Apple is expected to unveil its latest iPhone in San Francisco on Monday. Here are 10 things we can expect to see from the new device
When Steve Jobs takes to the stage at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday, he is expected to take the wraps off Apple’s latest iPhone. There are likely to be few surprises in store for Apple fans – after all, a prototype of the so-called iPhone 4G was famously left in a bar and picked apart by gadget blogs – but Jobs usually keeps one or two tricks up his sleeve.
Here’s a run-down of some of the features the iPhone 4G is expected to offer:
1) New design: Gone is the smooth, curved plastic back of the iPhone 3G and 3GS – the iPhone 4G appears to have flat back, most likely made from glass, with an aluminium border around the outside. Edges appear to be squarer than on previous models, while the device itself is said to be about 3g heavier than its predecessors.
2) Smaller screen but better resolution: According to Gizmodo, the screen is slightly smaller than on the iPhone 3GS, but the display itself appears to be higher resolution. The current iPhone 3GS boasts a 480×320 pixel resolution, while the iPhone 4G is rumoured to offer a 960×640 resolution – four times the quality of the current display.
3) Better battery: Battery life has long been a bone of contention with the iPhone – many users complain bitterly about having to give the device a booster charge during the day. This problem could be resolved with the iPhone 4G which apparently features a battery 16 per cent larger than the one found in the iPhone 3GS. That should mean the iPhone lasts a lot longer on a single charge, which will be crucial for one of the most talked-about new features – multitasking.
4) Multitasking: The iPhone 4G will run the new iPhone operating system, iPhone OS 4 (which will also be available to iPhone 3G and 3GS users, and owners of the most recent models of the iPod touch). One of the key features of the new software is multitasking – the ability to run multiple apps simultaneously and switch easily between them. It’s a feature that Apple fans have been desperate for since the iPhone was first launched, and other devices, such as those running Google’s Android operating system, have already got this function. Now, you’ll be able to listen to your Spotify playlists while instant-messaging a friend.
5) More storage: Apple is expected to bring the storage capacity of its iPhones in to line with the iPod touch range, which means we could see a 64GB iPhone 4G make its debut. Enabling users to store more films and TV shows, in particular, makes sense if rumours of that super high-res screen prove correct. Another feature of iPhone OS 4 is the ability to collapse apps in to folders, which means users will be able to store up to 2,160 apps on their iPhone – significantly more than the current limit of 180.
6) Better camera: The iPhone 4G will feature a better camera, according to Gizmodo. The rear-facing lens is said to be much bigger than on previous models, with some speculating that the iPhone 4G could boast a five-megapixel camera (compared to the three-megapixel camera on the iPhone 3GS) with a flash for capturing pictures in low light. There is some evidence within the iPhone’s software development kit that the iPhone 4G could support high-definition video recording, of a quality similar to that of the Flip HD. Further probing of the SDK also reveals the possibility for video conferencing on the iPhone, possibly using Apple’s iChat program and a front-facing camera.
7) Ebooks: The iPad, Apple’s touch-screen, tablet-style computer, is already being touted as the ultimate ebook reading device – so much so that Apple has lunched a literary equivalent of iTunes, the iBookstore. Now iPhone users will be able to buy and download novels from the Apple bookshop on to their iPhone. Amazon already offers a Kindle app for the iPhone and iPod touch, a long with a far wider selection of titles, but the roll-out of Apple’s own ebook store to the iPhone underlines Apple’s commitment to making digitised content more widely available across all of its platforms.
8) A new processor: According to gadget websites, the iPhone uses one of Apple’s own processors, similar to the one found in the iPad. That could give the iPhone an additional speed bump, which could be crucial if it is to handle its new multitasking responsibilities with aplomb.
9) A different kind of SIM: Rumours suggest that the iPhone, like the iPad, will feature a microSIM, rather than the standard-sized SIM card used by other mobile phones. The prototype device that Gizmodo saw used a microSIM, but it’s unclear whether Apple will roll this out across the iPhone range, too – after all, it means that millions of existing iPhone users who want to upgrade to the latest model will need to be issued with new SIM cards for their phone number, which seems an unnecessary logistical burden to place on network operators, and a potentially off-putting hoop for some users to jump through.
10) Wireless synching: This is probably the least likely new feature, but Apple fans would jump for joy if the new iPhone could synchronise wirelessly with their computer. It means that data could be backed up across the home Wi-Fi network, while new songs, photos and movies could be transferred to and from the device without the need for a USB cable. Microsoft already offers wireless synching on its Zune music player, and will be integrating the feature in to mobile phones running the Windows Phone operating system – it would be something of a spoiler if Apple added the capability to its iPhone range ahead of the Windows Phone launch later this year.