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6/22/2007
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Stephen Wellman
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Apple Offers Web Video Tour Of The iPhone

It's just one week until the launch of the iPhone and to mark the final seven days of waiting, Apple has released a Web-based "guided tour" designed to further whet the appetites of Macheads around the world.

It's just one week until the launch of the iPhone and to mark the final seven days of waiting, Apple has released a Web-based "guided tour" designed to further whet the appetites of Macheads around the world.The video is, in typical Apple minimalist style, called simply "iPhone. A guided tour." The iPhone supposedly puts "three great products into one."

It's a great mobile phone, the best iPod we've ever created, and it delivers the Internet in your pocket with the best e-mail, Web browsing, search and map applications ever on a mobile phone.

It's good to see Apple has cranked down the hype. But, the video does give the in-depth look that we've all been craving. Let's take a look at the new iPhone details.

"The iPhone is a revolutionary mobile phone."

The iPhone's 16 applications launch with one-touch from the main menu screen. The video touts the device's one-touch calling and its full integration with Safari and other Mac apps. The iPhone also seems to offer better multitasking, allowing a user to easily run other applications while on a phone call.

With "visual voicemail" users can listen to any voice message, in any order, at anytime. Users just point and click which message to access. I have to admit, this looks really cool.

The "merge calls" feature allows users to create conference calls with just a couple of taps.

"The best iPod we've ever created."

The iPod offers an upgraded interface for accessing audio tracks and videos. The addition of a touch-screen seems to be the big upgrade here.

In terms of video, the device's biggest advantage is the ability to watch videos in both landscape and with the addition of theatrical ratio (i.e. letterbox). This way the video is actually, you know, watchable, unlike most mobile video experiences.

"The Internet in your pocket."

The Safari browser seems to work pretty much the same way it did in January when Jobs showed first showed off the iPhone. Google seems to be really integrated into the browser. The one new feature is tabbed browsing, which I have never seen on a mobile device before.

On the e-mail front, the iPhone supports most consumer e-mail systems including Yahoo and Gmail. The iPhone can gives users access to attachments like Word documents.

The virtual keyboard, though, still looks weird. The keyboard supposedly corrects users with "intelligence" but We'll see if that really works in real life.

As for text messaging, the iPhone renders text messages as complete threads (i.e. similar to the way Gmail renders e-mail messages). That's a significant upgrade in user experience, in my opinion.

The iPhone's weather widget looks really useful, letting users track multiple cities with the ability to flick between them with one simple swipe on the touch screen.

Google Maps on the iPhone also looks impressive. It offers both map and satellite views, as well as the ability to bookmark locations. The integrated phone dialing makes functions like making restaurant reservations much easier.

Navigation with Google Maps, however, looks cumbersome. Without integrated GPS, users still have to input their starting address and as well as their destination. While you can bookmark your starting addresses, this is still a tedious process, especially if you're on the road and away from home or your office. Too bad, because GPS would have made the iPhone a killer mobile navigation unit.

"Touching is believing."

Obviously, I will not be able to tell if the iPhone really does all of this until I get my hands on one. Until then, check out the video for more.

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