On 7th June Steve Jobs took the stage at the 2010 WWDC to announce the fourth version of the iPhone hardware. Full details of the improvements over the 3GS model have been well covered elsewhere, so here’s a brief summary:
- 960 by 640 pixel display with 800 to 1 contrast ratio using an IPS (same as iPad) panel
- A4 processor, also same as used in the iPad
- Adds 802.11n wireless
- Up to 7 hours talk time (3G), 300 hours standby, 10 hours WiFi internet use, 40 hours audio playback, 10 hours of video playback
- 16 or 32Gb storage
- Available in white or black, with colour edge covers offered
- New 5 Megapixel backside illuminated camera sensor for better low light images
- 640×480 front camera for self portraits and video calls
- LED flash
- 720p video recording
- Three axis Gyroscope
- iMovie software available to run on the phone for $4.99
The standout features for me are the improved camera and 720p video recording. The Apple iPhone camera page has some un-retouched samples at the bottom of the page that can be zoomed to full size. While none of them are really low light (there are a couple of low light smaller examples near the top) they offer quality good enough for holiday snaps. The popular phrase “the best camera is the one you have with you” doesn’t present too much of a compromise for the average consumer. The availability of iMovie for iPhone 4 is a big bonus, though it appears to be limited to the new iPhone with no word on backward compatibility with the 3GS.
My hope is that Apple will provide some way of transferring photo and video from the iPhone 4 to the iPad, where a version of iMovie and iPhoto would provide much easier editing. The iPad camera connection kit could easily do this, and both devices offer wireless connectivity that would make it a cheaper option.
Uk networks O2, Orange and Vodafone have announced availability of the iPhone 4 on 24th June, but have yet to release details of pricing. O2 have promised a limited time offer for those in existing iPhone contracts wishing to upgrade. Hopefully this will match the AT&T offer to cancel up to six months remaining contract if the new iPhone is taken with a new two year contract.
Price wise the new iPhone is $199 for 16Gb and $299 for 32Gb. No word yet on UK pricing but I’m expecting £170 and £260 if the same conversion as the iPad is used.
I recently returned to the UK after two weeks in San Francisco and Las Vegas. Unfortunately the free WiFi in the SF hotel was nowhere near as reliable as hoped with my Macbook so there were no updates while abroad. The hotel in Las Vegas wanted $15 a day for WiFi internet and while there are a few free access points (the two nearby Apple stores being the main ones) I didn’t want to spend my holiday lurking around these.
I now have a lot of photo’s and 1080p video to edit, and it’s a fairly straightforward task. I’ve listed my method here to help anyone else in the same position, as this is the easiest way of managing large AVCHD files I have found. Read more…
Another freshly fixed problem that had me puzzled for a couple of days is my iMovie 09 crashing when trying to import AVCHD video. This problem hasn’t always existed as I was able to import AVCHD format video from my Canon HF100 in January, but trying again a few days ago resulted in an iMovie crash whenever the Video Camera was connected by USB (or the SDHC card connected via card reader). I’m not sure if this is a new problem with iMovie 09 or if another update caused the issue. Making an image of the card and then mounting it gave the same result, and the problem existed on both the hackintosh and HTPC.
Much searching of insanelymac suggested the problem was fixed by use of a different AppleSMBIOS.kext. I had version 1.1.1 installed to start with, and 1.0.13/1.0.11 didn’t change anything. I eventually came across a post by Andy Vandijck that contained a couple of modified files.The AppleSMBIOS_MacPro.zip file fixed the problem for me, and was easily installed using the OSX86Tools install kext tool.
One way of figuring out the problem with a crashing app is to launch it from the terminal so any error messages are displayed there. To use the example of iMovie, open a terminal window and type
Plugging in the USB card reader and SDHC card gave an error message as iMovie crashed:
Error getting a reference to /options.
This lead to the AppleSMBIOS threads at insanelymac so proved to be a good starting point for getting the problem fixed.
Apple has today announced the next update to its iLife suite of apps. The 09 version is due late January and offers big updates to the iPhoto, iMovie and garageband components. Here’s a quick summary
- iPhoto gains face recognition and geotagging support. Photo’s can be searched from a corkboard of faces and shown on a map of shooting location. Geotagging info can be added to photo’s that don’t have the data in them. Slideshows with themes are also new.
- iMovie appears to have a lot of iMovie HD’s functionality restored. Themes are back, and new features include video stabilisation and effect direct in the timeline with no pre-rendering. Early reports suggest more in depth editing features as well.
- Garageband gains instructional content to teach guitar and keyboard. Video of famous performers is coupled with a guitar fretboard or keyboard to show how to play each song. Artist lessons are priced at $4.99 each from the garageband store.
Sounds like some solid updates that will help Apple stand out from the competition. iLife 09 will continue to be free on new Macs, and $79 to buy. Further details at Apple.com/iLife
After yesterday’s post I had a working 10.5.1 system with my applications and home folder copied from a backup drive. Everything looked to be where it should when I logged in so I started the testing.
The first app I tried was iMovie 08. I know it’s had a lot of flack from the iMovie HD purists, but I find it a lot easier and quicker to use than the last version. So what if it doesn’t have themes? The speed of editing means I don’t put off making the holiday videos due to the time it takes. The biggest issue was running iMovie 08 on my Macbook. Even maxed out with 2Gb of memory the editing process wasn’t smooth. It’s fine with standard video from a miniDV camcorder, but I treated myself to a Sanyo Xacti HD2 last year before a holiday in Florida. The camera was light and easy to carry around all day and took 7 megapixel photo’s and 720p HD video (that’s 1280×720). The Macbook hardware just struggled to handle that resolution of video. Playback had lots of stuttering and spinning beach ball delays. Read more…