What the iPhone 4 Means for Students
There’s a chance you may have heard something yesterday about Apple’s new iPhone 4. Actually, if you went basically anywhere on the internet then it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion. We’ve seen leaked prototypes over the past few months, but now that Steve Jobs has given us the details, it’s time to think about what this device means for college students.
The most obvious new feature is the front-facing camera and Apple’s FaceTime video calling service. FaceTime itself may not be very useful at first (it only works between iPhones), it won’t take long for some great video chatting apps (cough, cough, Skype) to hit the App Store. Though the jury is still out on whether this is a good thing, there’s no doubt that iPhone 4 users will have an easy time engaging in the perennial freshman ritual of video chatting with parents. This will also become a favorite feature of any long-distance college couples.
High-Res Retina Display
I think the most interesting addition for college students though has to be the 960×640 LCD. Basically you’re getting nearly as many pixels as an iPad in a pocketable device that more students will be using than a tablet. Supposedly the pixels are so tiny that text looks as crisp and readable as printed pages. The addition of the iBooks Store (and any number of third party e-book apps) could conceivably turn this into the ideal reading device. Whether it’s textbooks, novels for liberal-artsy classes, or increasingly-popular PDF readings, it will be interesting to see how many students decide to move their class materials to the iPhone.
Personally, I’m most excited to take the new camera for a spin. I’ve grown used to the 2 megapixel, no-video, no-autofocus camera on my trusty iPhone 3G, so the 5 megapixel, 720p shooter on the iPhone 4 qualifies as a major upgrade. The new LED flash means that you won’t need to haul your point and shoot to parties (the fewer expensive gadgets, the better), while the HD video recording and onboard iMovie editing could conceivably be used to stitch together basic video projects for class. I’m a paperless-living freak, so the autofocus 5 mp camera should be more than adequate to “scan” important documents, handouts, and receipts into Evernote, or any number of other things.
How else could the new iPhone be used on campus? Are you planning on upgrading or hopping onto the bandwagon? Let us know in the comments.