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The iPhone 4: Could Steve Jobs Just Once Say “Shakalaka” After “Boom”?


I thought I’d run through the big points quickly here as well and, revisiting my post from a while back, compare the EVO 4G now that we have some real specs. You’ll get more in-depth coverage and some great guests with the podcast (from people who actually went to the WWDC), but if you need just enough info to be able to talk about the new “magical device” around the water cooler tomorrow, then read on.

Just the bare minimum you need to sound smart without actually having to know anything. That, my friends, is what I’m here for.

So, here we are. The iPhone 4. Let’s start with…

The Good

The screen on this phone is a beauty. The resolution is 960 x 640, with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. That beats HTC’s EVO 4G and HD2, two other phones that tout their screen quality…though the iPhone’s screen is almost a full inch smaller than either of the HTC screens. But, as the old saying goes, it isn’t the size, it’s how far over the limit of human retinal capacity you can go. Jobs made a point of saying during the speech that we can’t even see much more than 300 pixels per inch, hence the name “Retina Display”.

The new iPhone and the new iOS (yeah, they changed the name) will indeed have multitasking. Say what you want about Apple, but they do tend to hear customer complaints and act on them pretty well. Finally, you’ll be able to play some music for yourself on Pandora while you do other things.

The cameras are impressive, and the iPhone 4 will also be able to record 720p HD video at 30 fps, a better framerate than the EVO 4G. The front-facing camera that we all saw in the leaked photos is, as we all suspected, for video chat purposes. The grand finale of Jobs’ demo was to use “FaceTime” (that’s what the video chat app is called…I’ll leave the FaceTime jokes to Chris and the podcast) to call Jony Ive. It seemed to work fine, but it brings us to…

The Bad

There’s not much that was really disappointing about the phone, but it does look like video calling will be WiFi-only for the near future. With phones like the EVO 4G already providing their own “FaceTime” over 3G (or even 4G), Apple has fallen behind a bit on this.

I was also sad to hear nothing about 4G capabilities or a 4G network. AT&T announced at the MWC earlier this year that they will roll out a 4G network in 2011, so it looks like we might see a different iteration of this phone later on when that happens.

The Meh

The rest of the announcements ranged on the excitement meter, but personally I found that most of them were ultimately nothing to go crazy over:

1.) Bing will be available, which isn’t good for much except saying “Could I BE any more of a search engine?” every time you bring it up.
2.) Netflix will be available for iPhone, which is neat but you probably want an iPad for that anyway.
3.) iMovie, of all things, will be available as well…it’s nice to have since you can record such high-quality video, but really, do you need to edit movies on your phone?
4.) The iPhone will have a gyroscope, allowing for six-axis control. Gamers might be excited about it, but I’ve always been one to game on my consoles and play only casual stuff on the phone.
5.) And speaking of gaming, if you’re a Farmville addict, Zynga also made an appearance and said a bunch of stuff I didn’t understand about crops.

So, there are the basics. Again, check out the Nerdist podcast for more. Also, Engadget has a helpful chart comparing all the heavy-hitter smartphones, and you can watch the keynote at

…and no more Apple articles for a while, I promise.

via Apple and Engadget

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  1. Zil says:

    I just hate the exclusivity–are you only going to be able to use FaceTime or video calling as iPhone 4 to iPhone 4? Isn’t that sort of lame?

  2. Grover says:


    Do you believe that Ph. D. expert, or the other Ph.D. expert who works on the Hubble and says Ph.D. #1 is full of it?

  3. maruchan says:

    ummm … read this about the “retina display” ..
    I believe the Ph.D. expert …

  4. Nathan says:

    I’m seriously disappointed. The iPhone4 still can’t do laundry. This is functionality that has been built into washing machines for literally DECADES now — get it together, Apple.


  5. todd says:

    Video phone and no skype ? WTF

  6. Mark Gillan says:

    Hey Chris,

    Not to nit-pick or perhaps, in fact, to nit-pick:

    Are you trying to say (George)Burns & (Gracie)Allen when you say “Gracie & Allen.?” I let that one fly by on a previous podcast, but wanted to get it cleared up when it was said again on the iPhone 4g episode.

    I love the show and really glad that the podcast is in my queue every week. Keep up the great work.

    Mark Gillan
    Flanders, NJ

  7. DeadRobot says:

    “Homoass”? Oh Chen, seriously unfunny.

  8. Deltus says:

    Overall, it’s a real nice phone. They’re not hugely in the lead like they were when the iPhone first came out, though.

  9. Tech Unsavvy says:

    Thanks. I’m a little less tech unsavvy now. But no more than I needed to be. Which is exactly what I was looking for.

  10. Tony says:

    I love the Chandler Bing reference in Meh #1 !

  11. Sarah Clark says:

    Best. Title. Ever.

  12. Maura says:

    I almost never use my crappy little prepaid cell phone (no, The Wire fans, I’m not a drug dealer just because I use a burner!) and have no use for an iPhone since I have a Touch. But damn, even I want that snazzy white one!