Why iPhone 4 is the Best Business Smartphone Ever

Wednesday Jun 23rd 2010 by Mike Elgan
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The iPhone 4 has an impressive array of features that will allow it to complete its move into the enterprise market.

If you think the new iPhone for is just a pretty toy for Apple fanboys and girls, I've got news for you: even for business users, it's the best smartphone that ever shipped.

Surprisingly, it's not better for business because of its faster performance, ultra-high resolution screen, folders, improved call quality or even multitasking. Its superiority comes from features and functions that have been under-reported and under-appreciated.

Here's why Apple's iPhone 4 is the best business phone ever put on the market:

Superior Speakerphone

Business people need high-quality speakerphones. The iPhone 4 may provide the best speakerphone experience of any existing mobile phone.

The source of this quality comes from improvements to noise-cancellation software, a second mic for noise cancellation and improved microphone and speaker electronics. Most interestingly, the iPhone 4 boasts a very well designed "audio chamber," which improves the audio quality of speakerphone calls.

On the iPhone 4, the other caller will sound much better to you during speakerphone calls, and you'll sound better to them.

Full-size Keyboard Support

The iPhone 4 is the first iPhone to support Bluetooth keyboards right out of the gate. Just connect your keyboard like you would any other Bluetooth device, and now you can type Notes, e-mails and other missives with a real, full-size keyboard. It's great for meetings, and ideal for that cramped airplane tray table.

Cloud Sync for Notes

Most iPhone owners to date have had little use for the Notes app on the iPhone. But the iPhone 4 (as well as older iPhones running the new iOS 4) enables you to save Notes documents directly to an IMAP-capable e-mail system, such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail.

The Notes app syncs and assigns the label "Notes" to every item. Future searches for "Notes" brings up all of them. You can also sync different notes to different e-mail accounts, so you can keep business and personal notes separate.

The combination of Bluetooth keyboard support and Notes backup or syncing on cloud-based e-mail means the iPhone 4 is newly optimized for taking notes in meetings and generally using in place of a netbook for some users.

FaceTime... for Family

Apple's videoconferencing solution is nearly useless for business videoconferencing. Both parties need both Wi-Fi and iPhone 4s, and that's not something you can count on in the business world.

Besides, if you're going to do videoconferencing for business, you'd be well advised to do such calls from your desktop or laptop -- or from dedicated conferencing solutions.

iPhone 4 gives business people something much more valuable: Connection to family.

People who travel on business need to maintain connections to spouse and kids. Phone calls are nice, but FaceTime video calls are ideal. By buying an iPhone 4 for yourself, and another one for your spouse, you can share business adventures with loved ones, and you won't miss everything back home.

Photos and Video with One Under-appreciated Feature

Camera phones seems to decline in quality over time, and users usually don't understand why. The reason is that tiny camera-phone lenses are very hard to clean.

Camera phones live in pockets or other lint-filled places, such as purses and briefcases. They inevitably collect a tiny layer of microscopic dust bunnies that are hard to see, but that can subtly reduce picture quality. Even if you clean the lens, you'll usually find a layer of this stuff around the edges because they can't be reached by whatever means you're using to clean the lens.

The iPhone 4 camera lens -- both of them, actually -- are sealed behind glass. By cleaning the glass, which is easy, you can always bring your camera lens back to its brand-new level of cleanliness.

That fact combined with iPhone 4's respectable 5-megapixel camera with 5x digital zoom, HD video capability and on-phone iMovie video editing means that for insurance agents, real estate agents and a wide range of professional who need to take pictures for whatever reason, the iPhone 4 is good enough to replace a dedicated digital camera.

Next Page: iPhone 4 tethering, battery life...

Tethering

The iPhone 4 supports tethering, which means (for an additional $20 over the $25 DataPro plan from AT&T) your laptop can use the iPhone's data connection to the Internet. This long-awaited feature is nothing special among non-Apple phones. But its recent addition eliminates one source of frustration for yesterday's iPhone business users.

Better Battery for Business

One of the biggest complaints about the iPhone by business users was lousy battery life. But the iPhone 4 is much better, providing a respectable 7 hours of talk time, according to Apple.

That's important, because if you're a heavy user during a business trip, a dead battery is simply unacceptable.

Suit-ready Size

Everyone is oohing and awing over the iPhone 4's solid, elegant industrial design. But for business people, there's something even more important: It's thin.

In fact, it's 24 percent thinner than the already thin iPhone 3G S. That matters, because if you carry a bulky phone in your breast pocket, it looks like you're packing heat. In a pants pocket, a bulky cell phone makes it look like you're smuggling a grilled cheese sandwich -- not the most professional look.

The iPhone's sleek, thin size means you can slip it into a business suit pocket and still look professional.

Way More Business Apps

Android fans will tell you that Google's phone platform has gained fast on app availability. And many of those apps are superior to their iPhone alternatives.

However, for business people, the iPhone platform's 225,000 apps are likely to provide every business user with not only general-purpose business apps, but narrowly focused options for whatever your particular profession is: Sales, real estate, finance, retail -- whatever it is, you'll probably have your pick of many different apps designed specifically for what you do.

Apple's latest creation probably isn't the best phone for everyone. But for most professionals, there is simply nothing better for business than the iPhone 4.

ALSO SEE: Best Smartphone for IT: Blackberry vs. iPhone vs. Android

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