't suck. It even supports Widgets.
  • Email parsing. If somebody includes their phone number in an email, commonly in a signature, iPhone will recognize the phone number, and you can call them right then (and presumably save the number without having to ever type it in.
  • Speakerphone - not a novel device in itself, but you'll be able to use the speaker with iTunes.
  • Touchscreen gestures (this deserves a separate listing!) - more than just tapping here and there on the screen, you'll be able to manipulate items on screen or trigger scripts with simple patterns of your fingers (yes, multi-finger gestures). For example, in iPhoto, you could zoom in on a photo by moving two fingers apart on the photo. They have a patented process that will ignore "accidental" touching.
  • A power-saving innovation that senses the ambient lighting and adjusts the screen brightness automatically.
  • It's got a HUGE screen. Seriously.
Perhaps if the mainstream media had reported on some of these features, the excitement of those paying attention would seem like more than fanboyism.

Now, who bought a Zune? And did you ever find the social? =)