Feeds
85%
Apple iPhone 3G S

Apple iPhone 3GS

This object of techno-lust just got even better... and pricier

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Alas, there’s still one glaring weakness here, as the new camera still doesn’t include even a simple digital zoom option, let alone a proper optical zoom. A basic digital zoom is a terrible omission in such an expensive phone and it’s really quite baffling that Apple’s engineers can cram a magnetometer into the thing for the new Compass feature — which nicely integrates with Google Maps, rotating the map according the direction you're facing — but will overlook something as basic as a zoom option for the camera.

Sample Video

Apple iPhone 3G S

Video clip
Click for a full-resolution movie

No doubt, the reasoning is that a 3Mp resolution is going to produce cruddy images with a digital zoom, and Apple doesn’t like to do cruddy. But the shots the camera is capable of taking, as you can see on the previous page, aren't so bad as to negate the need for a zoom. Other phones do it - why not this one?

You do get video capture, though. The resolution is basic VGA - 640 x 480 — at 30f/s, but the video clips we shot were bright and sharp, and more than adequate for uploading to YouTube. There’s also a handy little editing feature that allows you to quickly trim the beginning and end of your clips before you upload them.

Apple iPhone 3G S

Video capture includes editing features

These new camera and video features are certainly welcome, but this remains one area where the iPhone is still playing catch-up with its rivals, rather than leading them as it does in so many other ways.

There’s one other new feature that is reserved solely for this model. Press the Home button for a couple of seconds and a new Voice Control display panel appears on the iPhone screen. You can then control the iPhone with voice commands such as “Call Reg Hardware” or “Play songs by Queen”. This is guaranteed to impress your friends – until it gets it wrong and repeatedly confuses ‘Queen’ with ‘Sweet’ and makes you a complete laughing stock instead.

Apple iPhone 3G S

Tell a phone: issue commands with Voice Control

To be fair, the Voice Control option works well most of the time - it’s not a repeat of the Newton handwriting fiasco, for those of you with long memories – but Voice Control does strike us being a bit of a gimmick for showing off to your friends, rather than a genuinely useful new feature.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?