If you’ve been living in a sealed box, you might not have heard that Apple released the new iPhone last month. Well, it’s here. Do you want one? What if you already have an iPhone?
Pros and Cons
First off, what’s new: the new iPhone looks a lot like the old iPhone. The major improvements: cellular internet is much faster, it’s slightly thinner, it has GPS, you can use any pair of headphones with it, and at $199, it’s more affordable.
The downsides: you have to buy and activate it in an Apple or AT&T retail store, the new calling plan is a bit more expensive than the old one, battery life isn’t great, it still won’t work with Verizon, and it still won’t do your dishes for you.
There are a lot of other improvements too, but happily, they are also available to users of existing iPhones (and, for a small price, iPod Touch owners).
Nifty New Features
The most exciting feature of the new iPhone software is the App Store, where you can get all kinds of new software to keep your iPhone doing new tricks. Games, dictionaries, music tools, sports trackers, writing programs, eBay tools, calculators…you get the idea. If there’s something you wish you could do with your iPhone, there’s a good chance you’ll find something at the App Store that will let you do it.
That’s not all, however: corporate iPhone users can now use their iPhones with Microsoft Exchange server, like BlackBerrys. This means the iPhone, can, at last, instantly and wirelessly sync your calendar, contacts, and email — your personal info is always the same, wherever you are. Apple’s new MobileMe service (formerly .Mac) can provide the same, without an Exchange account. This is great stuff; feel free to ask me if you’d like to know more about it.
In short, the new iPhone is a splendid piece of technology, a powerhouse that’s a pleasure to use.
Should You Get One?
Well, should you? That depends on what you already have, and how you use it.
If you’ve already got an iPhone, you probably don’t need the new one, unless you need true GPS, or really want the extra speed in Safari. Just update the software (be sure to sync before you do!) and you’ll be able to enjoy most of what the new iPhone has to offer at no cost.
If you use a BlackBerry, Treo, or other phone with a keyboard, you might have a hard time getting used to typing on a screen. However, being able to visit almost any web site is enough reason on its own to at least try out the iPhone, and that’s just for starters.
If you’ve still got a plain old cell phone and think you don’t need a phone which has all your email, browses the web, and can map where you are — it’s time to try out an iPhone! Ask your friends to let you play with theirs, and see what you think.
Naturally, if you’d like to hear more details, or weigh up the iPhone pros and cons more carefully, or have any other Mac or tech question for us, give a shout. We’d be more than happy to help.