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Apple's Smart Phone Depends on OS X Tie-Ins

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the steve-jobs-hard-to-shop-for dept.

User Journal 260

anaesthetica writes "According to AppleInsider, Apple is not only working on a cellphone + mp3 player iPhone, but is working on a second model designed to be a smart phone, highly integrated with Mac OS and .Mac. The smart phone has gone through several iterations, as the notoriously demanding Mr. Jobs ordered the elite team working on the phone to redesign and re-engineer their prototypes. Capabilities are reported to include Front Row interface, syncing contacts and iCal with .Mac, "call ahead", iChat video conferencing integration, WiFi, and a slide-out keyboard. Too good to be true?"

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260 comments

heh (0)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132778)

Well, it sounds nice, but i dont think its going to get far ahead as all the stuff they are doing has been done before

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (0, Redundant)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132990)

CmdrTaco, is that you?

Re:No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (1)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133014)

nope, next time check my md5 hash

Re:No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133168)

In serching for the exact workding, the first google hit is the /. discussion here. [slashdot.org] It's funny to scroll throught he comments from the initial ipod release.

They have proven, with the iPod, that if they can fix the abyssmal ui seen on typical device, they don't need to be massively innovative in hardware - simply "good" is enough. I've got to say that when it comes to cell phones, someone who can make them "just work" has a really good shot at the market. If they can make it "just work" with outlooks calendar, contacts, and email, as well as be a good phone and media player, they're in for a wild ride.

Re:No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17133324)

"If they can make it "just work" with outlooks calendar, contacts, and email, as well as be a good phone and media player, they're in for a wild ride."

My Blackberry Pearl fits that description.

Re:No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134134)

The Perl is the first and only BB with media player features.. but that is a good point.

My WM5 PDA phone can do all of the functions and more accept the "just works" part doesn't describe it some days.

Re:No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (0, Flamebait)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133326)

Judging from the iPod I'm going to say they will never make it just work with Outlooks calendar, contacts and email. They will make it just work with there own software and force people to use that instead, just as they have done with the iPod and iTunes.

Re:No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (2)

schiefaw (552727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133510)

My Fav:

"I don't see many sales in the future of iPod.

~LoudMusic"

To be fair, I didn't think much of it at the time either.

Re:No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133570)

If they can make it "just work" with outlooks calendar, contacts, and email, as well as be a good phone and media player, they're in for a wild ride.

My Samsung i730 running Windows Mobile does that via Active Sync to Exchange 2003. I've had the phone for almost two years now.

Re:No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134182)

How is the UI?

I'd have to agree that Jobs' 3 action rule is a very nice rule. As a tech head, convoluted UIs never really bothered me but as I get older, the 3 action is really nice.

What!? (2, Funny)

whiskeyriver (909231) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132804)

The smart phone can't wipe my arse and spoon-feed me too?

No sir, I DON'T LIKE IT!

Re:What!? (2, Funny)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133296)

Well, they're working on it. The first prototype would wipe your mouth and spoon-feed your arse, so Jobs sent the designers back to the drawing board.

Re:What!? (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134032)

The smart phone can't wipe my arse and spoon-feed me too?

No sir, I DON'T LIKE IT!
Actually, yes it can - but the wiping isn't wireless.

I see that Mr. Jobs..... (4, Interesting)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132808)

.... appears to be taking a page out of the M$ playbook and tying the device tightly to the OS to drive OS X sales. One would hope that he is also smart enough to have the phone be usable to users of Windows & *INX without hopping though hoops to do it.

Re:I see that Mr. Jobs..... (0, Flamebait)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132854)

appears to be taking a page out of the M$ playbook and tying the device tightly to the OS to drive OS X sales

Um, have you ever heard of Apple Macintosh computers?

Re:I see that Mr. Jobs..... (4, Insightful)

rhombic (140326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132932)

I think the parent was referring to the close tie-in between current Smartphones and Windows-- as a mac user, I'm basically told to get stuffed by my cell phone provider when I ask about a smartphone that can sync w/ my .mac mail, calender, etc etc. Apple opened up the iPod to windows (after the 1st generation, admittedly) in a way that MS will never, ever allow Smartphones to do w/ macs.

Re:I see that Mr. Jobs..... (5, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132984)

That's got a lot more to do with the fact that Steve wanted access to a larger market than he had at the time then any altruistic impulses to let Windows users in on the Ipod fun.

Re:I see that Mr. Jobs..... (2, Insightful)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133058)

That's one reason that I am a bit surprised if it is truly that closely tied to Mac OS. Apple has made wheel barrow loads of money on Windows Ipods. If they are to break into the hip and cool phone market, they will need as big a market base to draw from as they can acheive.

Mac users a good test audience. (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134146)

Well if you look at what they did with iPods, they didn't release them for Windows initially. Instead they waited until the iPod had already become a success with Mac users, and then released both the iPod and iTunes for Windows.

I suspect if they had released a Windows iTunes+iPod at the very beginning, it might not have done as well as it did, released a year or so later, with a lot of traction. I expect they probably would have gotten a lot of flak for not having it work with WMP or whatever the dominant Windows music player software was in 2001. By holding off until later, they could not only sell the device, but sell a solution that was part of an entire application/product/service "stack": iTunes, the iPod, and the iTMS.

Apple's fan base within the Mac market provides them with a perfect test audience for their products, before they go on to release them to the rest of the world. I wouldn't be surprised if they released their phone as Mac-only initially, and then if it's a hit, made a PC version of the Mac's software so that PC users could get in on it. But that way they allow PC demand to build first, and then respond to it, rather than trying to create demand first.

Microsoft will never allow...? (4, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133412)

You do realize that third party developers can create applications for SmartPhones and PocketPC Phones that would allow a user to sync with a Mac, right? So the question is more.. why aren't third party developers doing this? I highly doubt you can blame Microsoft for that.

Oh, and just to note...
http://www.pocketmac.net/ [pocketmac.net]

You're welcome.

Re:Microsoft will never allow...? (2, Informative)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133462)

Whoops.. meant to just include the google query, not the first result. Oh well:
http://www.google.com/search?q=pocketpc+mac [google.com]

The Missing Sync I have heard mentioned on forums like xda-developers numerous times.

it's nicer when it's official (or least reliable) (2, Interesting)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133754)

i realize i am selling out the DIY ethic here, but......
those sync methods are sometimes unreliable. it seems to be oddly inconsistent even with the same devices. i have heard this from users i know to be above average with nrrdyness. some have a great time, some have lots of problems.

i have the Motorola E815 un-smartphone. i have had some luck with bluetooth sync of address book and ical. the problem is that when it doesn't work, the end result is often phone numbers going away or things being erased from my calendar. the kind of thing you not always notice at first. when i lose items it is generally when they are on the phone and not my Mac. my whole reason to sync the address book is so i have a backup in case i lose or upgrade the phone. randomly pruning some numbers kind of defeats that plan.

i appreciate all the work 3rd party developers are doing, but some stuff is risky. i hate typing this because i feel like it is the argument that M$ uses to bash *nix, but in this case there are so many devices that change so frequently that it generates sync issues (i guess?). i loved using BitPim on my old cell phone to extract pictures, upload graphics and ringtones and backup my phonebook. that never did anything destructive if it wasn't working. that is a darn great app.

Re:I see that Mr. Jobs..... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133470)

Apple opened up the iPod to windows (after the 1st generation, admittedly) in a way that MS will never, ever allow Smartphones to do w/ macs.

Uh whatever. Ever seen finchsync [finchsync.com]? It lets your pocketpc sync to mozilla. It uses TCP/IP. It's not a solution for .Mac synchronization - yet. It could be. Probably you wouldn't even have to do anything to the PocketPC side.

I mean, I have a PocketPC too, and I'm also annoyed that ActiveSync doesn't have plugins to sync to non-MS stuff, like Palm Sync does. But it's not an insurmountable problem.

Re:I see that Mr. Jobs..... (1)

macthulhu (603399) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133672)

Too true.

The phone manufacturers have had plenty of time to make their phones more compatible with Macs. Having failed to do that for some time, Apple has every right to fill that product niche. I find it funny that Windows users love to point at the lack of software available for Macs, but get all whiny when Apple plans to put out something meant to work better, or exclusively, with Macs. Why shouldn't Apple put out a phone that gives Mac users the first crack at it? Sure, they'd have access to more customers if it was dual platform from day one, but as both a wireless customer and a Mac user, I appreciate the fact that Apple would offer something that the crappy wireless providers have failed to. Suck it Windows users, you get to wait for a change.

Re:I see that Mr. Jobs..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134130)

I, for one, couldn't care less.

If an average "Mac user's" mind is encumbered with that kind of thinking, I can't help but feel sorry for them.

Re:I see that Mr. Jobs..... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132970)

appears to be taking a page out of the M$ playbook and tying the device tightly to the OS to drive OS X sales.

So what? If sales end up being so dismally low with Mac-only integration, they'll open it up to Windows users as well, much like they did with iTunes. Apple is every bit as proprietary as Microsoft. Let 'em do what they want, but ultimately the shareholders will decide.

Re:I see that Mr. Jobs..... (1)

memco (721915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133182)

Supposedly Missing Sync [markspace.com] works well with the windows smartphones. I use it for my Palm Treo, and it works great. Now I just have to figure out whether it's worth switching devices.

Re:I see that Mr. Jobs..... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17133556)

What an irritating fuck you are. Here's why:

1. Posting half of the first message in the subject. Why do people do this? Is it supposed to be clever?
2. Using M$. Come on.
3. After you used M$, you didn't use Windoze or Winblow$. Can you please be consistent?
4. *INX. What the hell? I supposed you meant *nix. Equally lame.

Please just stop.

Re:I see that Mr. 8127972..... (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134080)

is buying into a rumour that's going even farther than the long-time rumour-mill favourite iPhone - which has yet to show up.

Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes.. (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132810)

A phone I can plug a usb cable into and drop pictures/sounds/contract directly from my computer.

A nice easy interface to do this with.

Stop dollaring us to death when we want a picture or a ring tone that we create.

If it can have music as well, bonus.

IT would be neat if it used the same connection as the iPod

What you need is a new provider (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132928)

not a new phone.

When the US Cellular shackles are removed from me, I'm going to jump to cingular [cingular.com]. I'd have considered Verizon, as their overall coverage in my area is the best of any provider, but I just can't handle the crippling they put on their hardware.

(No, I'm not a shill for cingular - I'm not even a customer yet. Yes, it's the second time I've linked to an 8525...what can I say, I think it's a cool pda/phone)

Re:What you need is a new provider (2, Interesting)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133148)

Fortunately, if you get one of the palm os powered treos (whatever you're opinion is of the Palm OS), it's totally hackable, even on Verizon. I've enabled bluetooth DUN on mine (verizon "locks" you out of that), and naturally, since it's a pda, ringtones are a piece of cake. The only thing I've not yet managed to unlock is the Network settings, so no wifi module for me (yet). At any rate, my Treo 650 has allowed me to be the free-est (as in speech) with my phone of any of the 8 years of Verizon phones I've had.

Now if they'd only lower the bloody price on their unlimited data plan....

Re:What you need is a new provider (2, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133238)

That's interesting about the DUN reactivation. I don't suppose you can do GPS over bluetooth and/or pair multiple devices simulataneously (laptop, headset, gps)?

I'm not for or against palm, as long as I can sync to something with a calendar and contact list.

Re:What you need is a new provider (2, Informative)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133522)

I do believe you can do GPS syncing over bluetooth, IIRC there are a number of products out there that come with Palm software. As to pairing multiple devices simultaneously, I've honestly never tried - generally when I'm using the laptop, that's my mode of communication, and when I don't have my laptop I use my treo, and I've yet to find a bluetooth headset in my price range that I actually want. However, given Palm OS's less than great support for multitasking, it may not work flawlessly if it does at all.

Funny note about the DUN reactivation - apparently the way Verizon locked it out was by disabling the display of the DUN on/off toggle. Hilarious. So, reactivating it involves installing a Bluetooth.prc with that control enabled (see here [shadowmite.com] for more details).

Did I mention I also got my phone to boot linux? :-P

Re:What you need is a new provider (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133708)

And yes, calendar and contact sync (and just about any other kind of syncing) work like a charm via bluetooth.

Re:What you need is a new provider (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133810)

If you are running the latest firmware on your Treo 650 you will be unable to get WiFi working at all. There were some hacks that worked with a previous version of the firmware but with the newest version they have made it impossible to get working although it wasn't really ever supposed to work in the first place, some guy named shadowMite got it working through a lot of hard work.

Re:What you need is a new provider (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133582)

while I have always have had cingular they are nearly as bad as verizon.

I think t-mobile has the better setup and prices. but I haven't used their service so I don't know for certian.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (4, Informative)

spectral (158121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132944)

Stop using verizon. My phone uses bluetooth (no cable involved) and windows treats it like a file system (IBM/Lenovo laptop) that I can browse and move stuff to/from the phone whenever I want. Mac OS X uses the bluetooth file transfer utility, and I think you have to do that if you're using a non-IBM/lenovo laptop as well (or an IBM/Lenovo laptop without their bluetooth stack). I use Cingular. Most GSM phones are the same. Verizon is the only one to cripple their bluetooth so badly, that I know of.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133084)

That includes the ringtone?

And if so, what files does it play for ringtones?

I ahve asked several stores about this, and they all said no. This include cingular.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133410)

My Motorola V600, from T-Mobile, does all this. To make a ringtone just copy the desired mp3 via bluetooth into the audio folder. Wallpapers go into another folder.

It's all straightforward - I think I had to deal with endian issues in the mp3; that was the only hangup.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133792)

Yeah, any motorola bluetooth phone will let you do this. HOWEVER the functionality CAN be locked out. For GSM phones, like T-Mo, this is easy to hack back on. Go look at motomodders.net or on howardforums motorola for "triplets" hacking. I just sold a V555, which is basically a V600 without colored ring lights (and is also known as a V551 in other parts of the world.) Or I should say, I'm selling one. It's on fleabay now. The one on ebay is upgraded with the motomodders.net flash, I got a full additional day of standby time, no joke. Right now I have a RAZR V3i from Edge Wireless. Edge is somewhat unique in that they do not provider lock their phones. I paid $140 with a two year contract for an unlocked RAZR... not too shabby, not too amazing. I hacked this phone to support video clips longer than 1 minute (set to about 80 minutes I think) and unlocked a bunch of other stuff like the test mode and opcode functionality.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133630)

Well, the ringtones from Cingular are MP3 files. Specifics: 22.05 kHz, 2-channel, 48 kb/s.

Yes, they're not even DRM'd! You can't transfer bought stuff using the phone, but if you transfer files from/to your phone via your computer, you're able to get the files.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (1)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133634)

I can't speak for EVERY phone, but of the three phones I've owned with bluetooth, you can upload audio files and use them as ringtones. I don't remember what audio files I could use on my Nokia 3660, but between my S-E s710 and RAZR (hate the phone) I could use MIDI, MP3, and I assume WAV as ringtones. It's going to depend on your phone though. Chances are, unless it is severely crippled or really old, you'll be able to play some standard audio type. I'm sure you could write the company or check a public forum that is dedicated to the model phone you are interested in for more information.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (2, Interesting)

javaxjb (931766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133770)

You're correct. I make a BlueTooth connection to my (Cingular) Motorola RAZR and can drag and drop files between the devices. I downloaded an MP3 edit and take snippets of music to make ring tones (even via iTunes by burning the song(s) to CD, converting to MP3 and back to the phone -- Hello ST:TOS theme). And OS/X iSync recognize the phone and syncs my Calendar and Address Book (I set up a smart list in the address book to sync only those contacts I wanted on the phone).

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (2, Informative)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132980)

Unfortunately, at least in the US, the wireless providers have a stranglehold on phone manufacturers. If the providers don't like your phone because it cuts into their profits, they will neither offer it for sale nor allow it to be activated on their network. AFAIK, only GSM customers have choice due to SIM cards, but the top two providers in the US use CDMA technology (which doesn't use SIM cards or any equivalent).

Re:Nokia 9300 (2, Informative)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133060)

A phone I can plug a usb cable into and drop pictures/sounds/contract directly from my computer.

I'm pretty sure my nokia 9300 does that. It has a very handy mmc slot too so I back up the system state and transfer it for safe keeping. I don't know if the nokia software is an "easy" interface, but it's okay. Runs the symbian OS and some j2me apps work well.

You can make your own ringtones too. Just transfer them as an mp3 onto the phone and you are good to go.

My understanding is this phone isn't very popular in the States. It's the best phone I've ever had and pretty hackable compared to some other phones.

Re:Nokia 9300 (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133260)

I talked to a rep about that with this very model, they said I couldn't do that.hmm..

OTOH I had to spend 10 minutes with her just to get her to understand what I wanted and why I wanted it.

Re:Nokia 9300 (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133566)

are you sure they said it couldn't be done, or ... "you're not allowed to do that" :) they are trained to tell you that you can only do what they want you to do on their networks.

Re:Nokia 9300 (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133924)

I don't think she understood.

I just found the application that turns the phone into a "universal" remote control too. I thought it was out there because of the IRDA support, I just didn't go looking until now.

There is an oog/mp3 player for it on sourceforge too. But, on my phone it appears something about the symbian OS version breaks the application.

If unlocking the phone wasn't frowned upon a million different ways I'd say that's your best bet. Of course I wouldn't know about those things because I follow my providers rules and regs.

Another case where apple is taking what's already out there and working for the little guys and removing the geek factor.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (1)

syzler (748241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133074)

IT would be neat if it used the same connection as the iPod

How about using a standard mini USB cable like the Motorola RAZR and KRAZR. My card reader, external HD, and phone all currently use the same cable and draw power/charge from the USB port. Although I think our ideas of carrying less cables are in the same vein as each other, I would like to see the use of non-proprietary cables with Apple's phone.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133298)

I want an acceptable mobile browser (much like the proxied browser that the T-mobile Sidekick has). I don't want to have to scroll around the screen to see the entire thing and I don't want it formatted to look like ass. I certainly do not want WAP. I want to see the web page, as it was intended, on my device -- just smaller.

I want an adequate QWERTY keyboard. The Treo is not acceptable. The first few iterations of the T-mobile Sidekick SK -> SK2 were good. The new individual keys of the SK3 are not as good but remain superior to the Treo.

I want it to have wifi, GPRS and EDGE (or whatever advanced radio networking they have on other providers), as well as the ability to tether for free. I don't see why I should be paying higher rates because I have it hooked to a computer.

I want it to work with all OSs. I don't want to be tied to one or the other.

It should be available as a USB mass storage device and not require anything other than a USB cable.

The applications should be easy to use, understand, and modify to work regardless of provider.

It will remain a dream.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133336)

I have zero desire to look at web pages from a phone.
These days I have very little desire to look at a webpage on my computer!

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17133978)

dam your wife must really really be into it right now, she got a sister?

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133440)

i do all of that with my Sony Ericsson z520 that i got for free from cingular. It does not have USB, just bluetooth (i like it better that way), but beyond that i can do everything you say in your post. It works like a disk with the OSX when i connect with bluetooth. The only issue i have with it is that i does not have a SD slot or any kind of expansion for additional Mp3s.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (1)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133886)

You are foolish to let this slip. Now thieves know you have a good phone and are wealthy enough to buy pricy calling plan.

Let there be LIGHT! (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133488)

I would add one stoopid feature - a FLASHLIGHT!

Seriously - nothing fancy - just a single, white, LED bulb with a button on the side of the phone where I could dig for the keys I just dropped without having to grope like Mr. McGoo in the dark.

I'm asking for $0.10 for this feature, and would happily throw $20 at it just to not have to look for a !@#@! flashlight in a pinch.

Re:Let there be LIGHT! (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134098)

I find some phones with decent backlighting glow enough to not need a flashlight, hell that's what my DS lite gets used for. . .

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133714)

A crapload of phones will let you do this now, although not with contacts. Personally I'm a motorola guy, as lame as the interface is it's better for me than the Nokia phones and I refuse to buy a Sony anything anymore. I now have a RAZR V3i; it's got much better reception than prior RAZRs, almost as good as my V555 (which is selling on fleabay right now) and more importantly it's got a MicroSD slot (up to 1GB, I have 512MB) and a Mini-USB connection. The link is very slow but you can switch the phone to mass storage device mode and plug it into any computer, then drag and drop files. It supports GIF and JPEG, MP4 and 3GP video with AMR audio, and both mp3 and wav audio.

Naturally you can also take the teensy tiny memory card out of the phone, put it in an adapter, and put it in an SD slot, then transfer files to it as normal. Which is mostly what I do, but the card is TINY so I try not to take it out too much. You could lose the thing in a carpet.

I'm pretty sure other manufacturers have gone this road as well but I'm not familiar with their products. It looks like all Motorola's modern phones (ROKR, RAZR, KRZR) have this scheme; not all of them take memory cards, although AFAIK all the ROKRs do.

Final note, avoid motorola phones with itunes. Depending on the phone model they have an artificial limit of 50 or 100 songs, an attempt by apple to avoid killing the market for ipods. Motorola's Java music player has no such problem - and you can also use the built-in multimedia player instead. It also has playlist support and you can use your phone for other things while you're playing music with it.

Re:Here is what I think would sell like hot cakes. (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134176)

A phone I can plug a usb cable into and drop pictures/sounds/contract directly from my computer.

A nice easy interface to do this with.

My Motorola Razr does that. The interface is proprietary, but it works well. The only moderately lame parts are the update and detection routines which seem designed to be teenager proof. Synchs or drag and drop from Outlook Contact and Calendar is dead easy. It also works with Outlook Express and Lotus Notes. You can also drag and drop photos, sounds, ringtones, etc. The software interface comes with a moderately OK tool to do some basic sound extraction and ringtone creation if you have nothing else.

I chose T-Mobile for a provider, because they promised to unlock the phone after 90 days, which they did. Lets me just drop a local prepaid chip in when I'm in Europe.

It connects to my laptop with either USB (5 pin miniB) or Bluetooth. Sorry, iPod cables don't work.

I don't mean to sound like a shill, and I don't work for either T-Mobile or Motorola, but I'm happier with this phone than any cell phone I've had yet.

Forced integration is a real turn-off (-1, Troll)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132892)

Forced integration with iTunes is exactly why I don't own an iPod. Forced integration with Windows is why I don't own a Windows Smartphone. Something tells me that I won't own an "iPhone" either.

Re:Forced integration is a real turn-off (2, Informative)

turbofisk (602472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17132934)

You aren't forced to use iTunes with atleast Windows. I use Winamp... It rocks your socks of!

Re:Forced integration is a real turn-off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17133024)

... and I don't want to be forced to use it for making calls either, who are they to tell me what I want in a phone!

Re:Forced integration is a real turn-off (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133030)

Wow, steve jobs comes into your house an dpoint a gun at your head to make you use iTunes with your iPod? Wow.

Don't tell him, but I use one of the many other tools available for putting items into your iPod.
SSHhhhhh...

Re:Forced integration is a real turn-off (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133382)

That was meant to be funny, but after re-reading it it looks like I should be modded down: -1 Asshole.

Oh well, sorry.

Re:Forced integration is a real turn-off (4, Funny)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133118)

Apple should indeed listen to you. You might have the answer as to why the iPod has been such a flop.

Re:Forced integration is a real turn-off (2, Insightful)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133654)

Integration with iTunes was made as a convenience to help the average iPod owner update and manage their iPod. The integration is not forced though. iPods can be used with WinAmp, ephPod, and a few others on Windows. I use Linux, and I have no problem updating my iPod using Amarok, and I know there are some other options as well. A Windows Smartphone might be forced integration (I honestly don't know, I've never used one), but I'd be very surprised if the iPhone doesn't have alternative managers within a month of its release.

Personally, I look forward to seeing the iPhone. I have a RAZR, and it leaves a lot to be desired. I suspect Apple could do a very good job designing a cell phone and making it functional.

and next the tablet (4, Insightful)

abes (82351) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133044)

It's not like the rumor is exactly new. There is the claim by a company that they received manufacturing orders from Apple, as well as other claims from the rumor-mill (e.g. Kevin Rose's claim that his friend at Apple has a 4GB and a 8GB phone).

I remember when buying my Macbook Pro there were all sorts of rumors not to buy one. That there would something to be shortly released that would supersede it (of course, at the time, the only thing that could be cooler was a iTablet). People claim that Apple enjoys these rumors, though I have to imagine to some extent it hurts their sales. Some speculate it is a good way for them to figure out what the public wants. Others that it is simply subterfuge to hide their real activity from their competitors.

I give this rumor *some* credence simply because it seems like the hardware is already there. It's not that large of a stretch of an imagination to think of a Nano being put together with a cell phone -- much like how many cell phone companies are putting ipod like devices with their cell phones. Which means the big question is whether Apple actually *wants* this. My suspicion is that easier access to the iTunes store is probably a large incentive to them.

Personally the iPhone isn't that appealing to me. If the only extra functionality I get from it is that it takes less space, I think I'll pass. However, as far as the iPDA -- that is something I'd want. The iPod already has a large HD (80GBs anyone?), a processor capable of playing music, games, doing calendaring, etc. Is it that big a of a stretch that it should be able to maybe do email? Maybe surf the web? Heck, if Opera can make a web browser for cell phones and DS, it's hard to see why not.

The big catch seems to be the input device. It's not clear how Apple feels about a stylus. However, things like the Blackberry seem to do well with just a keyboard and a scroll wheel. Sound familiar?

Also, please, really, PLEASE, if this does come true, don't make us subscribe to .mac. It's not like I can actually afford the iPDA .. forcing me to pay a monthly subscription for owning a piece of hardware is too much.

Re:and next the tablet (2, Informative)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133920)

there was a table communicator prototype of the Apple Newton. one prototype that was never built but has been photographed and is somewhat documented. it's in the book of Apple design over the years.

as for .Mac integration.... *most* OS X features that require .Mac have been worked around in the past. i can't imagine it would be a dealbreaker kind of thing with the phone. when you consider the number of Mac users, and then take the subset that have .Mac, then take the subset that would buy an iPhone (for whatever reason)...... i can't imagine it's a huge target audience? i don't know how many cellphones are generally sold of a specific model, but it seems like a bad business plan. it may have some easy way to integrate with existing/new .Mac features... but that would be a small modification to some sort of web browsing abilities. maybe .Mac users can customize a cell phone 'startpage' kind of thing or something. it's a bear to check my personal favorite movie theaters on my phone.

Re:and next the tablet (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134216)

forcing me to pay a monthly subscription for owning a piece of hardware is too much.

So you do not have a cell phone?

apple interface on a smartphone+ipod? (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133146)

with iCal integration? Shit, the only thing I'm worried about it whether I'll be able to sell enough plasma to afford two of them.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17133184)

Seems natural. Last time I checked cellphones that run the proprietary, obsolete, incompatible and useless Microsoft Piece of Shit Mobile need a computer running the Microsoft Piece of Shit Windows system to exchange info and sync.

Glass

Integration with Leopard Features a Plus (5, Interesting)

Scothoser (523461) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133282)

This is interesting, considering the Leopard release of iCalendar Server for OS X Server v. 10.5. Granted it talks about .mac integration now, but as long as it can sync with other iCalendar software (iCal Server, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, etc.), the product becomes that much more impressive. That alone will be good news for current Mac users that want to have direct calendar updates without the hassle of syncing their calendar.

The other thing I liked was the mention of iChat Video Conferencing from the handset to a PC. That's something I have wanted with the Pocket PC for ages, and even various video phones. They have a camera, why couldn't they do video conferencing? With 3G wireless networks and phones that can take advantage of it, the technology is finally in place. That would make the iPhone worth it for me alone.

I had been trying to get cell-phone free for the past two years, and it looks like Apple is going to make that harder for me with this release.

Re:Integration with Leopard Features a Plus (1)

E-Lad (1262) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133734)

I imagine that this phone would support CalDAV [osafoundation.org], as that is being touted as a new iCal feature in the forthcoming Leopard release of OSX. The iCalendar Server you mention is based around CalDAV. Theoretically, since Apple is making CalDAV a central theme with their iCal client and in their server, I can only assume that this smartpdaphone would be a CalDAV client as well, and thus be able to interface with other calendaring servers which support CalDAV.

Crucial factors (0)

puppers (1033120) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133310)

I think the crucial factors in an innovative iPhone are:

-Internal HD, not flash memory
-A deal with a global service provider for Data service rather than regular phone service

That opens up a world of possibilities over the shit we're used to...
-eyeraw

P.S. (1)

puppers (1033120) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133518)

P.S. Throw in WiFi and all of a sudden you're transitioning seamlessly (it's all IP) between T-Mobile's network and your home Airport network.
Apple FTW.

Comming soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17133362)

Microsofts zhone, a phone that allows easy integration with Windows Vista and Microsoft Outlook address book. Features include slide out keypad and "while you talk" automatic transmission of viruses to everyone in your address book. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that the zhone is the latest in a stream of Microsoft innovations and that Apple Smart Phone users have an undisclosed balance sheet liability.

The zhone will be released to retail in fall 2007 and will be availiable in brown.

VoIP integration (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133502)

What would truly be wonderful is if they figured out a way to get it to tie back into any VoIP arrangement you may already have at home. Real VoIP (plugging in a Vonage black box doesn't count) is still the domain of hackers, at least in the SOHO market. Apple has the talent and the marketing skills to really kick it to the next level.

Re:VoIP integration (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134066)

Real VoIP (plugging in a Vonage black box doesn't count) is still the domain of hackers, at least in the SOHO market. Apple has the talent and the marketing skills to really kick it to the next level.

You mean like, uh, Vonage has?

Abuse of monopoly? (1, Troll)

also-rr (980579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133520)

Apple controls fairplay, which is used in the number one music store, and refuses to license it. It got that monopoly by virtue of the fact that they control the DRM formats that can be played by their music play, which has an overwhelming share of the market.

So, now they are going to expand that - by virtue of large existing music collections - into a sizeable market for a mp3 playing phone. There will be only Apple's phone choice for these people who are already brought into the music store. They are then going to turn that into further lock in for the Mac platform by offering Mac only features rather than generic APIs to the hardware features.

As far as I can see the only difference between this and the office/windows lockin that Microsoft has going is that it's illegal to try and break Apple's DRM format. At least you can *try* and make an Office clone. This is not good news for customers!

I have no doubt that Apple will make a good, compelling product. I just wish that they would get slapped hard with respect to their degree of integration which is rapidly turning into lock in. It's actually easier to return Windows than an OSX license for example - that kind of thing should be enough of a warning sign already.

Re:Abuse of monopoly? (3, Insightful)

presearch (214913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133686)

...It's actually easier to return Windows than an OSX license for example...
Probably because OSX doesn't require any registration to install and use.

You're also free to make all of the mp3 players, or players that use your own DRM.
You can also listen to all the iTMS music you want on 5 machines and dozens of iPod variants.
Some won't be satisfied until Apple gives everything away for free.

Re:Abuse of monopoly? (1)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133928)

um...And you can use OO.o and drop MS office, and you can load Linux and not use Windows, but .xls and .doc created in OO.o don't open well when I e-mail them to some one who uses MS Office (say my accountant or my mom) so if I want to have easy, smooth document portability I go ahead and use the Office/Windows. The same can be said about MP3 players and iTunes, I could buy Samsung MP3 player, but all the songs I purchased with iTunes won't work with it (without tweaking) so I'll just go out and buy another iPod. Apple and MS both like to lock customers in. All businesses do.

Re:Abuse of monopoly? (1)

arifirefox (1031488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134224)

let's see what happens when you try to open those documents 10 years from now and Microsoft doesn't support the old format anymore because they want you to switch to a new version. See? That's what we have to fight against.

Re:Abuse of monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17133882)

WTF?

Apple controls fairplay, which is used in the number one music store, and refuses to license it. It got that monopoly by virtue of the fact that they control the DRM formats that can be played by their music play, which has an overwhelming share of the market.

I think that word does not mean what you think it means.

monopoly [princeton.edu] ((economics) a market in which there are many buyers but only one seller)

An ineffective monopoly on a pointless product. (4, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134096)

It got that monopoly by virtue of the fact that they control the DRM formats that can be played by their music play, which has an overwhelming share of the market.

What monopoly? This isn't like Windows, where you need to run Windows to run Windows applications. Every song I've bought from the iTunes music store is stored in DRM-free audio CDs (as Apple recommends!) and can be played on any music player in the world.

I'm not locked into iTunes, or the iPod. I don't even *like* the iPod. I gave my iPod to my daughter and I'm using iTunes because it just works better than the other music players I've used, and because Fairplay is "honor system" DRM... Apple doesn't try and stop me from feeding the output of iTunes into a recording program, or Garage Band, or anything else. I buy from the iTunes Music store because it just works. I also buy from eMusic.

I've had an MP3 playing phone, and after using it a while I decided that I've never had a sillier device. Take the two devices that I own that are hungriest for power, and run them off the same battery? I have enough trouble as it is with my phone being dead when I need it!

You really want an MP3 playing phone? Make me an offer on mine. But you don't get to return it when you discover what a bad idea it is.

Re:Abuse of monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134212)

More competition in the portable player market would certainly be a good thing. However, this is certainly *not* comparable to what the Beast of Redmond has done with Office (or, to take a more appropriate parallel with the Zune). The iPod, after all, does play MP3 and standard AAC (without Fairplay). Office, unlike the iPod, *only* deals with Microsoft's own proprietary formats. And the stinking Zune puts DRM on freely distributed content in violation of the terms of use it has been distributed under. The iPod does not do that. Nor should anyone else - but repulsive Redmond does, of course.

And I guess if we must have DRM - and I suppose the music industry won't release content without it - then it would be nice if Apple opened their DRM to other companies. But at least they haven't shafted any supposed "partners" - given them the come-on and then a swift knee in the gonads. But that's exactly what Microsoft has done to its "Plays for Sure" partners. Some partners. And some definition of a file's playing "for sure".

Anythings better then WM5.. (1)

JFlex (763276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133644)

as long as it works better then WM5, i'll buy it!

Re:Grammar Nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134162)

as long as it works better then WM5

The word you're looking for is than :)

AppleInsider != News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17133682)

Don't quote them. It's absurd. They're highly inaccurate.

3rd party apps? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17133720)

First of all if Apple is going to make a smart phone they have a lot of cathing up to do with Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and other big mobile phone manufacturers. There are a lot of things that go into a mobile phone. It's not as simple as an mp3 player. For example what radio technologies will the phone support? GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, HSDPA...

With smart phones one of most important thing for me is 3rd party apps. A smart phone is not much of use if there are no apps for it. Other manufacturers already have operating system that they have been using for a long time and there are a lot apps for them. Maybe Apple will have midp support, which is OK, but not quite like running native applications.

Do we really need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17133736)

There was a horrendous freeway accident in Seattle yesterday because some jackass was fiddling with his Blackberry instead of paying attention to his driving.

Verizon iPodphonelookalike (0, Offtopic)

netsfr (839855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17133760)

Last night I saw a TV spot from Verizon with their new phone that looks a lot like an iPod in its white version... If it just had the little apple logo on it somewhere I could confuse it with an iCellPod.

iPhone's name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17133866)

Everybody's talking about the features of the "iPhone" these days, but I haven't seen so much discussion about the product's name -- assuming Apple doesn't go for "iPhone". What could it be? Difficult to say ... I for one, do not think it's going to be prefixed with "i" as "iPhone" is too similar to "iPod". They wouldn't want consumers to confuse those products. Think it's gonna be more like the Keynote or Pages metaphors, referring to one of the smart phone's core features.

Ties in with older rumours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17134008)

about there being two different Apple phones planned.

Talk about vendor lock-in... (0, Troll)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17134178)

Wow... so let me get this straight... this is a phone that requires OSX, which requires and Apple PC. Wow. I think that Apple has successfully earned the dubious title of "King of Lock-In". What's next? An iToilet that requires an Apple PC, OSX, an iPod, and iToilet Paper? Will it require iPlumbing to be installed in an iHouse? I think it's ridiculous, but obviously, there are gullible people out there buying this stuff...
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