Killer features of the iPhone 4
To make the most of the iPhone 4’sexcellent 720p video capability and sound, aspiring video editors need the iMovie app, available on the App Storefor £2.99. iMovie’s been available as partofthe iLife suite for ages,sothe user interface will be familiar to many Mac users.It’sjust as slick and easy to use on the iPhone 4, with the A4 processor speeding things along nicely.
Tap video footage to bring up video-trimming tools, and double-tap to add transitions,the style of which varies depending on which of the fivethemes youselect. Bright and Modern are the most unobtrusive, but we’d have liked a few more to play with. Once you’ve finished editing,you can exportin one of three resolutions,the best being 720p HD.
Unsurprisingly for an app that’scheaper than apint, there are limitations. You can’t controlthe volume, and music can only go at the beginning of aclip.But by making video-editing capabilityaccessible to anyone on the move,iMovie is an essential iPhone app.
Remember when everyone thought that video chat would be the future then it arrivedand nobody used it? Apple hopes to change thatwith FaceTime, the iPhone 4’s video-calling function, which uses a front facing camera to facilitate 30fps video conversations.
You activate FaceTime via your Contacts; for it to work, the person you’re calling must have both Wi-Fi and an iPhone 4(or new iPod touch) of their own. You can’t yet make video calls to other devices not even iChat users on Macs. Quality is far better than existing 3G mobile video calls, displayed at a decent resolution. The option to switch to the rear cam to show your chat buddy what you’relooking at is a nice touch, and there’s no noticeable lag if you’re both on a decent broadband internet connection.
FaceTime’s aniceidea, but it needs to work over 3G and with other devices if it’s ever to take off. Video calling’s been tried before and made little impact: we’re not convinced anyone’s clamouring for it now.
One regular complaint about earlier iPhones was the mediocre camera. Apple’s upped the quality of the iPhone 4’s one and also hiked the resolution to five megapixels, letting you produce 13×10-inch prints, if you’re that way inclined. Composing pictures on the sharp screen is so natural and enjoyable,and tapping the screen is asimple way to focus.There’sstill no solid shutter,but response time is quick, and you can also switch from stills to videos in a trice. Sharp, with decentcontrast and brightcolours,results arebetter than the iPhone 3GS. TheLED flash means you can finally use the camerainpoorly lit areas. We would have preferreda xenon flash, of course.You also get a 5x digital zoom not a lot of use, in truth and the ability to geotag.
The iPhone 4’scamera is great for taking snaps on the go. There’s no way to adjust settings, so it’s no challenge to a compact camera–but in terms of general quality, it’s easily in the top rank of smartphone cams.