iPhone 4, you complete me.

I was one of the lucky few able to get the AT&T servers to work for me the day the iPhone 4 was available for pre-order. As such, my phone arrived by FedEx the day before they were available at the stores. Apple allowed FedEx to deliver some phones early because even FedEx could not ramp up to deliver 600,000 phones on one day. And tracking my iPhone’s delivery that day proved that, like AT&T two weeks before, FedEx had a server melt down at the hands of a half million geeks clicking reload to see when their tracking number would return “Out for Delivery”.

So I have had a week with my new little friend, and I love it. I feel sorry for my iPad. Jilted after only a few months in the top spot. But the iPhone 4 sets a new standard for gadgets. It is a beautiful thing to hold in your hand. It’s smaller than its predecessor, but ways the same, which gives it a very solid feel.

The top five reasons to upgrade (you do already have an iPhone, right?):

1. Speed. Speed. Speed. I had not upgraded to the iPhone 3Gs, and the 3G was just too pokey, especially after the upgrade to iOS 4.0. The new A4 processor makes every swipe of the finger send the phone zipping along.

2. The screen. Sick. Apple’s new term is “Retina Display”, which means that the display on the phone is beyond the capability of the human eye when the iPhone is held at a reasonable distance. It is amazing. Pictures and video on the phone are crisp and more lifelike.

3. Your new camera. Don’t ever buy a “point-and-shoot” camera again. Just get this phone. While the camera is only 5-Megapixels, it is the quality of the sensor (the digital film) that gives pictures more stunning than most cameras on the market.

4. Videos in a jiffy. I have stopped carrying around my HD video camera, too. The iPhone now take beautiful HD movies. And with the $4.99 iMovie app, I can produce a quality film with titles and transitions right on my phone within a few minutes.

5. Facetime. While I initially thought this feature would be as gimmicky as video chats on the computer, I have found it far easier to use and, since you always have your phone with you, more useful in a variety of applications. The kids videochatting with their grandparents and cousins is great, but you can also use the camera on the back of the phone to make your friend envious of the concert your taking in or the sunset from your ocean-front deck.

My Father’s Day Top Ten Tech Gifts

I started this blog because a friend asked me to send him my top ten list for technology. I have updated that list in time for Father’s Day. Most of the items can be purchase from Amazon.com with no sales tax and free shipping using the links to the right. Got a question? Just e-mail me.
  1. Apple TV ($230) 
    • The Apple TV has long been my favorite piece of tech. My wife loves it too. And of the dozens of friends who have seen mine and bought their own, every single one has been blown away. Think of it as another stereo component that lets you listen to all your music, see all your pictures in stunning high definition, watch all your movies and much more. Rumor has it that Apple is working on a new version that will cost only $99 but do away with the hard drive, leaving streaming from a networked computer or the Internet as the only option. I like the fact that all my music is so easily accessible, whether I am connected or not. Go ahead and upgrade his CD player. 
  2. Apple iPad ($499+)
    • I’ve had mine since day one and love it. The only question is memory size and whether to pay the extra $130 for the version that can access the cellular data network, rather than the basic Wi-Fi only model. I opted for the smallest memory and Wi-Fi only. I could have spent the extra $200 for 64G of memory versus 16G, but I would still have to decide which of my content to leave off, and 16G is plenty of music and video to carry with me. And I don’t listen to music much on the device anyway. As for the extra $130 for the ability to access the cellular data network, you have to pay an additional $15/mo for 250MB of data, or $30/mo for unlimited data, and I don’t travel enough to justify the additional costs. I always have my iPhone in a pinch.
  3. Any new Mac computer ($999+)
    • If he is still on a PC, save him. If he is on a Mac that is more than three years old, he’ll love the blazing new speed.
  4. Canon EOS Rebel T2i ($800)
    • This is the newer version of the camera body that I use. Amazing pictures, easy to use, and HD video capabilities just added.
  5. Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard and Medium Telephoto Lens ($345)
    • The lens that comes with the Canon Rebel kit costs you $100. Leave that one behind, buy the body alone, and spend another $245 to get the most stunning photos an amateur can take.
  6. Apple iPhone 4 ($199)
    • The fourth generation iPhone was just announced and it is amazing. It’s 24% thinner, has 40% more battery life and let’s you video chat with other iPhone 4’s. Pre-order it on June 15 and give him a gift certificate on Father’s Day. His phone will be ready on June 24.
  7. Samsung Blu-ray DVD Player ($200)
    • $200 will get you a Blu-ray player disc player that also streams Netflix, YouTube and Pandora. 
  8. Ooma ($200)
    • It’s time to dropkick your telephone company. Pay $200 for this slick device, plug it into your broadband Internet connection, then plug a wireless phone system into Ooma, and enjoy free calls nationwide for the rest of your life. Upgrade to Ooma premier for $10 and get cool additional features like having your voicemails e-mailed to you.
  9. Time Capsule ($279)
    • It’s not much to pay for seamless backup of all your photos, music, movies and data (every hard drive will eventually die, you know). And you get the best wifi router as well!
  10. Nike Plus ($29)
    • Got a fat husband, like my wife? Get him into running with this cool add on for compatible iPods and iPhones.