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iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 3GS vs. iPhone design evolution gallery

The iPhone 5 Apple's 6th version, and 4th major design revision, of the iPhone. It might well have been inevitable, and still be working its way towards Jonathan Ive's Platonic ideal, but it's also a fascinating visual evolution of case shrinking, screen lengthening, and materials improving over generations.

We've done the iPhone 5 in both stunning portrait, and in intimate macro. Here's the Darwinian march of iPhone designs through the years, from the original 2007 iPhone to the 2009 iPhone 3GS to the 2011 iPhone 4S to the brand new 2012 iPhone 5.

Here are the backs, from aluminum to plastic to glass and back to aluminum.

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A macro look at the iPhone 5 in micro-fine detail

We've already shown you just how stunning the new design looks in our iPhone 5 gallery but we also want to go in for a much closer look at all the little details. Apple is manufacturing the iPhone 5 using some incredibly advanced equipment and tolerances measured in microns. The backing is anodized 6000 series aluminum with ceramic or pigmented glass inlays. The iSight camera is covered by sapphire crystal and the beveled edges are cut by crystalline diamond. It's been said the iPhone 5 is closer in kind to a luxury time piece than what's traditionally passed for consumer electronics.

How much of that is just marketing and ad copy, and how much is reality undistorted? If the details matter that much to Apple, how well did they execute on those details? Let's take a really close look...

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iPhone 5 photo gallery

The iPhone 5 isn't just one of the most advanced pieces of consumer electronics ever made, Apple has taken the design and manufacturing itself well beyond the next level. Measured now in microns, the precision is as impressive as it is ephemeral -- easily seen in the fit and finish of every part up close, but disappearing instantly when you start using it, when it just becomes the phone, internet communicator, or widescreen iPod in your hand.

So lets take a moment to appreciate the iPhone 5 as object, as a piece of industrial design, as the craftsman of Apple and Jonathan Ive and Bob Mansfield and their teams, as a thing of beauty.

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How to VISOR

VISOR!!!

So you want to know how to make a fancy new "VISOR"-style article post? Alright, this guide will tell you what you need to know.

There are 3 styles of posts, each with different looks, purposes, and implementations. It only gets complicated when you want to do complicated things (see: backgrounded headline + inline image). So let's get to it...

Caveats

  • The VISOR format is still in development, details of features and implementation may change
  • Though similar, these rules do not apply to Visor Slideshow format posts (they will eventually, but at present time do not)

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iPhone 4 vs. DROID BIONIC [Gallery]

Ever wonder what an iPhone 4 would look like with a monster 4.5 inch screen, a scad of ports from microUSB to HDMI, and more logos stamped on it than you could shake LTE at? Well here you go! Thanks to the phenomenal Phil Nickinson of Android Central we can now see our glass and stainless steel iPhone 4 dwarfed by the immense slab of LTE powered plastic that's the DROID BIONIC (yes, they had the technology).

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iOS 5 beta 4 gallery

While the big news for iOS 5 beta 4 is no doubt the over-the-air (OTA) update switch finally being pulled, there are a few other little tweaks that seem to have slipped in, and like always you folks are doing a bang up job of letting us know.

  • OTA updates are now live. You'll get a popup telling you an update is available and Settings will get an alert badge to prompt you to open it.
  • Documents in the Cloud are now live

We'll keep collecting the new and notable stuff right here, so if you find anything else, let us know.

Screenshots after the break.

[Thanks @jdipane for the top pic]

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iOS 5 beta 3 gallery

There's bound to be something new in iOS 5 beta 3, a new icon, a new screen, a new setting... something that shows what Apple has been up to. Already the internet and our inboxes are filling up. A lot of it is, frankly, stuff we think we've seen before in previous betas, but some of it looks new to us as well.

  • New location services opt-in/opt-out splash screen on setup
  • Settings control for system-level location services (similar to what was previously available for App Store apps)
  • Settings control to toggle status bar icon for location services on/off
  • New iTunes Wi-Fi sync splash screen
  • New icon for Reminders
  • Some new stuff with tones (not sure about it yet)Text tones can be set from iTunes ringtones

We're going to collect it here, in this gallery. If you find anything we haven't come across yet, let us know.

Screenshots after the break.

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Google+ iPhone web app gallery

Google+ is the search giant's take on a social network, and while it will get its own iOS app eventually, it's already got it's own world-class web app (would you really expect anything else from the company that's defined the modern web?). Here's a quick look at it, primarily the profile, circles, and friends elements.

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iOS 5 beta 2 gallery

For some strange reason, our tip box is now overflowing with 960x640 screenshots (what, no iPad love?) showing a few changes from today's iOS 5 beta 2 release. Among the more interesting ones:

  • Welcome screen now has an info button to give you your UDID number, should you have failed to record it previously (Thanks Apple!)
  • The iCloud icon in settings is no longer purple. Long live brush metal cone fill!
  • Lock screen notifications get a new, single pop up. You can pull down the full list if you like, and if you get multiple notifications, they start to stack again like they did previously.
  • Wi-Fi sync in now working, but you need to be connected to a power source.
  • iCloud has bumped Exchange from the top spot in mail account setup, while MobileMe has been condemned to the bottom.

We'll update as we receive more. Screenshots after the break!

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iOS 5 beta gallery 2

You've already sent us one set of iOS 4 beta screenshots, and you just keep them coming. So here we are with round 2, and here's what they show:

  • Photo Stream can support multiple Apple IDs
  • Automatic downloads work for apps everywhere, but for music only in the US
  • Game Center has a place for your picture now
  • iCloud won't work with Apple IDs that aren't email addresses (older Apple IDs)
  • Swiping in weather gives you hourly forecasts (first update since 1.0, yay!)
  • You can Tweet a single picture but not multiple pictures
  • If you don't recall your password, there's an iForgot button (we kid you not)

Anyone notice anything else?

[Thanks Rodney, Kevin, JD, and anon!]

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