Things I want to know about iPhone

by Giles Turnbull

Like Chris, I have some questions about the iPhone that have been running around in my head since the keynote…


  • What’s inside?

  • On the Phone menu screen (above), what does the Notes widget do? Will it sync with Notes in Mail?

  • Similarly, will the Calendar widget sync with iCal?

  • How do I get photos I’ve taken with the phone into my computer? Will iPhoto just import them automagically?

  • Will the next version have a built-in iSight?

  • Does it come in white too?

  • How do I add software? Can I stick anything on it, storage space permitting?

  • Where’s the SDK?


2007-01-09 13:30:39
And can you turn OFF HTML formatting in the mail client?
2007-01-09 13:45:25
Re: iCal widget sync...

iPods already sync with iCal through, I'm gonna say yes.

2007-01-09 13:46:22
It will probably include the system-wide todo list that will come with Leopard - kinda fun for a cell device.
2007-01-09 14:00:45
Where's the Terminal? Does it do ssh?
Josh Peters
2007-01-09 14:44:59
@chris: until the Sync manager in iTunes 7 corrupts the ~/Library/Application Support files needed to sync...

grumble grumble

2007-01-09 14:52:31
Will iTunes sync wirelessly? One would assume so, but no-one's reported Steve saying it does yet.

I'm gonna bet that it's a closed software system like the iPod. Otherwise some enterprising company whose name rhymes with Stripe could whip up a little VOIP app for it and torpedo half of Cingular's revenues.

2007-01-09 15:00:02
I don't think the heavy use of Widgets and the recent release of Dashcode are a coincidence... I think development for the iPhone (widgets, at least) will not just be supported but encouraged.
Roger Weeks
2007-01-09 15:59:05
And is that slot on the side an SD slot? or some other memory slot? The tech specs on the apple site don't say.
2007-01-09 17:46:36
What about VoIP? A lot of people not interested in signing up with Cingular (like me) want this device, but will it be useless without the cell phone service? Or with the wifi can it be used as a VoIP phone and a general handheld computing platform?
2007-01-09 17:50:33
According to the article (,8599,1575410-2,00.html), there will not be wireless syncing...

...Yet. Although I can certainly see that being added down the road. As far as I can tell, there is no slot on the side, it's external volume keys.

2007-01-09 18:23:03
And the number one question is: What does the back look like?
Lester Spence
2007-01-09 18:23:46
The biggest question I have has nothing to do with the content. How are they going to prevent something this clean from getting marks, given that it requires the fingers for use and the size of its screen? will there be some sort of thin screen that you have to cover the entire phone with?
2007-01-09 18:30:39
Here's a gallery of the iPhone at the show, full 360 degree views. The back is smooth metal, like all iPods. Except for the camera.
2007-01-09 19:39:32
2007-01-09 21:51:40
Let me add a few questions of my own:

1) Can we even add software?
2) Are these widgets the same as dashboard widgets (only more so) or are they an entirely new type of widget? Can we create our own widgets?
3) If this runs a trimmed down version of osx, is there a command line?
4) What happened to iChat?
5) What kind of plan does $499 for 2 years actually get me? Unlimited net usage? Unlimited SMS? How many minutes?
6) GPS? Given the demos, it doesn't look like it, but would be nice to know for sure.

While the keynote was great, there are still a huge number of unanswered questions. God knows when/if we'll get answers. While this looks like a great product, the reality is this may be the most widespread application of the RDF ever - in truth, the iPhone is still little more than vaporware and a few finely-crafted demos. Seems doubtful those were real phone calls Steve made today. I was initially in utter technolust. After a bit of reflection on what I actually saw and what I know for certain, I can no longer be sure whether I want this phone or not, especially given the very high price and lack of details on the plan.

Wayne Winquist
2007-01-10 00:26:29
A couple of things I noticed there was no notice of:

* How to sync with your machine (Whether that be Mac or PC)
* Where is the iTunes Store? (I'm assuming you're going to be able to DL movies and music easily into the thing - right?)
* No Dock Connector - does that mean whatever computers do connect to it need either BlueTooth or Wi-Fi?
* Will they bring the games for the regular iPod to this system as well? What about new games?
* Can I make my own chat client for it using XCode?
* Could someone port FireFox and Opera to it? (Please?)

And finally

* Can I use it to zap a person like they do the zappers on the Enterprise?

2007-01-10 02:39:30
Yeh, White. Ever saw a white lcd display? Jsut use a complete white pic as walpaper...
2007-01-10 10:12:40
@ wayne:

[1] Steve said in the Keynote you'd use iTunes to sync (from mac or PC)

[2] Therefore I'd expect you have to go via the mac/PC's iTunes if you want to get stuff from the iTunes store (store->mac->phone, like store->mac->iPod)

[3] There was a slide showing it being charged on a dock, next to an iPod on its dock, therefore I imagine that's how it syncs (whether or not you can also do it via 802.x or Bluetooth is unknown as far as I can see)

Hope this helps,

Brett Johnson
2007-01-10 19:15:31
To answer some of the more obvious questions:

And is that slot on the side an SD slot? or some other memory slot? The tech specs on the apple site don't say.
The "slot" on the side is not a slot at all - it is the volume control.

No Dock Connector - does that mean whatever computers do connect to it need either BlueTooth or Wi-Fi?
The iPhone has an iPod dock connector on the bottom. It certainly will sync via USB. BlueTooth sync would be nice for contacts/calendar/notes, but is much too slow for music/video/photos.

Does it come in white too?
No. Apple says the black face enhances readability of the display.

Will the next version have a built-in iSight?
I've seen prism/periscope attachments that take built-in iSights and point them out the back of *books and displays to. I imagine the same type of thing could be added to iPhone, but if I was Steve, I would insist on a built in mirror with slider switch that can point the lens out the front or back. The real problem in the short term would be CPU horsepower. Encoding video in real-time is quite CPU intensive.

How do I add software? Can I stick anything on it, storage space permitting? Where's the SDK?
This is the $64K question. There are conflicting reports on 3rd party app development. Some say no, but Steve's trumpeting its use of Mac OS X, Cocoa, WebKit, etc, and the obvious use of Dashboard widgets (and the timely release of DashCode) seem to imply that app development should be easy. Of course the limited resources of the device would probably preclude MS-Office or Photoshop, but IM and VoIP apps (and games) would be obvious apps. For that reason alone, Apple may keep app development closed to avoid pissing off Cingular (but that would be very un-Steve-like).
2007-01-11 07:22:24
It does have an iSight. There's a 2MP camera on the back.
2007-01-11 09:18:56
@Rob: That's the camera you point at other people. I mean an iSight that points back at the *user*, which makes videoconferencing possible...
Moshe Maeir
2007-01-15 13:44:49
Actually Vocaltec were the first to use the iphone name
dvd to apple tv guide > appletvconverter
2007-03-18 19:24:54
The iPhone definitely is a product well worth getting excited over.
2007-06-03 05:25:19
Just a question will this work in New Zealand if I import it.
2007-12-16 08:09:41
how do I add music to my iPhone from iTunes. I try the drag and drop like I do with my iPod, but it doesn't let me put my movies or songs on my iPhone,which I'm on right now. If anyone could send me a response to my email would help alot. Thanks
2008-01-18 06:45:02
pls technical features about the iphone