When It Comes to Smartphones, Thin Being “In” Seems Not So “Smart”

People have said it many times. When you had a cellphone about 10 to 15 years ago, the battery lasted for days. Now, you can barely go a few hours before you find yourself needing to juice up your smartphone.

Granted that technology has progressed from just making phone calls and sending text messages, it’s that small supercomputer in your pocket that kills that juice.

But I was looking at my phone the other day and had the realization that there is this undying need to make a device thinner almost feels like an obsession.

What would happen if you added 5 to 10 millimeters of thickness to the latest iPhone? What else could you fit in there? What could you enhance?

A slightly larger battery would certainly be a bonus. Right now, I can usually get through one whole day on a single charge, depending on how heavy I’m using my iPhone at work. But if I don’t charge it when I go to bed at night, it’s game over by the morning.

And that’s just the start.

Storage. I feel like storage in iPhones is still in those phases of when USB thumbdrives first starting popping up. I got a 1GB drive for my birthday once and thought that was the most amazing thing. Now I scoff at anything that is less than 8GB and only use 32GB on a day to day basis.

In this modern day, why should any smartphone be limited to 16 or 32 gigabytes of storage? With a slightly thicker smartphone, you could start everyone out at 128GB of space. Argue all of the price point bull crap you want because you and I both know that’s just some forced limitation designed by a boardroom trying to maximize its profits.

And then what about digital broadcast transmissions like DTV and HD Radio? Suddenly you have a little more space for those processors so you can process the one and zeros already flowing through the air, not biting into your data limits.

Certainly we need to make battery technology better, but the first company that takes a step in the direction of making their phones thicker for the sake of enhanced technology will get my attention. It’s just a matter of someone having the guts to do it.

Love with an iPhone

Love with an iPhone

Just a little fun with long exposure, Rebecca used a drawing app on her iPhone 3GS to make her screen pink and did her best to spell out “love” in reverse. When you shake the phone, the screen turns back to being white, and that’s how she got the white circle to show up around it. I just had to figure out all the settings on my camera to get this to work, and around the fourth or fifth time, it came out like this.

This photo was taken in my parent’s driveway back in Iowa after the fireworks had just finished for the 4th of July, and this is why you always go back to spend time with your family. Visiting always makes us feel loved.

July 11th is the day for the iPhone 3G in Canada

The day has finally been set, so we can finally stop all the complaining about how the neighbors closest to the country who originated the iPhone can finally get the same ability to use and abuse Apple’s latest got-to-have-it. We can also stop our whining and pining for an Apple Store of our own in Vancouver so we can be sure that we don’t have to go all the way to Toronto to buy it from one of the three locations there.

Alright, so I’m still complaining, but at least I can say that it’s about time.

For those not in the know, the 2008 Apple World Wide Developers Conference kicked off today with the traditional keynote address. In all actuality, this is more like a sold out rock show that all the cool kids wanna be at. Difference is that all these “cool kids” are major tech heads that get some major kicks out of seeing what Apple has hiding up their sleeve, and you know that I’m a sucker just like the rest of them.

Before any talk of the new iPhone, I thought it was interesting that the next version of the Mac OS, 10.6, is being previewed at this conference. That’s basically all we really know, other than the rumors that the next release will be less cosmetic and more of a back end strengthening of the OS. More details in time, I’m sure.

So the iPhone 3G, on the other hand, is the huge news. So what makes it better than the original iPhone? Lots, and John Biehler has a lot more details on today’s events, even taking in the coverage as it happened at the Vancouver Apple Store.

This new iPhone is wicked, but why does the “3G” tag on the end mean anything? No, it’s not a throw back to the G3, G4, or G5 processor mumbo-jumbo of Mac days past[wiki]. This is 3G in terms of mobile phone standards[wiki]. It just means faster methods of data transfer beyond simple voice send and receive of a normal phone call.

But that’s not all. At my day job, I get a Blackberry. It’s… ok, but there are so many things about it that frustrate me. However, it’s tied to an Exchange Server, so I get all company email to it as well as contacts, appointments, tasks, etc. The new version of the iPhone operating system, “2.0”, promises to work with Exchange Servers. Combine that with a 3G network in terms of speed and the ease of use of the iPhone interface, because the limited experience I have with Rebecca’s, would make me happy not only as a consumer, but as a network administrator as well.

Of course, out of the gate, there are going to be serious elements to look at before any enterprise use is widespread, but that’s the nature of the beast. Even if Apple hits it on the head, you still have to convince the skeptics at the top of the I.T. food chain. That can be challenging, to say the least.

But there’s still more. The iPhone App Store is going to open up a whole new world in terms of what you can actually do with your iPhone 3G. Applications that you can buy to monitor network traffic, get baseball updates, or the Plum Record app that caught my eye, which is software to record audio on your iPhone. Who needs adapters when the hardware is there to record the audio and someone just needs to write the app for it to work? Potentially very cool for the podcast recording needs.

There is going to be more over the coming month to see how this all pans out. First thing to figure out is how Rogers and Fido will price the data plans for these suckers in Canada. After that, it’s just a matter of how you want to position yourself in line. Elbows out on July 11th or wait till Christmas?

Welcome to Vancouver, Apple Store

In less than twelve hours, the first Apple Store in Vancouver will be open.

Apple Store Pacific Centre - Under Construction
Photo credit: gregeh on Flickr

In the wee hours of tomorrow morning, the crowds will descend, a line shall form, and madness will ensue. In fact, people are most likely camped outside of Pacific Centre on Georgia Street at this moment. I would love to be there for an Apple Store opening and have heard nothing but cool things about it.

Sometimes they even hand out super fun free stuff, crazy discounts, or the odd gift certificate. Still, not enough to really want to make me suffer in line on a day off from work. Plus I’m holding out on replacing my Powerbook G4 with something more of a MacBook flavor, so that’s more of a priority in the near future.

There also won’t be any iPhones to speak of, but that will be changing in the very near future. John Biehler has more on that with some good points.

Unfortunately no details other than it’s coming ‘before the end of the year’.

The big questions to me are:

1. How much for the phone itself in Canada?
2. what does the data and voice plans look like? They better resemble the US pricing
3. How long do we have to lock in? Rogers seems to like 3 year terms
4. Will it be the rumoured new 3G model or as Rogers tends to be behind in releasing phones, will it be last year’s model [johnbiehler]

So an Apple Store within easy walking distance plus the iPhone on the horizon. Things are finally starting to happen for B.C. About freaking time, Apple.