I could have titled the last post “Why I love having a 2Mp camera on my supposedly cutting edge iPhone” or “Why I’m so happy about not being able to shoot video on my ostensibly state-of-the-art technology gizmo”, but the battery life seems to be getting the most whining so it seemed a good place to start.
Assume Apple has a little positive intent. That is, assume that they chose not to give us a 5Mp camera or video, and then ask the question “Why?” (if you need, ask five times).
Let’s take a quick comparison lesson with the old standby, my Blackberry. The camera quality is a good deal better, but I end up very rarely using it. Firstly, although it’s just one key press away, I find it very hard to review the images. Each one takes a few seconds to load. There’s a little hard-to-find menu to zoom in and out but it’s little use because the screen is virtually unreadable. I still haven’t worked out how to email a photo. I did try but I never received the mail. I think I can take video but I never would because of all the hassle with getting the photos to work.
The iPhone’s camera is basic but browsing photos is easy and works flawlessly. The phone works great as a presentation device with a variety of fun transitions for moving between photos and easy hand gestures to get around.
Making usability your key constraint and then subordinating everything else to that is very smart thing to do. It’s the single move that has consistently won Apple new users and kept them. It’s a defining quality of their brand. If my iPhone had a 5Mp camera on it, it’d be able to take higher resolution pictures, but I would not be able to view them as I do now. I’d have to wait a few seconds to move from picture to picture (much as I do on other camera phones). If I were a betting man, I’d guess that we won’t see a significantly better resolution camera or video before the processor inside gets a lot more powerful.