The Tear-down of the iPhone: YouTube and iTunes Music store

by rmtwrkr

Time to get down to the more superfluous applications on the iPhone. One is designed to be a simple way to get music directly onto the iPhone. The other is designed to allow people to embarrass themselves in public.

YouTube.
Another ‘wow’ feature that was designed to appeal to…teenagers? Because really, what is the main demographic for YouTube? I find it a strange juxtaposition where you have the YouTube.app next to the Stocks.app. How many teens own stocks? How many adults/businessmen like watching scantily clad teenage girls pouring their heart out in public? (hmmm…Don’t answer that one). Anyway, the YouTube.app is a joy to use as far as the UI is concerned with a very simple interface that allows quick access to featured videos, Most viewed videos, Bookmarks, a Search function and ‘More’ page that allows you to customise your favourite shortcuts. It seems now that when you use the Search function, you can successfully locate any video that exists on YouTube, and watch it. So it looks like YouTube have managed to ‘upgrade’ all video to H.264 (the format YouTube.app uses for viewing video) from Flash. As a result, the quality can be considered better than the Flash version of the website, although your mileage may vary as it depends a lot on the source material. Overall YouTube is useful to while away some moments, but personally speaking, I wouldn’t really miss it if it was not there.

iTunes Music Store.
Introduced with firmware 1.1.1, and with much Apple fanfare the iTunes Music store sets out to separate you from your money in a slick only-apple-could-do-it way. As in, it convinces you that you WANT to spend money (or at least that’s my excuse) on music purchases. Really, its that good at what it does. You get to peruse the complete iTunes Music store, preview music (30 second clips) and has a simple one-click purchase. After confirming that you want a track (which is 99 cents), it asks for your iTunes account password, and then the track is downloaded to the device. It must be said that it works only over WiFi, which makes sense from a speed point of view. Once the track is downloaded, it can immediately be listened to via the iPod.app. When you sync with iTunes, it puts all iPhone-downloaded music onto your Mac, and creates a special playlist just for your iPhone purchased music. I have used the iTunes Music store.app twice now, which is double the amount of times I have ever bought music from the iTunes Music store. So what does that say? It says that Apple have implemented a extremely easy way to get content on-the-go, just when you’ve listened to that same tired playlist over and over, you can go and grab what you like and add a bit of sparkle to your collection. A nice app that does exactly what it is supposed to with the minimum of fuss.

Next: The rest, or Clocks, Calculator and Settings.

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