iPhone 4 – what it means for travelers

Even though today’s iPhone 4 announcement was one of the worst kept secrets in the industry, the newest device from Apple will undoubtedly be the hottest thing in mobile phones this summer. Here are (in my opinion) the top 4 new features that matter to travelers:

  • 5 Megapixel camera with HD video and LED flash
  • On-phone video editing
  • Longer battery life
  • Book reader
  • Video calling

Even at 5 megapixels, the iPhone 4 won’t become a replacement for your regular camera – but I’ve seen plenty of great looking photos made with a phone, and boosting megapixels is never a bad thing. The addition of HD video recording is pretty neat – and may put a big dent in the market of pocket HD cameras.

On-phone video editing means you’ll be able to edit your stuff on the iPhone, and send it online, all without the need for a desktop or laptop. The iMovie for iPhone app is $4.99, and I’m sure we’ll start seeing a lot of creative movie editing done in it.

Longer battery life is something we can all use – the iPhone 4 boosts standby time to 300 hours, talk time to 7 hours and music listening to 40 hours.

The iBook reader has been a huge success on the iPad, but whether people will actually read books on the much smaller iPhone screen remains to be seen. Its higher resolution and pixel density do make it easier on the eyes, but still – you’ll need to get past the 3.5″ screen.

Video calling is done like everything Apple does – smooth and efficiently. They call it “FaceTime”, and it uses a lower resolution camera on the front of the phone. Video calls are by no means new, but as usual, Apple will probably make it a massive success. Making calls to friends and family back home will never be the same again. Of course, it also brings a whole new era of people walking into traffic and into lamp posts when they are making video calls when they should be looking where they are going. Downsides to FaceTime – it only works on Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi, and only between iPhone 4 devices.

The phones still only come in black and white, and will be available in 16GB for $199 and 32GB for $299. Current customers on AT&T are eligible for early upgrades. The iPhone 4 will be available on June 24th.