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Published:June 20th, 2007 02:25 EST
AT&T and Apple iPhone Preview

AT&T and Apple iPhone Preview

By George Gildersleeve

(Please note: This is a Preview. All information is preliminary and subject to change.  GG)

Apple, a name growing increasingly popular in technology these days, is venturing into the cell phone market with their new iPhone. This new device will feature things such as Flash memory based mp3 capability, one touch dialing, widescreen video, and much more. After reading this review, you will have more knowledge as to what the selling points of the iPhone are and, hopefully, learn  how it compares to rival phones.

Apple has been in the electronics business for more than 20 years, giving them time to perfect certain technologies. Their newer technology, as found in devices such as the highly popular iPod, will find its way into Apple’s move into the cell phone market. The iPhone is much more than just a phone; it’s a personal digital media and entertainment device as well. Apple’s iPhone will come in two different sizes, a 4GB and an 8GB. It will feature the function of an iPod with songs selectable by album artwork. The phone will also follow in the same vein as the 5th generation iPod and will support video, only in widescreen format, for now.

The screen on the iPhone is 3.5” diagonal widescreen and 320x480 pixels. The method of selecting on-screen options will be a simple tapping function. Using this method you can tap to select music, video, phonebook entries, internet links and anything else available on the phone. The phone will automatically orient the screen based on the way it is being held. When held as one holds a phone, the display will orient itself vertically. Conversely, it will orient itself horizontally when held as a widescreen device.

Apple’s iPhone will run the Mac operating system, OSX. Since the phone will run this operating system, which is a modified version of the highly popular desktop and laptop operating system, the phone will feature functionality very similar to that of a regular computer. It comes equipped with a modified version of the OSX Internet browser, Safari. Because it uses this advanced system, the Internet accessed by the phone will be no different from the Internet we use regularly.

For example, most phones, when pointed to www.google.com, take us to a ‘mobile’ version of the web site. Not so with the iPhone, it will take you to the exact same page as you see on your home computer. Just as with other functions, the iPhone will automatically orient itself based on how one is holding it.

The calling features on the phone are, in themselves, advanced as well. If you’re in the middle of a call and receive an incoming call, you will have the option to ignore it, hang up your current call and answer it, or put your current call on hold and answer the incoming call. Also, the iPhone lets you search for businesses nearby-- anything that you might want-- and see a map of where it is. Once you find a business that suits you, all you need to do is simply touch the phone number for it (which shows up on the map) and it will immediately call the number.

The phone also includes a 2-mega pixel camera which, for a cell phone, is relatively good. With this feature, you can take a picture of your friends, put their number in your phone book and see their picture when you call them or receive a call from them. You can also send pictures through email or upload them to a website directly from the phone.

Furthermore, while in the middle of a call, several options appear onscreen. You can have the phone display the keypad, browse your phonebook, call an additional person to the conversation, mute the microphone, place the person on the other line on hold, or turn on the speaker phone-- all with just one touch. The caller also has different options of how to view the phone book. The phone book can be organized alphabetically, by most recent calls, and by favorite contacts.

With all of these features packed into a small, 4.8 ounce package, the iPhone is sure to be a smash hit with AT&T customers. Remember, however, that all electronic devices will undergo many changes in the months and years following its release due to bugs that were not caught or not addressed during the development stage.

So in conclusion, remember that electronic devices have bugs in the first models shipped. Unless you absolutely cannot wait to get an iPhone, it may be best to wait a few months to see if there are any big problems with the phone before purchasing one.

For customers on other networks (Sprint, Alltel, Verizon, etc.) the iPhone will not be available for a few years, if at all. For these customers, there will probably be a phone available to compete with the iPhone relatively soon.

Again, remember that all features and specifications are subject to change pending the June 29, 2007 release date.

See http://www.apple.com/iphone/ for more information.