News » Whistler

iPhone is going to be big

by

comment

Somehow Apple upped the cool factor of their next generation iPhone 4 - so much so that it makes their very cool current generation iPhones look like flattened dung. No doubt iPhone users the world over are wondering how much time can reasonably elapse before they can justify spending the money to upgrade or make the destruction of their still new 3GS phones look like accidents.

Yet for all the excitement and hype it's not perfect. It may not even be the most advanced smart phone on the market.

In terms of features it has a second front-facing phone for video chatting and a better camera on the back than before, and while they're following HTC's lead with both those upgrades, being second won't matter much to Apple fans. What the iPhone really does have going for it is the fastest processor, longest battery life and the highest resolution screen of any smart phone. I say "currently" even though we're months away from the launch and it's a safe bet that other phone companies are working overtime to catch up with/surpass Apple.

The iPhone also has a gyroscope, adding three full axes of motion control to the current three axes of control offered by the tilt-sensitive accelerometer - something that could be interesting for games and apps. It will have the new iOS 4 operating system that allows for things like multi-tasking, a unified inbox and access to the directory folders. It has an antenna for improved coverage.

Aside from the screen and the gyroscope, however, there's actually very little that the iPhone 4 offers that its competitors can't match. For a side-by-side comparison, visit

www.engadget.com/2010/06/07/iphone-4-vs-the-smartphone-elite-evo-4g-n8-pre-plus-and-hd2/.

It also doesn't matter what the iPhone 4 has and doesn't have. Apple clearly has the most elegant device, they have the best app store and arguably the best apps. People are going to line up for this thing when it hits Canadian stores in late July.

My advice is for people to take it slow. The 3G and 3GS iPhone sold by the millions and Apple is going to continue to support these phones for a long, long time.

There are a few drawbacks that are also worth considering. Like the continued incompatibility with Flash, the absence of removable storage, no video-out port or support for the 4G network - a small distinction, but relevant if you live in a city where a faster 4G network is available.

Another drawback I've noticed is that only two capacities are available at this point, 16 GB and 32GB. Other phones have less onboard memory but allow you to buy your own memory card up to 64GB (and up to 128GB in 2011) that can be swapped out for nearly endless storage.

Why no 64GB model? Given the added pixels on the screen and the megapixel boost to the camera, your media files will occupy more space than before. If you take lots of photos and video, and download lots of content, I can see people maxing out their storage with very little effort.

It's also worth looking at the current state of the market, with vastly improved Android phones making waves and a Windows 7 phone on the market sometime this year. Research In Motion is close to getting a touch screen phone right, and Palm and Web OS are not dead yet. You won't be disappointed if you buy the iPhone 4 because Apple seldom disappoints - but you might not end up with the best smart phone for your particular needs.

 

Big Stretch Reminder might save your life

I'm embarrassed when I tell people how much time I spend sitting on my ass at work each week, or the hours I spend at home doing the exact same thing. The studies are quite clear on this, in that I'm slowly killing myself.

Even if you work out in the morning or evenings the fact is that sitting at a desk all day at the office still does harm to your health. Recent studies compiled by the New York Times show that prolonged periods of inactivity put you at "increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you."

That's why I'm seriously thinking of building myself a standing desk, guaranteeing I'll spend more time standing and moving around than sitting in a chair listening to my blood clot. Standing all day has it's own issues of course, like sore feet and back - ask anyone who stands all day for a living, which is why I'd get a bar stool so I'd have the option of sitting some of the time.

Standing at work, I'd be in good company. Some famous people that stood while they worked include Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill.

They've done studies and standing desks generally result in better posture (no slouching and less neck strain) and reduced repetitive stress injuries. They encourage more walking around, which also increases circulation and energy levels. You also burn more calories with a standing desk, up to 350 calories per day, it's been estimated, compared to sitting, which can help to combat the inevitable weight gain that we office trolls experience.

But if you can't build or buy yourself a standing desk you might want to consider downloading Big Stretch (www.monkeymatt.com/bigstretch) a free program that will pop up a reminder on your PC every so often to remind you to get up and walk around, stretch, correct your sitting position, etc.