Jan 18

Much like the aliens, everyone talks about those white iPhone 4s, but no one has actually seen them. Well perhaps Apple has finally managed to find a workaround to whatever problems have troubled the production so far and will actually try and ship some of them.

The bad news is that the rumor comes from a screenshot of the inventory system of Vodafone Germany so it might end up being just another false alarm. Both the 16GB and 32GB versions are listed so an accidental mistake doesn’t sound like it. However it may as well be a deliberate error to generate some publicity.

Update: It turns out the white iPhone 4 has been in the Vodafone systems for a few months now. Apparently there is nothing to get excited about. Again. Now move along people – nothing to see here.

Still we are willing to give this one the benefit of doubt as it corroborates with Apple’s last statement that the white iPhone 4 will be available in early 2011. Plus, we’re expecting an Apple press conference in the end of this month.

In other news, the iPhone 5 (or whatever the next Apple smartphone is called) is said to come with a new A5 home-baked chipset, which should seriously bump up the graphic performance of the platform not only in games but in video playback too.

Curious developers have found a driver for the dual-core PowerVR SGX543 graphics chip in the latest iOS 4.3 developer’s beta firmware.

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Jan 07

We’ve just came across a series of images that show the slightly tweaked external body of a device that’s highly similar to the iPhone 4. What we have here is either a design update for the iPhone 4 or the parts for Apple’s first CDMA iPhone, which has been rumored for ages.

We try to be extra careful in our choice of words really, because these parts could just as easily be for some Chinese replica with no Apple involvement whatsoever. But since Apple got one of the video source off YouTube in no time, for now we’ll assume it’s the real thing.

iPhone 4 redesign
Comparing redesigned iPhone 4 parts: top and bottom

The biggest difference you’ll see is in the external antenna. This metallic strip has been divided by five black strips instead of the four strips in the original design.

Another interesting thing to note is that the SIM card slot is intact, which means that if this is the CDMA iPhone to come, it will either have a secondary GSM radio or an LTE radio.

iPhone 4 redesign
Comparing redesigned iPhone 4 parts: both sides

As we said, our source is not the only one who has got their hands on these parts. Unfortunately, the other source taped the whole thing on video and Apple got that off YouTube. According to Engadget, the video showed parts, in which there was no hole for the back camera, which is quite perplexing.

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Nov 27

The iOS 4 is can be installed on any
iPhone 3GS and – technically – 3G. We see no point
porting it on a 3G though – the whole thing gets
dismally slow and some of the new features are not
supported anyway. What matters

now
is how the OS performs on the iPhone 4. There’s
a quick video you may have already watched in
our blog.

Thanks to its gorgeous new screen,
better still camera and vastly improved camcorder, gyro
sensor and video-call camera, the iPhone 4 is the device
on which users can genuinely appreciate the potential of
iOS 4. iPhone 3GS can run it almost without any
compromises but you’ll get the fastest and most seamless
performance on the iPhone 4 and its 1GHz Apple A4
platform.

On an iPhone 3G you will get neither
homescreen wallpapers nor multi-tasking. The rest of the
stuff is there, but the performance drop is

too much to bear
.

But let’s be positive here – we have
an iPhone 4 and a 3GS to enjoy, which is more than
enough. You might have already been through our

iOS 4 review
– you’ll find it’s got a lot of common
with the follwoing part of the iPhone 4 review. You will
find identical wording, don’t you worry, we’ve made sure
all the details are updated with iPhone 4 specifics.

Let’s start with the changelog:

General UI changes

  • Homescreen wallpapers

  • Applications
    can be organized in folders
  • Multitasking – fast app switcher
    with app specific pause or backgrounding
  • You can do Google/Wikipedia
    searches straight from Spotlight

  • Minor icon facelifts
  • Video call support (only in
    iPhone 4 and only over

    Wi-Fi
    )
  • Settings menu gets you the last
    toggled setting screen

Text input and management

  • Keyboard layouts now cover
    QWERTY, QWERTZ, and AZERTY
  • Spell checker

Contacts

  • Simplified contact adding and
    editing

Messaging

  • SMS character counter
  • SMS search

  • Email
    threading
  • Unified Email inbox
  • Email archiving is now available
    as an option when you setup Gmail

Camera

  • 5x digital zoom in still camera
  • Touch-focus in video capture

iPod player

  • iPod music player can now
    create, edit and delete playlists

Bluetooth

iTunes store and AppStore

  • Free iBooks e-book and PDF
    reader
  • iMovie adds advanced video
    editing to the iPhone 4 (paid app)
  • iAd service allows for free,
    ad-supported apps

And the stuff iOS 4 failed to
deliver

  • No Flash support in the web
    browser
  • No true multitasking for all
    applications
  • No quick switches for Wi-Fi,
    Bluetooth or 3G on the homescreen
  • No social networking integration
    in the contact list
  • No lockscreen or homescreen info
    widgets or plugins
  • No new ringtones or SMS tones
  • SMS,,email, and calendar tones
    are still not

    customizable
  • No proper file browser or

    access
    to the file system
  • No USB mass storage mode
  • Screen has no vibrating haptic
    feedback
  • No Bluetooth file transfers to
    other

    mobile phones
  • Contacts lack a swipe-to-delete
    or mass delete feature
  • No SMS/MMS delivery
    notifications
  • No smart dialing (but Spotlight
    is a somewhat of a substitute)
  • No DivX or XviD video support
    and no official third-party application to play that
  • The whole iPhone is too iTunes
    dependent and you’re also limited to syncing
    particular types of content only with ONE

    computer
    ..

General user interface and key
features

The traditional flat interface should
be all too well familiar by now. Tap an icon to open an
application; press the

hardware
Home key to close the application and
return to the Home screen. That’s all there is to it.
Only the Settings section goes several levels deep.
Basically that’s all you need to control your iPhone.


Apple iPhone 4




Main menu

Folders

You can group up to twelve apps into
a single folder. Check out the video below to see how
it’s done:

It’s easy, isn’t it? Folder names are
automatically generated depending on the selection of
items you’re grouping together. But you can rename
folders anytime. The folder icon is also created
automatically – it simply displays the icons of the apps
inside.


Apple iPhone 4


Apple iPhone 4


Apple iPhone 4


Apple iPhone 4




A homescreen folder • opening a folder • editing a
folder

The folder animations on 4 and 3GS
are fast and fluid, while on 3G you can notice a slight
lag. Still we are happy Apple didn’t cut them out of the
iOS 4 for 3G users.

The new iPhone 4 does pack a serious
punch under the hood. The previous iPhone 3GS is a
responsive device by all means, but the capable hardware
in the Number 4 makes quite a difference. The iPhone 4
is faster in all aspects – general interface response,
programs, menu scrolling, web browser, app loading, etc.

Multitasking

Now it’s time for multitasking. Just
to be clear here, Apple gave due warning it wouldn’t be
the multitasking that hardcore users expect. It’s more
of a quick app switching than actual multitasking.

To start the task switcher you double
click the hardware home button below screen (there goes
our Favorite contacts shortcut). At the bottom of the
screen, a side-scrollable row of icons will display,
showing the running apps. You can kill apps by tapping
and holding on an icon – you then hit the red corner
switch.


Apple iPhone 4


Apple iPhone 4




Multitasking interface • killing some apps

Apple’s idea of multitasking is not
to let apps run in the background, but instead pause
them at their current state for later access. There are
exceptions for certain apps – such as the iPod or
Pandora – they can actually play in the background.

So the paused apps are not actually
working in the background and that way you can have more
than 30 different apps readily accessible in the task
switcher.

The positive side is the ability to
quickly resume any of these apps exactly where you left
them even games – with no new loading times.

The only one drawback is you can’t
leave MOST regular apps do their thing in the background
and return to them later. If they are not among the
lucky few enabled to properly run in the background
(such as Pandora), they would simply pause instead.

Here is a quick demo video of how
managing apps works on the iOS 4.

Bear in mind that not all apps are
multitasking enabled. If you minimize a game that’s not
yet compatible, later when you get to it again, it will
start from the beginning instead of it resuming where
you left.

As we said, the task switcher is a
scrollable list of icons – but if you swipe to the right
you’ll get quick iPod controls and shortcuts, along with
the accelerometer lock switch. The latter will enable or
disable portrait orientation lock.


Apple iPhone 4


Apple iPhone 4


Apple iPhone 4




iPod controls in the task switcher • portrait
orientation lock/unlock

Despite iPhone 4 and 3GS finally have
multitasking support, the push background notifications
service is also onboard. The service can inform you of
new events in applications that support it (such as some
IM client) by changing the app icon (via an icon badge),
by invoking a pop-up reminder or via sound alerts. In
the same time the applications can simulate that you are
constantly online.

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