So I guess we don’t really thank Gawker Media and Gizmodo too much for their early reveal of the new iPhone. Announcing it on stage at San Francisco’s Moscone West, Apple CEO and chief deity Steve Jobs said ‘Some of you have already seen this’. Groans of disappointment rose up around the globe as we realised, like children who searched the cupboards and wardrobes before Christmas. That’s it. No surprises, we’d seen it before. Jobs mocked and reproached us.
Indeed we had, though of course the software features announced yesterday, along with some of the engineering details, were unknown. For instance, Apple has its own grade of Stainless Steel? The windscreens on high speed trains are made of iPhone touchscreens? Jony Ive has twelve ways to spell or ‘magically re-engineer’ his own name, and a team is working on new ways even now? Who knew?
The hardware in the new Jesus Phone is pretty exciting, if you like that sort of thing. The stainless steel band is three pieces, to be used as part of the antenna system, explaining the ‘cuts’ in the casing noted by eagle-eyed loners. They’ve included a gyroscope, too small, alas, to keep the phone standing on one end but just the thing for playing Jenga or the exciting ‘throw Stephen Fry out a window’ game I’m working on.
The screen, which is laminated onto the glass front, is composed of individual pixels too small to blame for targeting errors in the slew of sniper games on the way. The resolution of the screen is doubled in each direction, thereby quadrupling the total number of pixels on screen, and making porn more high definition than ever before.
The whole thing is powered by a bigger battery (ooh, ahh) and an A4, so Audi and Moleskine should be happy enough. It has two microphones, ostensibly to eliminate ambient noise during calls, and the ability to multitask, ostensibly to prevent people from flipping to other, more hated manufacturers.
But what’s really magical about this device is the laugh-out-loud hilarity of Apple’s claim to have invented video calling. Seriously. Their own website has it like this: ‘Video calling is a reality. See family and friends while you talk to them. No other phone makes staying in touch so much fun’.
Now this is one step too far for even the patented Apple Reality Distortion Field. I was using perfectly good video calling over 3G in 2007, with my lovely HTC Tytn II. It was solid quality and didn’t need wifi. This claim to be bringing video calls to Market by Apple is dreadful and entirely reproachable, and we shouldn’t be afraid to say so. I know I’m not.