iPhone 3G is here

iPhone 3G is here

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Being an out-of-the-loop basic cable carpenter with a penchant for expensive gadgets, I was not there. But, thanks to sites like Engadget , and twit.tv (thanks, Leo) and Geek Brief (thanks, Cali!)streaming on Ustream , I got a play by play of what went on.  It’s like being there, but I can’t see anything, and I don’t need to wear pants. There was another famous Steve Jobs keynote in San Francisco today.  There were a lot of pretty boring demos of some pretty good software for the iPhone.  Then, there was the phone.

Sega re-introduced Super Monkey Ball, which they demo’d at the March event.  It now has 100 levels, and looks very cool.  There was some medical software demo’d as well, which looked really amazing, with 3D models you could map and rotate in real time.  Pretty amazing, in general, but out of this world on a phone.

Then, Mobile Me.  There’s been speculation for a while that the me.com website was bought by Apple to be used as a .Mac replacement.  It’s true.  Mobile Me attaches itself to your iPhone, your Mac, your PC, and the web.  You then have a mini-Exchange server working for you 24/7.  If you read an e-mail on the web, it’s marked as read on your phone.  Take a picture with you iPhone and add it to a contact, it’s updated on your Mac.  Or your PC.  It keeps Calendar, Contacts, Mail, and Photos synced across all of your platforms.  The demonstration video on Apple’s website even shows a computer running Windows Vista accessing Mobile Me.  Hate the name, love the service.

Mobile Me also has a  web app that it accesses.  It looks just like iCal, Address Book, and Mail.app on your Mac.  It has drag-and-drop, it has editing capability, and it has Mobile Me.  Now, all your information is everywhere.  For $99 a year.

Now, the Phone…

AppleThe iPhone 3G (as it is called) has some pretty impressive specs, but it’s an evolution instead of a revolution.  No huge changes, really.  Same screen.  Same camera.  Same interface.  It adds a GPS chip, 3G HSDPA high speed cellular, and a plastic back.  The plastic is necessary, since cellular and GPS radios won’t work through a metal back.  They’ve also fixed the headphone jack to be flush, so you can use any headphones you want.   It’s avalable in black 8GB, or black and white in 16 GB.  There’s no mention of the Product (RED) version that was rumored.  The big change is the price.  $199.  That’s right.  An iPhone for 200 bucks.  Pretty impressive.  The 16GB is avalable for $300.  Get the 16GB.  Trust me.  New apps and more speed means you’ll be downloading more info, and saving more documents to the phone.

Speaking of documents, the on-board reader now reads Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power Point files.  It also reads Apple’s own Keynote, Numbers, and Pages documents, which it inexplicibly did not before.  The App Store is still free for developers, and Apple takes a 30% cut if you charge anything for the software you develop.  If you give it away, Apple will host it for free.

The iPhone 2.0 software is still out there, and will be put on the phones July 11.  It will add Exchange and Mobile Me support, Contact Search (finally!) and the App Store.  It also adds an updated Google Maps, that takes advantage of the GPS.  It does not add, however, copy/paste.  Apple, for cripes sake, add copy and paste.  It’s soooooo obvious.  It can’t be that hard, I mean, Palm did it 15 years ago.

All of this apple goodness gets peeled on June 11, and I’ll probably be there.  Waiting in line like a douche to buy a phone.  I should get a cheaper and less nerdy hobby.