Monday, June 11, 2007

iPhone's Not-So-Hidden Features

Many people have said "I don't want my phone to be several things, I just want it to be a phone." What they haven't realized is that the convergence of devices opens many new features to each individual device. Here's a list of things that convergence will allow you to do... if not upon immediate release, then only a software or firmware update away.

1. Wi-fi iPod
People have been clamoring for a wi-fi enabled iPod for some time now. We want to be able to sync our iPod without the wires. We want to download songs from the iTunes music store wirelessly. We want to share songs with other iPod users. Now you have it. Every iPhone (and thus iPod) has wi-fi and Edge, so all of the above is completely possible. It won't be long until you see the iPhone version of iTunes, so you can download songs, TV shows and movies over wi-fi or even edge. Sharing songs between iPhone users ala zune? It will be here before you know it.

2. An iPod with a built-in speaker.
Wouldn't it be nice to lay at the beach and listen to your music without earphones and without lugging around extra speakers? The iPhone has a built in speaker phone, so listening to your music and movies through the speaker is right around the corner, if not already possible.

3. An iPod with a built in mic.
No more line in mics. Record lectures, meeting notes... long format memos directly to iPod using the built in phone mic.

4. An iPod with built in bluetooth.
Expect many bluetooth earphone accessories very soon. EXTRA NUGGET: Go to Apples new iPhone section here and notice under "bluetooth" it reads "instantly connect to the iPhone Wireless Headset and other bluetooth enabled devices". Looks like we can expect Apple branded bluetooth headsets... no doubt with music listening support.

5. Email your voice mail.
Your voice mail will be treated as individual audio files, meaning you will be able to attach them to email on your phone and send them to others to be played on their computer.

6. Call the internet.
It's a wi-fi phone, people. Why hasn't this been said before? How long until skype builds a web app that let's you make free wi-fi calls from your iPhone? If you can pull up skype and use your built in mic and speakers on your computer, you better believe people will be racing to create this for the iPhone.

7. Add your phone to your organizational system.
When developers start creating online apps for safari on iPhone, expect communications to be at many of their cores. Access basecamp from your iPhone, and touch a contact to call them immediately, then record the conversation and save it in basecamp. Think of it this way... you can organize every communication but phone calls, until now.

8. Wi-fi camera
2 mega-pixels is nothing to sneeze at. Take a picture, it automatically is uploaded to flickr. Share pictures with other iPhone users wirelessly.

As you can see, convergence brings many new possibilities. These are simply a few, there are many more. Hopefully this list will get you thinking. Why not leave your ideas in the comments for all to see?

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