Before the iPhone, every smartphone on the market had a little screen, a tiny thumb keyboard, and a user interface that confused even the experts. Then, in June of 2007, everything changed.
In the three years since the introduction of the first iPhone, we’ve seen a tremendous change in the way that people work with smartphones and computing devices in general. Most smartphones have emulated the touch screen and gesture-based user interface of the iPhone in an attempt to cash in on the success of the device. It’s estimated that Apple has sold more than 100 million iOS devices (which includes the iPhone, the iPod touch, and the iPad), making the platform a roaring success.
But the iPhone has continued to evolve in those three years. In 2008, the iPhone 3G was released, linking the iPhone to a much faster data network and providing true geolocation through the addition of a built-in Global Positioning System receiver. In that same year, developers were given the tools with which to create new applications to run on the device, and the App Store opened to rave reviews. Suddenly, purchasing games, utilities, and other apps became as easy as browsing an electronic store and pushing a Buy button.
The App Store has become the gold rush of the 21st century, with developers creating well over 225,000 apps in a little over two years. Some developers have made millions with innovative and useful products, further fueling the fire to push the technological edge with unique applications that take advantage of the iPhone’s powerful hardware. The year 2009 saw the introduction of the iPhone 3GS, a phone that provided video capture for the first time. The 3GS also added an electronic compass that made augmented reality apps possible.
But it was the iPhone 4 and its next-generation operating system—iOS 4—that made a huge impact in 2010. The phone has been a huge success despite early issues concerning dropped calls, and once again Apple has set the bar so high that it will be difficult for the competition to catch up. The Retina display of the iPhone 4 makes everything on the screen look photorealistic, for the first time creating a smartphone display that actually has better resolution than the human eye can discern. An Apple-designed processor, the A4, drives the device at amazing speeds. The built-in camera jumped in resolution to 5 megapixels, and there’s now a frontfacing camera that enables another groundbreaking app: FaceTime. The iPhone 4 now has the distinction of being the first device to make video calling easy.
It’s often said that Apple has provided developers with the infinite tool, something that turns into whatever you want it to be when equipped with the proper app. With so many possibilities for the iPhone, it can sometimes be daunting to new users. Taking your iPhone 4 to the Max introduces you to the iPhone 4. Starting with assistance on how to choose the iPhone that’s right for you, we walk you through purchasing your phone and setting it up for the first time. You’ll learn the gesture-based, Multi-Touch vocabulary that allows you to manipulate the iPhone and its hundreds of thousands of apps.