iLounge has posted a suite of brand new videos comparing the video capabilities of the new iPhone 4 to those of the iPhone 3GS and Flip Ultra HD.
A set of two 720p videos, filmed at the same time, show how the iPhone 4 camera directly compares against the Flip Ultra HD camera, a pocket-sized rival that Apple targeted last year with video camera updates to the iPod nano and iPhone 3GS. For the first time, iPhone 4 has the resolution to compete pixel for pixel against Flip’s higher-end recorder, and it has something Flip doesn’t: Tap to Focus during video, enabling the iPhone 4 to create depth of field effects, but also to render some scenes softly relative to the Flip since the latter device’s fixed-focus lens offers consistent sharpness without depth of field capabilities. The first iPhone 4 video is here, and the comparison Flip Ultra HD video is here. The second iPhone 4 video is here, and the comparison Flip Ultra HD video is here.
For those interested in seeing the iPhone 3GS versus the iPhone 4, a longer set of videos shows how the older 640x480 camera on the iPhone 3GS compares to the newer 1280x720 camera on the iPhone 4. Both devices now have Tap to Focus capabilities during video recording, but differ in both aspect ratio and lens width; the iPhone 4 crops and scales down its 5-Megapixel sensor to get the 720p frames it captures. Each set of two videos was recorded at the same time. The iPhone 4 video is here, and the iPhone 3GS video is here. Enjoy!
The Omni Group has released a major update to its flagship OmniFocus productivity application for iPhone and iPod touch users. OmniFocus 1.7 adds new refreshed high-resolution artwork for the iPhone 4 Retina display and adds support for several of the multitasking features introduced in iOS 4. When running on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch, OmniFocus 1.7 now provides fast app switching, local notifications of due tasks and the ability to complete some operations such as database optimization while running in the background. Local Notifications allow users of multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices to receive notifications when tasks are due even when OmniFocus is not the active application and regardless of whether the user is synchronizing with a back-end server or not. The previous synced calendar alert system continues to be available for users of older devices or users still using iOS 3.x or earlier. The update also includes several other minor changes including the display of completed projects within the Completed perspective and bug fixes related to audio recording. OmniFocus 1.7 is available from the App Store for $20 and is a free update for existing users. It can synchronize with the Mac version of OmniFocus (sold separately) via Wi-Fi or a WebDAV server such as iDisk or can be used by itself as a standalone application.
In a posting to its Facebook account, Radio Shack is warning customers that its stocks of iPhone 4 will be severely constrained. “The demand for iPhone 4 has far exceeded expectations across the industry. Due to limited supply, we will do our best to help you understand what to expect on launch day,” the company says. “In some cases, stores that took requests will not receive the iPhone 4 on June 24. We are sorry for any confusion and disappointment regarding this and will share future availability as soon as we have more information…. The quickest way to confirm that your store will have inventory is to call the store this week. For those who placed a Customer Request, please understand that due to limited supply we may not be able to fulfill all requests. We are making every effort to contact all customers who placed requests to let them know the status of phone availability.” Radio Shack also notes that all iPhone 4 pick-ups must be done by noon on June 24, or else the phone will be made available to the next person on the list. [via TUAW]
Apple has posted its new User Guide for the iPhone 4 and iOS 4 online (PDF Link). The 28-chapter, 200+ page guide covers a host of iOS 4 features—including syncing and file sharing, all the core, pre-installed applications, iBooks, Nike + iPod functionality, and accessibility. Notably, the Guide includes several iPhone 4-specific notes and illustrations, including those for SIM card installation, high-definition video syncing, putting a call on hold—you press and hold the Mute button on the iPhone 4’s call screen—placing a FaceTime call, switching between the device’s two cameras, and a note stating that movies rented on the iPhone 4 cannot be transferred to a computer as on the iPhone 3G and 3GS; although movies rented on the computer in iTunes can be transferred to an iPhone 4 unit. [via Mac Rumors]
Apple has released a statement confirming that white iPhone 4 units will be unavailable on launch day. In the statement, Apple claims that white models of the iPhone 4 “have proven more challenging to manufacture than expected, and as a result they will not be available until the second half of July.” Speculation about the availability of white iPhone 4 units has persisted since the phone was unavailable for pre-order alongside black models on June 15; this is also the first time Apple has publicly suggested that a black iPhone model is more popular than its white counterpart.
Although Apple is spreading out the arrival of iPhone 4 pre-orders over three days, the influx of new handsets appears to already be causing some problems with iTunes and AT&T’s activation servers. One iLounge editor had repeated trouble attempting to activate his iPhone, with the activation going through on the seventh try, and only after a restart of iTunes; repeated “timeout” messages were seemingly resolved by the restart. However, two other phones were received and activated without issue. It is unclear whether these problems are related to AT&T’s activation servers, a glitch in iTunes, or something else, and whether they will persist or quickly dissipate ahead of tomorrow’s official launch.
Despite Apple’s claims of much stronger aluminosilicate glass for the iPhone 4, Engadget is reporting that the back of their iPhone 4 review unit is scratched after just five days of use. Omitted in the blog’s full review, the scratches—described as “nasty”—only became visible in bright light. While iFixIt’s teardown indicated that the iPhone 4’s front panel is made of Gorilla Glass, the service company was unable to positively identify the material used on the back of the phone, although it is also some type of hardened glass.
TomTom International has updated its series of turn-by-turn navigation apps to take advantage of the new multitasking features in iOS 4. A required update for iOS 4 users, TomTom 1.4 adds support for the new background location feature available on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. The update provides continuous visual driving instructions on iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS devices even while the user is on a call and background navigation for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch devices allowing users to open other applications while still receiving spoken turn-by-turn directions. The update also adds several other new features including updated maps, sharing of routes via e-mail, the ability to add departure reminders directly to the iOS Calendar and a new fuel-efficient “Eco Route” selection. TomTom 1.4 for the U.S. & Canada is available from the App Store for $60 and is a free update for existing users. Versions for other regions can also be found via TomTom’s App Store page.
iLounge has posted our official gallery of iPhone 4 unboxing photos online. Though repeated leaks of the iPhone 4 hardware made the device’s appearance anything but a surprise, and our prior iPhone 4 unveiling shots covered a lot of territory, this new gallery shows you what to expect step by step when opening the package up and removing the iPhone 4 from its protective spot in the box—including the absence of the SIM card removal tool, what sort of protection iPhone 4 arrives wrapped in, and little tweaks to the included accessories. Keep checking our Flickr account for more photos of the iPhone 4 throughout the next day.
iFixIt has posted a complete teardown of the iPhone 4, confirming a number of the device’s specs while revealing others. Notably, the device has 512MB of RAM, as had been reportedly confirmed by Apple during WWDC. Like the iPhone 3G and 3GS, the iPhone 4 has two Phillips #00 screws on the bottom, which serve to release the rear case offering immediate access to the 3.7V 1420 mAh Li-Polymer battery. According to the teardown, the iPhone 4’s A4 processor houses a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 core; the gyroscope is believed to be manufactured by ST Micro, and iFixIt believes Apple is the first to ship a product containing this particular part. In addition, the iPhone 4 unit examined in the teardown contained Samsung flash memory, the same Cirrus Logic audio codec chip used in the iPad, Broadcom Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS chips, and, iFixIt believes, a front glass panel made of Corning Gorilla Glass.
Firemint has released an iPhone 4 update to its popular Real Racing game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Real Racing 1.22 features new graphics for the iPhone 4 Retina display with higher-resolution textures, more detailed car interiors, updated menus and improved graphical performance on the iPhone 4. The update also promises smoother graphics on iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch devices through the use of anti-aliasing in iOS4. With this version Real Racing adds support for the iPhone 4 gyroscope to provide more responsive and accurate controls for iPhone 4 users in addition to accelerometer-based controls. iOS 4 Fast App Switching is also supported to allow users to exit the game and automatically pick up where they left off when returning to it. Real Racing 1.22 is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for existing users.
AT&T has announced that it will not have any iPhone 4 inventory to sell on a first-come, first-serve basis until June 29, five full days after the device’s official launch on June 24. Customers who pre-ordered the device from AT&T online should have their device delivered this week, while customers who pre-ordered for store delivery should receive a call letting them know when their iPhone 4 is ready for pickup. As of June 29, AT&T will be offering the iPhone 4 on a first-come, first-serve basis, while supplies last, in its retail stores, on its website, and in business sales channels.
With the official launch still two days away, a number of iPhone 4 pre-order customers are reporting delivery of their new handsets today. A Mac Rumors forum member has posted photos of his unit, which arrived earlier today, despite his FedEx tracking information listing his delivery date as June 24, and after receiving an email notification from Apple stating that his iPhone 4 would arrive tomorrow. The member also noted that activation went quickly and without issue. Apple will officially launch the iPhone 4 on June 24.
Following yesterday’s iBooks 1.1 update, users have discovered that Apple’s built-in dictionary is no longer working with some e-books, a problem traced by iLounge’s editors to a difference in the way iBooks 1.1 chooses dictionaries relative to versions 1.0 and 1.01. The new iBooks appears to be using the language identifier normally stored within ePub files to determine which dictionary to use for a given e-book. Some popular e-book conversation applications such as Calibre do not insert the correct language identifier when saving in the ePub format, which will result in iBooks not knowing which dictionary to use. The problem appears to be confined to e-books that users have converted themselves or downloaded from third-party sources outside of the iBookstore, despite the fact that dictionary lookups for these books worked fine prior to the iBooks 1.1 update. More information on this problem and how to fix it can be found in our Backstage section.
U.K. retailer Carphone Warehouse is warning customers not to queue up outside its stores for the iPhone 4 launch, citing low stock. Citing an unnamed Carphone Warehouse employee, Macworld UK reports that the retailer has received only 16,000 iPhone 4 units thus far, and although it ordered 60,000, it expects to only receive “about half that.” The same staffer said that customers who queued up outside Carphone Warehouse in hopes of getting a handset would be “wasting their time,” and noted that employees are not allowed to purchase the device “until further notice.” Apple will launch the iPhone 4 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24.
iPhone 4 units have started arriving at retailers ahead of the device’s June 24 launch. One such unit was photographed by a Walmart worker, showing off the phone’s new packaging. Unlike each past iPhone, the iPhone 4’s box does not feature a life-sized, forward-facing representation of the phone enclosed. Instead, it shows off only the top portion of the phone, facing the right, with its power and volume buttons, ring/silent switch, headphone port, auxiliary microphone, forward facing camera, and a portion of the display visible, all set against a black background. The sides and the top of the box, meanwhile, appear to be similar to past releases. A picture of the new 8GB iPhone 3GS packaging has also appeared online; it is identical to the past packaging apart from depicting a default iOS 4 installation instead of iPhone OS 3.
Apple has sent out emails to at least some of its pre-order iPhone 4 customers notifying them that their phones will be arriving on June 23, a day ahead of the official launch. The email reads, “You recently received a Shipment Notification email from Apple advising you that your iPhone has shipped. This email is to confirm that your delivery will occur on June 23rd. Although Apple and FedEx tracking information may currently indicate a later date, you can check the FedEx website the morning of the June 23rd to track your package to your doorstep.” While it is uncharacteristic of Apple to deliver any devices ahead of the actual launch date, with the large number of pre-orders, it is possible that both Apple and AT&T want to spread out the burden on the latter’s activation servers as much as possible after last week’s pre-ordering snafu.
Apple has released iBooks 1.1, the first major update to its e-Book reading and purchasing software for iOS devices. As revealed by Apple in its WWDC keynote address, iBooks 1.1 offers compatibility with the iPad as well as any iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4, and features several noteworthy improvements, including PDF support, the ability to highlight text, add notes, and bookmark, the latter two of which are reflected in the book’s Table of Contents, wireless syncing of notes, highlights, and page position between devices, and, interestingly, support for iTunes Digital Booklet files once they’ve been marked as a Book in iTunes. iBooks 1.1 is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Apple has released its iPhone Software Development Kit for iOS 4 to all iPhone developers. Previously available only to paid developers, the updated SDK allows all registered developers a chance to develop OS 4-compatible apps, although the $99 annual fee will still be required for on-device testing and submission to the App Store. Notably, at least some of the accompanying documentation make references to iPhone OS 4, which was officially renamed iOS 4 two weeks ago. TUAW notes that Apple is expected to rescind its prior NDA covering iOS 4 developers now that the SDK and software update are more widely available. The iPhone SDK 4 s available now as a free download for all registered iPhone developers from the iPhone Dev Center.