June 08, 2010, 7:36 AM — So. The WWDC keynote. What'd you think? Given the leaks (and kudos to Jobs for acknowledging them) there weren't a ton of big surprises, but we got confirmation of a lot of things about the iPhone 4. Front facing camera? Check. A4 inside? Check. Video chat? Check (though limited).
Some of the announcements felt a bit "me too" for my tastes. Netflix for iPhone is coming? Well we already knew Netflix for Android is coming. And remember that new bandwidth cap that AT&T is putting in place. Best stick to WiFi when you want to stream an HD movie to your phone. iBooks for iPhone will sync notes and bookmarks between iPad and iPhone? Kindle already does that. Even video chat...Sprint's EVO 4G already can handle that, and without the WiFi only limitation. Folders? Android has them. Multi-tasking? Yup, Android has that, too. At the same time, attaining parity is better than being behind and some of these new features were places the iPhone was lagging.
Other announcements were more exciting. That 326 pixels-per-inch Retina Display technology, besides having one of the coolest names in tech, looked pretty amazing. iMovie for iPhone sets a new bar for what an 'app' can do; it seems like the kind of full featured program you'd find on a laptop, not a phone. And having iPad processing power in an iPhone will make the device a joy to use. The (back-facing) camera is 'only' 5-megapixels but it'll also record 720P video and apparently works well in low-light conditions.
And while you can't have Flash on your iPhone, at least you can have Farmville, right?
Better enterprise support will help with the iPhone's corporate penetration even if it isn't sexy. Ditto the new Folders options. What about bluetooth keyboard support? Does that turn the iPhone into a serious note-taking device?
The hardware itself looks very slick, and Apple has gone fairly green with it. No PVC in the handset, headset or cable, arsenic-free glass, mercury-free LCD. A good PR opportunity there that Apple isn't really pushing hard. (Which in itself is admirable – is Apple actually being green for the sake of the environment rather than to snag headlines?)
Now what about this internal gyroscope? I'm still struggling to understand what it can do that the accelerometers can't. For one brief moment I hoped I could stand the iPhone 4 up on its edge and it would resist getting pushed over, but no joy there. I guess the gyroscope is intended to making gaming better? You can watch Jobs playing Jenga in the video below.
Overall, I want to be wowed by the iPhone 4 but I'm not really feeling it, at least based on the keynote. I might feel differently once I've held one in my hands. The iPad didn't sound all that exciting until I'd used one, and now I'm quite a fan. I'm not saying the 4G doesn't look like a nice phone: it certainly does. I came away thinking it was a solid upgrade, but nothing revolutionary.
What about you? Did the keynote get you excited for the iPhone 4? Will you be upgrading (or switching) to a 4 as soon as possible? Or were you underwhelmed? Please leave a comment; I'm still trying to get a sense of what the public's reaction to the keynote is.
Oh, and if you missed the keynote, Apple has put it online for your convenience.