Steve Jobs finally fulfilled the wishes of a million Apple fanboys by today announcing the iPhone in his Macworld keynote address. As you'd expect, it's flashy and a little bit different: a 3.5-inch hi-res screen that covers the entire face of the device -- and it's a touchscreen, so there's no standard keypad or keyboard. The music, video and photo functionality looks pretty great, and if the iPod's anything to go by, syncing the device with a computer should be pretty simple. It also features a version of the Safari web browser, and it's integrated with different Google and Yahoo services in what appears to be a pretty nice way. Some basic specs are out -- GSM/EDGE support, two-megapixel camera, Bluetooth and WiFi -- but plenty of questions linger, especially for some details about Jobs' statement that the device runs OS X. Battery life is going to be a significant concern (though Apple claims it will get 5 hours "of talk time, video, and browsing", or 16 for audio only), and the multi-touch user interface (which uses fingers instead of a stylus for pointing) looks like it could be a bit too complex for many users. For instance, dialing a phone is no longer the straightforward tapping of a keypad; it requires calling up a virtual keypad, then tapping on the screen, with no tactile feedback. The iPhone, overall, seems pretty slick, but at first glance, this device seems to be a really advanced iPod with a phone bolted on, more than anything. Surely that will impress a fair amount of advanced users, but for the vast majority of people whose primary interest is in having just a phone, it's overkill -- particularly when it's going to cost them at least $500 and a two-year contract for service from Cingular when it's launched in June.
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