A Closer Look

     The iPhone 3GS has been out for a while, and I’m sure many of you have considered purchasing it. With the new compass, 3.0 megapixel camera, twice the speed,  and a 32GB option, it’s hard to resist. For those of you who are trying to find out more about the new iPhone 3GS, Apple’s technical specifications might not be as specific and detail-oriented as needed. Lucky for you, there are plenty of people out there who have taken the time to say a thing or two about iPhone 3GS.


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     When it comes to third-party reviews of Apple products, you tend to find out things you never would have realized if you only browsed Apple.com. Even though it appears that the iPhone 3GS is pretty much the same as the 3G, there is more to it than meets the eye. Jason at Gizmodo brought the difference between the 3G’s and 3GS’s camera to my attention when he shared a few pictures (above) taken from each iPhone. The quality of the 3GS’s photo far exceeds the 3G’s. This is due to the 3GS’s new tap-to-focus feature combined with the 3.0 megapixel camera as opposed to the 2.0 megapixel camera the 3G has.

      A simple yet quite convenient feature that was also added to the 3GS is an oleophobic coating that makes the iPhone’s screen resistant to fingerprints and easy to wipe clean of grease and gunk. Joshua at Engadget claims that it “wipes almost entirely clean with a single swipe on a pant leg.” I know details like that probably aren’t on the top of your list of features a phone should have, but it’s nice to know things about the iPhone that Apple hasn’t made widely known.

     One of the most amazing things about the 3GS that Apple has told us about is the speed. Apple decided to put 256MB of RAM in the 3GS as opposed to the 3G’s 128MB. In fact, now that the 3GS has 256MB of RAM, it now has the same amount of RAM as my old Latitude CPx laptop. That might not sound too amazing to you, but think about it this way: my laptop runs a lot more processes and programs than an iPhone does, and on a much bigger scale. Apple has also upped the CPU from the previous 412MHz to 600MHz. You can only imagine the games and applications developers will create that take the RAM and CPU of a laptop. You now can buy the phone that’s a computer in your pocket: the iPhone 3GS.

     But, wait! The hardware changes don’t stop there. Apple decided to swap the iPhones old graphics chip with a new one. The PowerVG SGX graphics chip adds the capability of “robust visuals”, as Engadget’s Joshua calls them. The new graphics chip increases the iPhone’s application loading times by using OpenGL 2.0. The iPhone 3G can only support OpenGL 1.1, and since OpenGL 2.0 and 1.1 are incompatible,  it is rumored that Apple may allow certain graphics intensive apps to come exclusively to the 3GS.

      After all of those hardware changes, there is, of course, the magnetometer addition. With the magnetometer, you can take advantage of  the 3GS’s Compass application or use the added compass functionality in other applications. The 3GS’s Maps application now orients in the same direction you are facing. Imagine using a navigation application designed to be used on foot. With the compass feature, applications can now make use of which direction you are facing.

    With all of the iPhone 3GS’s features and upgrades, it has become even more obvious that the iPhone is not, and will never be an ordinary phone. Apple has packed power, sleekness, and brilliance into the iPhone, and as it is upgraded time after time, even more people across the globe are switching to the iPhone.