Apple is giving it’s popular iPhone another makeover to a slimmer version 4 with a new hi-res screen, also adding some great features for multimedia producers. Video recording is HD 720p using the Apple h.264 codec, and an iPhone App version of Apple’s iMovie video editing program — available soon for $4.99 — should be of great interest to school and home video producers. Addition of a tripod screw socket would be a handy addition for recording stability.
The new iPhone has two cameras and two microphones, allowing for iPhone-to-iPhone “FaceTime” video calling over Wi-Fi. One camera on the front above the display shoots you at VGA quality; the second camera on the back next to the LED flash shoots HD target video you’d like to share (pressing a button on the screen quickly switches cameras). The second mic, at the top near the headphone jack, is for FaceTime calls when the camera is pointed at you. It’s also supposed to work with the main mic at the bottom of the unit to suppress ambient noise and background sounds. It would also be handy to have an external mic input. Then slap it onto something like a Beachtek audio mixer for two XLR mics on desk stands and you have a basic school news recording setup, with editing. See the online video of FaceTime examples demonstrating the use of both cameras.
The 5-megapixel still camera now has an LED flash to assist it in low light, and there’s a new “tap focus” feature that promises selective focusing of near or distant subjects. Wowza!
The new iPhone 4 is due in retail stores June 24. Pre-order reservations for the new iPhone 4 begin June 15. Apple iPhone 3G and 3GS users can download a free iOS 4 software update that adds over 100 new features.
Update, 6/29/10: Uh-oh, hello! It seems as though there are lots of people with new iPhones who are complaining about phone dropout when they hold their new iPhones a certain way, like normally. The Gizmodo media info. blog has a nice article all about it, with some amusing “semi-solutions” for dealing with the problem. Here’s a ZDNet article expressing concerns about early-adopting the model. In looking up the Gizmodo article, I found that I must have been asleep the last few days, because an entertaining mystery around a “lost” Apple iPhone prototype for the current model that ended up in Gizmodo’s hands has been unfolding. If you’ve also been unaware and are interested, here’s Gizmodo’s post, and an Engadget update post about some of the fallout.