But, with the iPhone, Apple has released an iPod that is radically different from previous models; Not for nothing does it incorporate a larger screen, although it also lacks some of the features included in the latest iPod models. To what extent does the iPhone comply with Jobs’ claims? Let’s see.
Like an iPod, largely
The iPhone offers many of the features that we can count on an iPod. These are:
Audio and Video: Like a standard iPod, iPhone shows up in iTunes and can be configured to sync music, audiobooks, podcasts, TV series, music videos, and movies. When it comes to syncing, it works pretty much the same as an iPod nano or a fifth generation (5G) iPod. Just select the iPhone in the iTunes Sources list and configure the Music, Photos, Podcast, and Videos tabs to select the content to sync to the iPhone.
Also as with the iPod, in the Music tab you can choose to sync all music and playlists or just selected playlists. In the Podcast and Video tabs, you can tell iTunes to sync all podcasts, movies, and TV series, or just a selection; for example only the three most recent or unseen podcasts, movies or chapters.
Because iPhone storage capacity is limited and video can consume much of it, those who are used to the disk capacity of fifth-generation iPods will want to spend more time deciding which materials to sync.
Photos: Like the iPod with a color screen, the iPhone can also sync photos. On the Mac, you can synchronize the iPhoto or Aperture library (or the albums selected within these libraries), as well as the Pictures folder or any other folder of our choice. Unlike the iPod, the iPhone can view photos in landscape or portrait mode. You just have to turn the phone to a landscape orientation to view the photos in panoramic format, since the iPhone automatically rotates the images.
Contacts, calendars, and more: The iPod’s PIM features are among the most underused on the device. With a mobile phone, however, it is crucial to be able to access such information. iTunes takes care of synchronizing Contacts, Calendars, Mail accounts and Web browser favorites, gathering them in a single Info tab. As it would be done with the iPod, there is the option of synchronizing all contacts, a selected group of them, as well as all the calendars or a selection of them. New on the iPhone is the possibility of synchronizing the Mail accounts that we indicate as well as all the Safari bookmarks.
The Sound Check volume control feature is found on the iPhone settings screen.
Sound Check: Just like an iPod, iPhone incorporates a volume check feature, a feature that makes the volume more consistent from song to song. To activate it, go to the Settings screen of the iPhone, tap on the iPod input and, on the iPod screen, tap on the Off switch corresponding to the Sound Check input. Note that as with the iPod, the Sound Check feature will only work if the feature was also activated in iTunes first. This operation is carried out in the Playback tab of the iTunes Preferences window.
Audiobook Speed: The iPod can play audiobooks faster or slower than normal, and on the iPhone it is possible too. To reduce the playback speed, go to Settings / iPod, tap on the Audiobook Speed input and, in the resulting screen, tap on the Slower, Normal or Faster inputs.
EQ: There is also another iPod feature on the iPhone. To change the timbre of your music, to make it brighter, deeper or more presence, for example, you have to select Settings / iPod, tap on EQ and select any of the 22 built-in equalizer presets.
Volume limitation: iPhone also allows you to set a password-protected maximum volume setting. This operation is carried out in Settings / iPod, where you will have to tap on Volume Limit to adjust the desired volume by moving your finger on the sliding bar. Then you just have to tap on the Lock Volum Limit option, and a keyboard will appear that will allow us to enter and confirm a four-digit password. Later you can unlock the volume from this same screen.
By tapping on the cover of an album or on the Info button we will access all the contents of said album.
Sound quality: The iPhone sounds as good as any iPod you’ve ever owned. Mine is played through a portable speaker system to which I have connected it through the Dock connector located on the bottom of the phone (although the iPhone tells me that the connected peripheral is not supported and gives me the option to change the iPhone as Airplane mode to avoid generating audio interference). Like the latest iPods, it supports gapless playback so that the B-side of The Beatles’ Abbey Road or Brian Wilson’s Smile can be played smoothly.
As the first representative of the iPod without a wheel control, the touch interface of the iPhone is the most obvious novelty, although other surprises await.
Main interface: When you tap on an iPod entry on the main screen of the iPhone, you will access the last screen of the iPod that you had previously used (for example, the screen corresponding to the playlists). Arranged at the bottom of the iPhone are the icons for Playlists, Artists, Songs, Video, and More. The functions of the first four icons are obvious.
When you tap on the More icon, you can access the entries corresponding to Albums, Audiobooks, Compilations, Composers, Genres and Podcasts. These inputs are similar to what you would find on an iPod.
Just as you can change the commands that appear on the iPod main screen, it is also possible to change the icons that appear in the lower area of iPod mode on the iPhone. Just tap on the More icon and, on that screen, tap on the Edit button located at the top left of the screen. A configuration screen will appear from the bottom showing the icons corresponding to Albums, Podcasts, Audiobooks, Genres, Composers, Compilations, Playlists, Artists, Songs and Videos. To replace any of these icons with the ones that appear at the bottom of the screen, just tap on them while holding down the icon to drag it over the icon you want to replace.
The alphabet on the right side of the iPhone screen allows you to speed up the search for a specific song and artist.
To go back through the hierarchy of screens, you have to tap on the icon they represent