…and you should care (OK, maybe not care like I do, but at least be aware) for two reasons:
1. Our students will have these devices (despite the high sticker price) and will be “plugged in” (and maybe “tuned out”) more than ever.
2. This device represents a very significant advancement in mobile devices. It has everything except the kitchen sink, and competitors are scrambling to catch up. It calls into question all the predictions about mobile computing and what wins out…laptops? PDAs? Cell phones? This device really has the tech prognosticators wondering how things will proceed from this point.
iPhones go on sale Friday (and yes, people are camped out already all over the country). Keep your eyes peeled and I’m sure you will see students, parents and others using this device soon.
More Detail for Those Who Care
What is the iPhone? It is a mobile (cell) phone made by Apple Computer. In addition to its phone capability (exclusively through AT&T at this time), it has built in a data plan, meaning you can always connect to the internet whenever you have phone coverage.
But that’s not all. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It has a 2.0 Megapixel camera. It is also a Video iPod. It has a built-in YouTube player. It has a built-in Maps application that works with Google Maps and lets you see maps and satellite images (just enter in “Starbucks” and it will show you all the locations available in the city you chose; then it gives you directions and contact information). The built-in email application can show HTML emails and lets you fully view Word, Excel and PDFs and other attachments as well as graphics. The built-in web browser lets you view any web page, and a simple touch of the screen zooms in on that section. It holds your contacts and calendar information.
All of this is beautifully packaged in a device smaller than Treos and Blackberrys, and with a fabulous glass touch screen. The device has sensors that know when you’ve turned it sideways and changes your screen layout from portrait to landscape. A fabulous headset has a little button that you “pinch” to answer calls or send them to voicemail. It has a huge battery life. You sync your phone to your Mac or PC through iTunes, which means you will get software updates on a regular basis.
And the list goes on. There are limitations: you can’t edit those Word, Excel or PDF documents. You can’t record video. AT&T has perennially rated very low for network coverage. The on-screen keyboard requires some practice to use. It doesn’t have a card slot.
See the official Apple iPhone website:
See a summary and listing of reviews:
[And no, I don't plan to get one...yet. I have another year on my current cell plan, and I love my Palm Treo. But if the next version(s) continue to add functionality, I may very well switch next year.]