Friday, January 12, 2007

Yes, the iPhone... What else did you expect?

Apple's new iPhone was unveiled recently at the Macworld conference by Steve Jobs, accompanied by such frenzied hooting and cheers by the crowd you would have been forgiven to think that you were in a strip club in the middle of a bachelor's party. Much has been said and reported on the topic by various experts and users in the last couple of days. Unless you were a monk or Sidhu, you would probably have heard most of it by now. I decided I'll add my $0.02 to this nevertheless.

Yes, its from Apple. And the user interface seems to really be next generation. It was a bold move to completely leave out the keyboard, and it will be interesting to see how the blackberry generation businessmen react to this. The rest of the UI like the touch scroll, manipulating images and web pages with your fingers on the screen, proximity sensor etc. sound very intuitive and should be a pleasure once you get used to it. What's more, you also get free yahoo mail pushed to your phone, google maps, a windows-free OS, a 2 mpx camera, cool voicemail interface etc.

All said and done, its just another PDA/phone. However, what differentiates this is the built-in iPod. If iPods weren't such a big success or if some other company had introduced this phone with a different MP3 player keeping everything else the same, I'm quite sure there would not be this much hype. Most people, including moi, these days carry the cell phone and an iPod. So any device that would reduce this to just one instrument is definitely welcome. And Apple, market savvy as ever, has capitalized on this iPod frenzy and monopoly by trying to leverage this into the competitive PDA/phone sector. And they have done this as stylishly as they always do.

But please don't insult my intelligence by calling the iPhone the phone of the future, smart phone, light years ahead or any of the hundreds of epithets being heaped upon it. For example, compare it to my dearest Alamelu and tell me if the iPhone can do even a tenth of this! The phone of the future needs to be able to do more, way more, than what these devices aspire to. And ofcourse they need to keep the user interface and experience as simple, uncomplicated, sleek and desirable as the apple machines. I've said this before and I'll say it again. I need my instrument to act as my wallet, my keychain, a dictaphone with voice recognition and much more. Imagine how cool it would be if you can click a button and mention the name of the album or atleast the starting alphabet so that the iPod can take you to the proximity of the album you wanted to listen to. Compare this with how much scrolling you typically have to do to find an album in the 30GB iPod Video.

The baseline is Apple has me hooked. You might be shocked at this statement after my rants and raves, but hey, I don't have anything against the iPhone. Infact, I love the look and feel and appreciate the fact that I would not have to carry my iPod all the time. My only complaint is when people call this the phone of the future. It might be, but only till the next one comes along.