Martin @ Blog

software development and life.


Apple introduces iPhone

Yesterday, Apple finally introduced the iPhone. This new telephone integrates an iPod, internet tablet and telephone in one. Apple claims that this new telephone is ahead of the competition, and I think they are very right. Taking the video’s on the web site as a reference, it seems the usability of the iPhone is very good. Almost every cell phone I have used has major flaws in usability, and it is not a second to early that a company is going to improve this.
Obviously, a very large touchscreen makes it easier to create a nice user interface, but other phone companies could have done this as well. I think this is also the first telefphone which can function normally as a music player. My current telefphone, a Nokia 6230, has also the capability to play music, but the user interface is impossible to use. The same holds for my Palm Tungsten E2 (but this can be solved by installing other music player software). I predict that the iPhone is going to be a huge success.
Other strong features of the phone are the possibility to install other applications (widgets), browse the internet in a normal way (using 802.11a/b/g technology) and obviously integration with the Apple Mac. The touchscreen is also nice, because it doesn’t require the use of a seperate pen to use it; you can just use your finger to control it. The motion sensor is a nice feature, but not essential I think.

There are already people saying that this product isn’t innovative (but at the same time says Windows Vista is innovative, to I doubt I should take these people serious anyway). I do not agree with these statements. This telephone is definitely innovative because of the previous mentioned points. Current smartphones are just a collection of hardware and a bunch of software, creating the feel of a collection of stuff grabbed together instead of a integrated device. This latter is caused by the fact that telefphone companies think they should introduce a new model every three months (or something) which is in no way enough time to engineer a decent product. Even Motorola with the RAZR phone included iTunes support, but the user interface was very crappy. This caused that the phone was not a success and resulted in a missed oportunity by Motorola. I think Apple is going to make a lot of money on the iPhone, and they deserve it, because it is the first company spending time on designing a good user interface for a mobile phone. I think that I may buy an iPhone when it is available in the Netherlands and the price is not unreasonable high.

Nokia introduced earlier this week the N800, a successor to the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. With the N800 it is not possible to make telephone calls (because it has no GSM modele). The device is designed to use as a portable internet device and music player. The nice part on the N800 is that it runs Linux and uses GTK+ as the toolkit for its user interface. This is the same toolkit used by Gnome, and a lot of developers working on Gnome are also working on this Nokia device. Unfortunately, I think the Apple iPhone is more useable than the Nokia, because it has also the possibility to be used as telephone and doesn’t require a Wifi-network for using the internet part of the device.

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