iPhoning it in: CNET Tech Review
CNET Tech Review: iPhoning it in25:49 /
This week on the CNET Tech Review, the Apple iPhone 4 has arrived; the Kula Internet TV has not; how to learn to love iOS 4; and Motorola still makes phones, too.
[ Background Music ] >> Molly Wood: This week on the CNET Tech Review, iPhone 4 madness on the streets of New York City, Motorola shows off the Droid X, the Xbox 360 goes on a diet, and our definitive first look at the new iPhone. It's all coming up right now. ^M00:00:15 [ Music ] ^M00:00:23 Hey everyone. I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review, the show where we run down the hottest videos of the week, tell you which ones are good, which ones are bad, and offer some tech wisdom in the form of the Bottom Line. Let's get started with the good. ^M00:00:36 [ Background Music ] ^M00:00:38 It seems like just weeks ago we were standing here talking about the announcement of Apple's iPhone 4, and now finally, after two whole weeks, it's here. CNET's Maggie Reardon was on hand Thursday morning in New York when the iPhone 4 went on sale. ^M00:00:54 [ Background Music ] ^M00:00:59 >> Maggie Reardon: Hi, I'm Maggie Reardon with CNET.com and I'm here at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, where the fourth generation iPhone is about to go on sale. Even though there were some hiccups earlier this month with pre-orders, it doesn't seem to have dampened enthusiasm. In fact, people have been camped out for days waiting for the new phone. As you can see, there are hundreds of people. The line is wrapped around the block. What has brought you out on this hot day, standing in line, waiting for the iPhone? Why iPhone 4? >> Because all the iPhones are the greatest and I flew all the way from Chicago just to be in New York because I've never been to New York and I want an iPhone in New York. So, here I am. If you buy a song on iTunes, it goes straight to your phone. I don't got to synch up. Multi-tasking, folders, everything. >> Maggie Reardon: Do you realize some of these things you could have gotten just with the upgrade to your 3GS? >> Yeah, I know. >> Maggie Reardon: How many iPhones are you getting? >> Well, two are coming to my house as we speak, and I'm on line for the third one. >> Maggie Reardon: Which features are you most excited about with the new iPhone 4? >> The new style, the shape of it, the fact that it's a little bit lighter and the fact that it's 4G. >> Maggie Reardon: Well, did you know that it's actually not 4G? It's just the fourth generation. Does that change your mind? >> No, I still like the fact that it's a different look. >> You see someone you're talking to over the phone, kind of like with the Jetsons, it's about time they bring that to the cell phone. I've been waiting for that for years. >> I'm really excited about the video chatting feature, because my dad's in Atlanta and he's getting one today, too. So we'll be able to talk to each other. >> I'm just looking to be cool. And it's really hard at my age, but I'll try. >> Maggie Reardon: You tried to pre-order your iPhone? What happened? >> It was very hectic. You were getting error messages. I guess, you know, the different coasts were just trying to pre-order all at the same time. >> We tried to pre-order, and just the system failure. And so, you know, we decided that we would come down, meet people, enjoy the festivities. Actually CNET has been the place where I have brokered most of my information about technology as well as the iPhone. >> Maggie Reardon: I'm in the Apple Store, and a steady stream of customers are coming in to get their new phones. Unlike years past, the activation process has been going pretty smoothly. Customers are in and out in about 20 to 25 minutes. What are your first impressions? >> It's amazing. It's really fast and it works really efficiently. >> Maggie Reardon: What's your favorite feature now that you have it in your hands? >> I think the camera, actually. ^M00:03:15 [ Background Music ] >> Maggie Reardon: So you just got your phone. You're here with your friend, and you're going to try out the face time app. Let's see how it goes. >> Yeah, let's see how it goes? Chris, what's your phone number? ^M00:03:27 >> Maggie Reardon: So your friend doesn't have AT&T service in the Apple Store. Is that the problem? >> AT&T sucks. If they could have it on Verizon, it'd be awesome. It would be really good. But AT&T is horrible. I don't get service in my house, can you believe that? In my house. >> Maggie Reardon: So far, folks who have been playing around with the phone are very happy, with the exception of a few glitches trying to get some new features to work. I'm just wondering what Apple's going to do next year? Maybe they'll just bring it to Verizon. I'm Maggie Reardon with CNET.com. ^M00:03:56 >> Molly Wood: So, which do you think was more of a hassle, waiting in line for however many hours or trying to get through the pre-order process? Either way, there's got to be an easier way to buy a phone. And in other really tiny computer that makes phone calls news, Motorola has stepped up its game with a new Droid. In fact, they held a big party for the sole purpose of unveiling the Droid X to our very own Bonnie Cha, and like a few other people. ^M00:04:23 [ Background Music ] ^M00:04:26 >> Bonnie Cha: Hi everyone, I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com and I'm here with your first look at the Motorola Droid X for Verizon. This is the carrier's newest Droid device and I'm going to walk you through the design really quick. On front, you've got a 4.3 inch WBGA capacitive touch screen. Looks really gorgeous. It's running a revised version of Motoblur, so it's not quite like the CLIQ or anything like that. It's very subdued, which I like a lot better. Below the screen, you've got four hard buttons. You've got the menu button, the home key, back and search. On the side here, we've got the micro USB port as well as an HDMI port, so you will be able to hook it up to an HD TV and watch video as well as your photos. Speaking of photos, it has an 8-megapixel camera and can record 720p video, so it's HD video. There's no front-facing camera, but Motorola has said that they will come out with other devices with front-facing cameras later on. Here on the left side, there's a volume rocker and also a dedicated camera key. And finally, on top we've got a power button and a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. Now, as far as software, like I said, it's running Motoblur. It's going to launch with Android 2.1, but Android 2.2 Froyo will be coming to the Droid X as well as a Droid later this summer. And this will also bring the Flash 10 capabilities for the phone. Other things are here. All the wireless options, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS as well as WiFi. And you can use the Droid X as a mobile hotspot for up to five devices. But that will run you an additional $20 a month on top of the $30 data plan, just FYI. MLT Media's going to be huge on this, so they are launching with a dedicated Blockbuster app, a lot like the HD2, so you can rent and buy movies from the phone. It'll also have a V Cast video as well as NFL Mobile and all other Verizon services. The Droid X will be available starting July 15 from $199.99 with a two year contract and after a $100 mail in rebate, and it'll also be available at other retail outlets. I'm Bonnie Cha, and this has been your first look at the Motorola Droid X for Verizon. ^M00:06:31 [ Background Music ] ^M00:06:32 >> Molly Wood: That is a good looking phone. But see, Bonnie just reminded me that I am still waiting for my Froyo. Why can't it just be here already? Come on. Moving on, during Microsoft's Xbox 360 keynote at E3 last week, it was announced that everyone in attendance would receive one of the brand new slimmer Xboxes. Brian Tong was there, and his 360 showed up in the mail on Monday. So now, here's his first look. ^M00:07:00 >> Brian Tong: Brian Tong here with CNET.com and this is a first look at the new Xbox 360 250-gig model. So let's take a look at some of its cosmetics. It's now sporting a piano black finish that's really a fingerprint magnet. It has more of an edgy design with sharp lines and vents, but this is clearly a more male-geared design. Now this new 360 is packed with a 250-gig hard drive and built-in Wifi with 80211N. Microsoft says it's a whisper quiet, and it's definitely quieter compared to the previous 360 model, which is a good thing for Xboxers. Now, on the front side, the buttons on the 360 are all touch sensitive now. There are no physical buttons here, so to power it up, just press your finger on the silver button and it fires up. To open up the game disk tray, you just swipe your finger over this little notch, and you'll also be able to find two USB ports here on the front. On the side, the hard drive is different, so it won't be interchangeable with your old one. All you have to do is pop this side plate off, and then just pull this tab to pop out the 250-gig drive. If you have the Xbox transfer cable, you can use it to move your game saves and files over from your old Xbox to this new one. But if you don't there will be one available for $19.99. Now, if we flip it to the back, you'll see your connection for power, optical audio, the standard AV connection for the 360 composite or component cables, and HDMI. This port here is an auxiliary connection specifically for Microsoft's Connect. Previous models will have to plug in to Connect with USB and then have a separate cable running to power. And you'll find your Ethernet and three additional connections giving the 360 a total of five. Now, when you compare the new Xbox side-by-side with the previous model, Microsoft has cut off some of the fat with the design. It actually can fit inside of the original 360, and they've trimmed down the size of the power supply as well. The new Xbox 360 retails for $299, and its new redesign packs more value into the system for the same price. I'm Brian Tong for CNET.com, with your first look at the Xbox 360 250-gig model. ^M00:08:59 [ Background Music ] ^M00:09:01 >> Molly Wood: We also found out this week that the Xbox will no longer suffer from the dreaded red ring of death because they took out the little red LED, yeah. It's kind of like the way taxi drivers cover up their check engine light with a piece of paper. They do that. As we learned last week, one of the major highlights from E3 was Microsoft Connect for Xbox, which allows players to put down their controllers and just jump around like total goof balls. So, here's Jeff Bakalar with his hands-off first look. ^M00:09:31 [ Background Music ] ^M00:09:34 >> Jeff Bakalar: Hey, what's going on everyone? I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET.com. We've got a first look here with Microsoft Connect, Microsoft's motion control system that they unveiled at E3 2010. Had some first hands-on with two games, Connect Joy Ride and I also got to play Connect Adventures. There's a little bit of a learning curve with all the new motion control. There's no physical controller involved, so you're going to have to learn how to sort of play the game without anything in your hands. It's a lot of fun. You're going to get a good workout because you're moving around a lot. And we played a few games. I was a big fan of Connect Adventures. Had me in a raft and I was jumping around to collect pins. It was a lot of fun. You really have to move around a lot. It's not just your hands. You have to move your entire body around. Really good time. Also got to check out Connect Joy Ride, which is a racing game where you use both your hands to control the car you're driving and body motion to create boost and to perform tricks while your car's in the air. Had a lot of fun with that, too. So that's our first look at Microsoft Connect. You could try it out for yourself when it comes out November 4, for the Xbox 360. I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET.com. Thanks for watching. ^M00:10:45 [ Background Music ] ^M00:10:49 >> Scott Stein: Hi. I'm Scott Stein and this is the first look at Office Mac 2011 preview. Now, Mac users might want an experience with Office that matches a little more of what you can get out of Office for Windows. And the good news is that later this year, Office Mac looks like it's going to be a promising experience that's a lot like Office for Windows and gives a few new wrinkles and features that we haven't seen before, notably, Outlook. And one of the advantages of Outlook should be that the database files actually are going to be saved as a bunch of files instead of one large one. What that means is easier spotlight searching, and in addition, it should work better with Time Machine. Now on the Microsoft Word side, a cool thing is that it works a lot more seamlessly with Microsoft's Web apps. The Apple has a lot of great software, but one thing they're not so fantastic with is working in the Cloud. One nice thing about Word on Office Mac 2011 is that it works seamlessly with Microsoft's Web apps, allowing you to save to its Cloud environment and also pull documents off from light editing to actually bringing it down into Word for more full-featured editing. We'll find out a lot more as we get closer. You should expect it later this year, and it should be a nice surprise for anybody who's looking to really turn their Mac into a full office machine. I'm Scott Stein, and this has been a first look at Office Mac 2011 preview. ^M00:12:04 [ Background Music ] ^M00:12:06 >> Molly Wood: So, Jeff gets to play Xbox and Scott has to talk about Office for Mac. Sorry, Scott. You got hosed. Still on the fence trying to decide if it's time to upgrade to an iPhone 4? Well, if you've got an iPhone 3G or 3GS, or even a newer iPod Touch, you too can start using some of the iPhone 4's features right now. In fact, here are some tips from Brian Tong for you to enjoy while you're update is downloading. ^M00:12:33 [ Background Music ] ^M00:12:40 >> Brian Tong: Many of you have loaded your iPhone or iPod Touch with the latest iOS 4 and you're playing around with all the new features like multi-tasking and folders, but there are a lot of hidden gems you might not know about in the settings. With the latest OS, you now have the ability to turn off your cell phone data usage while still using the phone just for calls and text messages. All you have to do is go into your settings, then general and then network, and you'll see the cellular data option. And this is a big deal for people who want to save data. Now, I'm messaging on my phone a lot, and there's a couple new features here as well. Go to your messages settings, and then you can turn on the character count function. If you're on a text message plan, you'll be able to tell if you're about to go over the character limit and avoid an extra message from being sent. You also have the ability to search through your messages, so if you don't see it, just pull down to reveal the search bar, type in a word, and voila, there are your messages with that word in them. And while we're talking about search, when using the universal search in iOS 4, when you type in a word, you now have the ability to search the Web or Wikipedia for that term. Now let's shift over to photos. Your pictures can be organized into albums, but if you synch your iPhone with Apple's iPhoto, your pictures can also be organized by faces and places. And this is kind of fun to see where your pictures have been taken on a map, moving it around, and looking at all of them. And any pictures in your camera roll that you decide to email, right after you hit the send button, you'll see a prompt that lets you choose the size of the picture that you can send off. I'm Brian Tong for CNET.com, and there's still more iOS secrets we have for you. And you might even find some for yourself, so use them wisely. ^M00:14:15 [ Background Music ] ^M00:14:18 >> Molly Wood: I know Brian has a few more tricks up his sleeve, but it is time for a break. We'll be back with iOS 4 secrets and a lot more, right after this. ^M00:14:26 [ Background Music ] ^M00:14:31 Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, your weekly digest of all things good and bad from CNET TV. Before we get to that which is bad, here's another batch of secrets to help you get the most out of iOS 4. ^M00:14:44 [ Background Music ] ^M00:14:51 >> Brian Tong: Hey guys. I'm Brian Tong from CNET.com, and I'm back with more little secrets you might not know about that are hidden inside of iOS 4. Now I know this may not be the sexiest one, but anyone with an iPhone 3GS, third gen iPod Touch or the new iPhone can now take advantage of iOS 4's data protection feature that enhances the built-in hardware encryption. All you have to do is go to your settings, then general and passcode, and create one. Once you do that, scroll down to the bottom and you should see data protection is enabled, and you are good to go. Now folders is a big deal for iOS 4 fans, but a fun little trick is that you can now bring folders down into the dock as well, and access them from there. In the mail app, the new threaded emails is a favorite feature of mine, but you might not like it. So, in your settings, go to mail, contacts and calendars and you can toggle on or off the organize by thread option. Once inside the actual mail app, you'll also see that contact pictures will display within the email in the corner, which is a nice little touch. Now, we all play music on our iPhones and iPod Touches, and you can now create and edit your own playlist directly in the music app, and they will synch back to your computer the next time you connect it. This is another killer feature. And if you're also searching for songs by album, there's a whole new layout with artwork and additional information. Now, if you're the type of person who thinks lyrics or podcast information just gets in the way, you can turn them off in your settings by going to iPod and switching off the lyrics and podcast information option. I'm Brian Tong for CNET.com with another batch of iOS 4 tips for you. Use them wisely. ^M00:16:22 [ Background Music ] ^M00:16:26 >> Molly Wood: I think I'm going to stick with my on-the-go 17 playlist. I love that one. Oh, hey. The screen changed. I guess it's time for the bad. ^M00:16:35 [ Background Music ] ^M00:16:37 So many phones play HD video these days, it's shocking. But are you worried that your portable device does too much? Well, if you get yourself a Kula TV video player, that will never be a problem again. ^M00:16:50 [ Background Music ] ^M00:16:53 >> Donald Bell: Hey, I'm Donald Bell for CNET.com and today we're taking a first look at the Kula TV. This is a touch screen portable TV priced at $199 that streams video over a WiFi internet connection. You get access to over 400 channels from all over the world and all of the content is free. The premise is pretty neat, but the execution needs some help. Design-wise, you get a 4.3 inch screen with descent viewing angles, but it's a little dim and there's no way to adjust the brightness. On the top, you have buttons for volume and power and a fold-out antenna that: 1, seems a little odd for a WiFi device; 2, doesn't help much with reception; and 3, uses a fragile plastic design. You may as well glue this thing down and pretend it isn't there. On the back, there's a speaker and a reset switch, and on the side, there's a headphone jack, micro SD slot, a USB port and a socket for the included power adapter, which you'll need for charging the internal battery. You also get 2 gigabytes of internal memory, which you can use to load up photos, music or videos, though the sound quality isn't great and videos lack any kind of control for pause, skip or rewind. As far as the interface goes, they kept things simple with only four options on the main menu, streaming TV, stored media, clock and settings. The settings page really only has one useful option for configuring the WiFi connection, but it works and it gives you a little keyboard for inputting passwords. We wish that same keyboard would have made its way to the TV section, though, as a way for searching through all the stations for something worth watching. Instead, stations are listed by language, location or category, which can make for a lot of trial and error. For example, to look up a local California station, I can select USA, but then all the stations for Alaska, Arizona, California and other states get lumped together. Once you've selected a station, it will buffer and play after a few seconds, but video quality is unpredictable and sometimes choppy to the point of being unwatchable, even when signal strength is good. Our experience overall was disappointing. For the same price, an iPod Touch includes more features and better design and arguably offers just as much free video content when you factor in podcasts and video apps. You also have the option to buy and directly download premium TV content on an iPod Touch, which is something that the Kula TV doesn't offer. So that's the Kula TV from Sungale. We like the idea of taking the world's free streaming TV content and putting it in your pocket, but for this price, the hardware and the UI just doesn't cut it. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell. ^M00:19:25 >> Molly Wood: So, yeah. Good idea, bad execution. Sorry Kula. And that brings us to this week's Bottom Line. ^M00:19:34 [ Background Music ] ^M00:19:37 So far this week, we've seen people online waiting for the iPhone, people buying the iPhone, tips for using the iPhone. Well, I think the time has come to pass judgment on the iPhone 4. So here's Kent German to do just that. ^M00:19:51 [ Background Music ] ^M00:19:53 >> Kent German: Hi, I'm Kent German, Senior Editor here at CNET.com. Today we'll take a first look at the Apple iPhone 4. This, of course, is Apple's newest iPhone. It has a lot of new features, has a redesign. First, we're going to take it out of the box, though. Just pop it off the top there, and, you know, well, there it is. So, from the start, you see this is a very different iPhone in design. Take if off the lid there, and inside, you have, of course, the small instruction sheet. You get the small wall plug that we see, a normal USB cable and the standard iPhone ear buds. So, pretty standard as far at the box goes. Now, the iPhone 3G and 3GS merely were tweaks of that original iPhone's design. This is a lot different. It's flat on both the front and the back, so the nice thing is is that it doesn't wobble when you put in on the table anymore. When you compare it to the iPhone 3G that we have here, you'll see that it is a bit thinner. It's actually 25% thinner. Apple says this is the thinnest Smart Phone around. That certainly may be true for now, but you know, the thin Smart Phone race changes constantly. So, I don't think it will hold that title for long. It does have glass on the front and on the back. I do notice on the back in particular, it attracts a lot of smudges and fingerprints that we didn't see on the previous phone. So you want to watch that. You'll see a metal band encircling the entire phone. It actually is a new antenna as well. You do see a couple of notches on the top, on the side. But Apple didn't say that this would improve call quality. They didn't actually promise that. Perhaps this redesign is an effort to make those things better. Some of the other changes you'll see is there's a new noise cancellation microphone here, right on the top, that's next to the 3.5 millimeter headset jack and the power switch. Here on the side, the SIM tray, which used to be on the top, has been moved to the side. Of course, that is a micro SIM slot. And the volume rocker has been redesigned. It's now split volume buttons. It's a small change, but I like it, actually. The silencer button has been revamped just a little bit, but you'd barely notice it. And down here on the bottom, you see that same 30-pin connector jack, the speaker and the microphone. And, of course, the home button is completely the same. The phone is 4.8 ounces. So, it actually is the same weight as the original iPhone. The iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS were just a little bit lighter. You don't really notice it. It definitely is smaller, though. And I noticed that immediately taking it out of the box. It is a bit narrow. I measured across the front face and I already told you that it is thinner. I do think that when I look at it alone, it certainly looks small. And, of course, you particularly notice it when you put the phones side-by-side. A couple other changes in design. You see that there's a camera right here that is a VGA camera. You can use that for self-portraits or for the face time video calling feature. It is 5 megapixel. It also records HD video. The iPhone 4 isn't the first handset to offer this feature, but it certainly works well. We recorded some quick videos and they looked really great. There's still no white balance or brightness or color tones or anything like that, but we're kind of used to seeing that from Apple, but never really taken the camera and added a lot of customization with it. But, I think with these updates, it certainly makes the camera pretty good. Along with the new camera, you will know of a couple tweaks to the interface. There is that control for the flash. You also see a small control for switching between the front and rear camera. So, everything's really accessible up front, so it's pretty cool. The face time feature is Apple's new video calling feature. That's, of course, the video chat service that you can use with another iPhone 4 person and be able to chat over to there. You do need to be on WiFi to use it, just for the time being, they say through the end of this year. The video can be a little pixilated, it can be a little jerky. I think it works pretty well, though. And it's certainly fun. I just can't imagine it lasting much past the novelty stage. >> Is the other restriction. >> Kent German: Yeah, the other restriction is, don't get too close. Also, we need to talk about that display, of course. This is Apple's Retina display. And the reason they call that is they think -- they say that its resolution is beyond what's perceivable by the human eye. There's been some debate about whether that's really true, but I can say that the display is absolutely stunning. You can't see any pixels at all. Colors are fantastic. Text looks great. Websites, photos, videos, everything I was looking at was really, really great. When you put it next to you, you really need to get -- zoom in to see it, but you do see a definite difference there. Apple certainly stepped up the display and made something that's really competitive. So, I was glad to see that. The iPhone 4 does have a new processor, and from the start, I can tell you that it was completely faster. Doing anything, opening apps, going between menus, especially with that camera shutter, actually, that was really, really quick. But this phone is certainly faster than what we've seen before. As I said, the iPhone 4 does have a bigger battery. Of course we haven't done a full battery drain yet. But, in just the brief testing I've done, it seems like it's doing well. With the multi-tasking that we saw with iOS 4, there of course, is the concern that that will put a drain on the battery faster. The way Apple designed multi-tasking, they that it isn't going to do that. And I haven't found anything yet. But it's always nice to see a bigger battery. So, certainly welcome those. Of course, feature-wise, the iPhone 4 brings a lot of things and with the added iOS 4, it brings even more. I won't get into the iOS 4 changes here, but if you want to learn more about the iOS 4 changes, I did a first look at the iOS 4, so you can check that out. On the whole, this is the biggest upgrade of the iPhone since the iPhone 3G. I think when you took them independently, if you took the iPhone 4, you took the iOS 4, you took those independently, they'd be great. But when you add them together, you really come with a compelling, sleek and really nice device. Of course, there are so many great Smart Phones out there, so I'm not going to say that it's the best, because to do that would really ignore so many Smart Phones and how fast the technology world develops. If you're an iPhone fan, and if you like what Apple has designed as a Smart Phone experience, this is a great phone. I'm Kent German, and this is the Apple iPhone 4. ^M00:25:11 [ Background Music ] ^M00:25:14 >> Molly Wood: The bottom line this week? Get a bumper. I know they don't look that cool, but they could help prevent scratches, and we're already hearing some reports of signal loss when your hand comes into contact with the external antenna. Oops. And that's our show for this week everyone. Tune in next week when we'll have a car tech prize fight mash up between the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. Until then, don't be afraid to check out more great CNET video, like Kent's full review of iOS 4 at CNETTV.com See you next time and thank you for watching. ^M00:25:44 [ Music ]