Apple CEO, Steve Jobs kicked off Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference today from the Moscone Center in San Francisco and we’re bringing you all of the big announcements.
While Job’s typically uses his keynote speeches to announce new products, much of the wind has been spilled from his sails, as details of the next iPhone were leaked months ago by gadget reporting site Gizmodo. Still, given Apple’s well-known secrecy, there are bound to be some surprises in store. Jobs himself even commented on the pre-conference speculation and rumors by saying, “You won’t be disappointed.”
With that said, we’re anticipating that Jobs will most definitely unveil the next iPhone, details and a launch date for the iPhone OS 4, and rumors are suggesting a possible cloud-based version of iTunes that allows wireless syncing. So let’s separate fact from fiction; read on for all of the big announcements from Apple this morning.
Jobs did not, as I anticipated, begin with a joke. “So an iPhone developer walks into a bar . . .” Instead he launches into some amazing stats on Apple’s most recent product launch: the iPad. 8,500 native apps for iPad, downloaded 35 million times, 17 per iPad. Some impressive numbers for a product barely into its 3rd month.
The iPad’s iBook app gets an update. With 22% market share some new features are coming online for this popular book-reading app. The ability to make notes, added control to bookmark page to make it more like Amazon’s Kindle, the ability to view and read PDFs, added a selector on top, a new bookshelf just for PDFs.
Apple’s CEO went on to reiterate his company’s support for essentially two platforms: HTML5 and native apps via the App Store. No surprise there. The keynote moved on to some demos of specific apps. eBay’s app with 10 million downloads, Zynga’s ‘Farmville’ app for the iPhone with 35 million players, and finally Activision demonstrated a new ‘Guitar Hero’ app for the iPhone and iPad that features some new strumming commands, slides, hammer and pull-up combos.
The biggest and most widely-expected announcement came next: iPhone 4 with 100 new features. Jobs covered 8:
• All new design. At 9.3 mm thick and24% thinner than iPhone 3GS, the new iPhone is the thinnest smartphone on the planet. Exterior updates include: volume controls, front-facing camera, micro SIM tray, camera and LED flash on the back, a 2nd mike for noice cancellation and finally an integrated antenna built into the case as three thin stainless steel bands.
• Retina display. The new iPhone 4 display packs 4x the pixels for really sharp text. Here are the raw stats: 3.5 display, 960 x 640 pixels, 326 pixesl per inch, 800:1 contrast ratio, IPS technology for color and wide viewing angle, sports 78% of the total pixels in an iPad.
• Powered by the A4 chip. This is the same processor used in the iPad and offers improved battery life. The iPhone4 sports 7 hours of 3G talk time and 300 hours of standby. Up to 32 GB of storage. Quadband HJSDPA/HSUP, up to 7.2 Mbps down, 5.8 Mbps up.
• A new gyroscope. 3 axis gyro, pitch roll and yaw. With compass and accelerometer, 6-axis motion sensing this thing is ideal for gaming.
• 5 megapixel camera. With a backside illuminated sensor, the new iPhone 4 also Records HD video. This is a huge feature! 720p at 30 frames per second. Added tap to focus video. Built in video editing. One-click sharing, LED flash will stay on for video recording. Apple’s iMovie has been ported to the iPhone.
• The expected iPhone OS4. It’s being renamed iOS4 to address the dual iPhone/iPad platform it now powers. The new OS sports 1,500 API’s and 100 new features including multi-tasking, an app tray to organize your running apps, a universal e-mail inbox, and more. Also added is the ability to choose between Google, Yahoo or Bing as your default search engine.
• iBooks. It’s coming to the iPhone with iPhone 4. It sports the same feature-set as the iPad version. You can easily download the same book to all your devices at no extra charge. If you buy a book on your iPad, you will also be able to download it to your iPhone or iPod Touch. Clearly, Apple is gunning for Amazon and their Kindle device in a big way.
• iAds. Built right into iOS4, this is Apple’s version of a mobile advertising platform. Developers will be able to easily place ads into their apps to help support their efforts. Apple sells and hosts the ads with developers getting to keep 60% of the revenues. iAds is clearly a shot over the bow of Google, who recently acquired their own mobile ad platform via their purchase of AdMob. An interesting feature of Apple’s ad delivery system is the ability to deliver more information from within the app itself, rather than directing you to an external web site.
And finally, in a long-running tradition, Jobs likes to save something really cool for last.
• FaceTime. Video calls FTW! WiFi only. iPhone 4 to iPhone 4. No setup. In a nod to insufficient network bandwidth and speeds on AT&T’s 3G network, Jobs said, “Now it’s going to be WiFi only in 2010. We need to work a little bit with the carriers…” You heard him AT&T, get busy upgrading your data network!
Of course, by now you must be wondering how much will the newest iPhone will cost and how soon can you get it? Pricing — there’s two colors. White and black. Pricing — $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB. AT&T is going to make an incredibly generous upgrade offer. If your contract expires at any time in 2010, you can upgrade to the iPhone 4.
You can get it up to six months early. The outgoing model, the 3GS is now $99. The new iPhone 4’s go on sale June 24th. Pre-orders for the iPhone 4 start a week from tomorrow and Apple is shipping in 5 countries. In July we’re shipping they’re adding 18 more. This appears to be Apple’s fastest roll-out of any product ever.
So what do you think? Tempted to migrate to the newest iPhone? Let us know in the comments section!
Photo Credit: Adam Jackson / Flickr