Saturday, July 31, 2010

Don't wait for rewards, pat your own back

This article was shared by one of my colleagues.. very encouraging thought... in times when one feels...not so good with the surrounding work environment...

Don't wait for rewards, pat your own back
28 Jul 2010, 0134 hrs IST, Priya Kumar,
I have seen a lot of unsatisfied achievers in the corporate world. They want the recognition, they want the award, they want the incentive and they
want all there is to want because they work hard for it. And sometimes despite all the hard work, their performance gets sidelined. A lot of people are discouraged and disheartened when they don’t get their due. One cannot imagine the heartbreak of the employee who put his soul in his project and it still fell short of the credit he so deserved. 

Instead of quitting on your passion or living short of your own potential, set yourself up for success. Success is not an announcement from a third party; it is a feeling from within. But so many times we are focussing on the outside for acknowledgment that we miss acknowledging ourselves for our work, an acknowledgment that really counts. Next time when you take up a project and set your eyes on the winning line, set yourself up for your own personal ‘award’ and ‘recognition’.

Plan your personal recognition: When I dig myself in my laptop to write an article, or a strategy plan for my book launch or a workshop outline, or anything that I need to get done, I plan to reward myself when I finish. It could be something as small as ‘take a coffee break’ or ‘buy myself the book I wanted to read’ or ‘munch on a bar of chocolate’. It can be anything that marks that I ‘earned’ it. I had a colleague who was very fascinated with the idea of personal recognition and he decided to reward himself with a beer while watching TV at home if he cleared his inbox before he left from work that day.

See he was going to drink the bottle of beer while watching TV anyways, so how does it hurt to make it a reward? One had rather drink to success than drink to frustration at the end of the day. Weeks later he told me, “I remember feeling low for almost six months when I was not granted the promotion I deserved. But with my own creative recognition plan I feel important and productive every single day. And because I feel successful and rewarded everyday, I have become a bigger success at work than even what my seniors had imagined.”
Plan your family or social recognition: It certainly is important that colleagues at work appreciate your hard work but what people forget
is that it is more important that the recognition comes from the people you are working so hard for.

They have a stake in your success. It would be great to take your spouse for a weekend vacation to mark the celebration of your quarterly hard work. I tried this idea out with a few friends. One of them told his son that after Daddy does his work well at the end of the month, he would take him shopping. He was amazed that his son kept tab on his progress and actually asked him how his day was every day. Another friend decided to take a casual leave to watch movies at home with his family and called friends over for dinner to celebrate the end of a month-long tenure of work well done in office. “I am happier at work than I have ever been in my 22 years of working. Acknowledging my hard work and celebrating it has contributed to my job satisfaction,” he said at the end of the month.

Work is work. Clearing emails is as much work as is delivering the newspaper as is performing an open-heart surgery. Work becomes contribution when it is done to finish and done well. And work well done must be rewarded. If you are the one keeping tab on your progress and rewards, other people’s opinion of your worthiness won’t matter and you will be successful in ways that matter and count. Make your work a celebration of your hard work for you to feel like the success that you truly are.

(The author is a corporate trainer and best-selling author of I Am Another You)

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Simple, routine vehicle maintenance and smart driving habits can help you save hundreds of ringgit in fuel costs a year.
SO fuel prices have gone up. Granted, it’s not that much and there is no reason to hit the panic button, but you’re definitely going to feel the pinch, even if it’s a small one.
There are steps that you as a driver can take to help mitigate this. Simple, routine vehicle maintenance and smart driving habits can help you save hundreds of ringgit in fuel costs a year.
Don’t drive aggressively
According to a study by Natural Resources Canada, frequent “jackrabbit” starts (that is, fast acceleration of a motor vehicle from a stationary position) and hard braking can increase fuel consumption by almost 40% and only reduces travel time by a mere 4%.
“The ideal way is to accelerate slowly and smoothly and then get into high gear as quickly as possible,” says Simon Lam of Used Autos Sdn Bhd, a Kuala Lumpur-based used-car dealer.
According to Lam, in normal city driving, about 50% of the energy needed to power a car, is used during vehicle acceleration. “If you notice you’re slamming on the brakes hard and often, then it’s a sign that you’re wasting fuel unnecessarily,” says Lam.
According to, increasing your highway cruising speed from 90 kmh to 120 kmh can increase fuel consumption by as much as 20%. One can improve gas mileage by 10% to 15% by driving at around 90 kmh.
Alternatively, you can opt for cruise control if your car has it, says Lam. “This is especially good for long trips. Not only will it reduce your urge to speed, you’ll also feel less tired after the journey.”
Keep tyres properly inflated
Under-inflated tyres create added rolling resistance and can increase fuel consumption by as much as 6%, says Klang Valley-based tyre agent Vincent Pang.
“Check your tyre pressure regularly and make sure to inflate them as recommended by the manufacturer. It’s not difficult to do and doesn’t cost you anything. Looking after your tyres not only helps you to reduce fuel consumption, it promotes better vehicle handling and tyre life,” he adds.
But, apart from taking care of your tyres, keeping your entire car in good working condition also ensures that it is running at optimum levels and peak efficiency.
Use air-cond sparingly
Okay, we all know how unkind the Malaysian heat can be, but a two-minute trip to the mamak stall or post office without air-conditioning won’t kill you.
According to, using a vehicle’s air-conditioner on a hot day can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10% in city driving.
At low speeds, opening the window helps to save fuel consumption by reducing air-condition usage.
However, at high speeds, driving with the air-cond on is more fuel-efficient than the wind resistance caused by having the windows and sunroof open, it says.
Travel light
The more weight you carry, the more fuel you use, says Kuala Lumpur-based mechanical engineer Peter Lau. “Your car is a means for transportation, not a mobile storage facility. Keep heavy items like tools, sports equipment or other items at home when you don’t need them,” he advises.
Lau adds that vehicle add-ons, such as roof racks or even spoilers, can add to wind-drag and reduce fuel efficiency.
“Remove items such as roof and bike racks when not in use. If you have to use them, load them in such a way that any sort of drag or resistance can be minimised while driving.”

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Choose This Protein for More Mental Power

An interesting article to keep in mind!! to keep up with the Mental power..

Real age

Chicken or fish? It's not just a choice you make at wedding receptions. Your answer could be a ticket to a healthier mind, too.
A recent study suggests that regularly opting for the right kind of protein could mean a significantly lower risk of dementia later in life. And your brain will thank you if you choose finned foods.
The Fin Factor
The study evaluated the health and eating habits of close to 15,000 people age 65 and older from countries around the world, including Peru, China, India, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. And the people who ate fish often -- nearly every day -- were about 20 percent less likely to be diagnosed with dementia compared with the folks who never ate fish. Researchers suspect that the inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids in fish produce the benefit. (Concerned about mercury in your fish? Here are the kinds of fish you should choose to reduce your intake of this environmental toxin.)
Something in the Water?
So here's what you should choose at each meal if you don't care much about your brain: meat. In the study, the more meat people ate (think beef, chicken, and pork) the higher their risk of dementia. So start making over your meals, and be sure to invite your friends from the sea. Here are a few fabulous meat-free meal ideas to try from EatingWell:

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Monday, July 19, 2010

The Indian story

This came in the The Star few days... back..

INDIA, in many ways is a land of dichotomies. Be it in the social sphere – the ridiculously rich to the heart-tugging poor; or the business sphere – the sophistication of world-class Indian behemoths to the humble cottage and rural-based industries; a bursting trillion-dollar IT story staged against a backdrop of bustling chaos, power blackouts and long-ignored infrastructure and road systems.
But within none of these, can the message that India is moving blisteringly fast to own its spot as one of the world’s emerging economic powerhouses be missed.
Here’s why. Over the next two years, consumption is expected to grow by 16%, thanks largely to a growing middle class; it boasts of a “demographic dividend” of a rising employable population (of a population of over a billion); over US$1 trillion will be ploughed in to plug its infrastructure deficit; a telecommunications market that shows promise of growing by 75 million subscribers per year; a revving auto and auto parts industry (total production vehicles crossed 14 million in 2009-2010) and this – an economy that’s conservatively expected to grow by 8%-9% a year between 2010 and 2014.
The icing on the cake for the international business community – its fluency in English.
Branding India
To pitch India’s appeal to the rest of the world, India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) was formed. It is essentially a public-private partnership between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and the Confederation of Indian Industry. It is now seven years old.
No doubt, with Indian bellwethers such as Tata Group. Reliance, Mahindra Satyam, Bharti, Wipro, Infosys, Genpact, Kingfisher Airlines, Maruti Udyog and Ranbaxy laboratories and many more that have made it to Forbes Global rankings and are recognisable corporations world over, IBEF’s tasks has been made a lot easier.
“We (IBEF) were the first PPP in the country set up to create awareness. The talent of India, its robust growth story and the Indian multi-national corporations are re-scripting the game in India,” says IBEF CEO Aparna Dutt Sharma.
Coming out of the global crisis
But that’s not to say India came out unscathed from the recent global financial crisis triggered by the subprime mess in US. While it didn’t face a financial meltdown as witnessed by US or Europe, there was a significant squeeze in capital flows.
Given that manufacturing, which is largely export-oriented and had led to growth in past decades, was badly hit, growth had also declined.
A Government stimulus plan – cranking up government expenditure on infrastructure, cash transfers and farm debt waiver scheme as well as tax cuts – was crucial in turning things around.
“These were crucial drivers in turning things around over the past year,” says Abheek Barua, chief economist at HDFC Bank, India’s second largest private bank.
The macro data trickling in thus far has been encouraging with a broad-based revival in domestic growth. Abheek attributes the country’s resilience to the structural reforms that it had put in place after the enormous upheaval in the late 90s when the business cycle was dealt a major blow.
“Between 1998 and 2002, the overall GDP was down in the dumps and it only started to pick up from 2004 onwards. This period of extended slowdown coincided with a lot of structural changes like liberalisation measures, tariff reductions, doing away with quotas and aligning our market more with the global system.
“A lot of the belt tightening efficiencies led to palpable and dramatic improvements in operating ratios of companies. So, we didn’t really have to wait for this (recent) crisis to make those chances. In a sense, we were internally more prepared to take the global crisis on, which explains how we were able to bounce back quickly,” he says.
With that, he points out that even the hardest hit industries, largely export oriented ones such as the textiles industry, leather, handicraft and engineering goods such as auto parts have also been displaying strong signs of recovery.
But there are risks.
“Rising inflationary pressures and an aggressive withdrawal of fiscal and monetary stimulus are key domestic risks. On the external front, there is always the fear of a repeat of the ‘black swan’ events of 2008,” said the bank in a report.
Real estate bubble?
Given the flow of investments, real estate prices in India, particularly the hot spots – Delhi, the national capital and Mumbai – appear to be hitting the roof. According to a survey conducted by global HR consultancy Mercer, New Delhi is the most expensive city in India.
It has the highest cost of living for foreign professionals followed by Mumbai.
However, Anshuman Magazine, managing director of real estate consultancy firm CB Richard Ellis, South Asia said that in contrast to the rising prices being witnessed currently, real estate prices for residential space were significantly impacted as a result of the global financial crisis, falling by about 30%-40%.
“All of it was largely due to sentiments as people were not buying although on hindsight, India was not impacted as much. But the high end segment did not drop too much as there’s limited supply there,” said Anshuman.
Hardest hit however was the office space which was bogged down by a massive oversupply situation.
“We had a property overhang here in 2008 and 2009. It was quite painful as the rental yield of office space dropped by 22%-30% depending on the location.
“But more than the rental, demand also declined. Most developers do not mind if rental is low, so long as there’s take up but that too had slowed down. This year, rentals are flat but demand has improved,” he says, adding that he expects the overall property market to improve further going forward.
BPO and its better half – KPO
There’s yet another story playing out in the world’s second most populous country.
The offshoring or business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in India employs about 1 million people, according to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom).
India represents about 70% of the world BPO market.
Here’s the crunch. By some estimates, the industry is expected to touch a trillion-dollar mark soon. Of this, only 3% is currently being outsourced. Industry estimates for the coming decades state that in future, some 70% of all business processes will be outsourced compared a meagre 2% now.
Therein lies another sweet spot for India as well as other BPO hubs namely Philippines and Brazil.
Still, BPO has not been stigma free. Critics refer to it as “electronic sweatshops” given the typical nature of the job – dawn to dusk shifts, labour intensive, high targets and low wages.
In recent years, there’s been another resurgence in the remote working sphere – Knowledge Process Outsourcing or better knowns as KPO, the better half of BPO. Evidently, India is gradually becoming a hot spot for KPO, owning about 70% of the global market share.
Ashish Gupta, country head and global chief operating officer of Evalueserve, one of India’s leading KPO providers, wraps up the evolution of the outsourcing sphere in India.
“The evolution of services in India began with IT services in the late 70s to early 80s and this put India on the world map. It has since become a stable and mature industry. In the early 90s, the first BPO operations was started by GE and American Express in Delhi.
Towards the latter half of the 90s, other private companies started setting up office in the BPO space. Since then, it has grown to include lots more value added services beyond the back office services that are typically provided.” One of them includes the area of research and analytics (R&A).
“Our business model is to provide very high value added knowledge based analytical service. We had to create the term KPO to set us apart from BPO. Our clients come from financial services, healthcare, consulting, telecommunications, oil and gas and research firms,” says Ashish, an IT graduate and ex McKinsey executive.
Evalueserve, like its other KPO peer’s main appeal is that where resources is scarce, it can offer a dedicated team of up to 250 people to carry out the R&A works.
“Rather than our clients having to hire their own people, we can have a virtual dedicated team of 50-100 people to do what they need us to do,” he says.
The other appeal – low cost. “Our prices can be one fourth to one fifth of the average cost others would charge. We can do this as the salaries and cost structure in India is low.
This is one reason why we also went to Romania – to access their cost effective landscape and language capabilities as well as to have access to those markets and deliver global services.
“With connectivity, it really doesn’t matter any more where you’re working as you can pretty much work from everywhere. As they say, geography is history with the Internet,” says Ashish.
Evalueserve, which is considering a listing in US sometime next year, employs just over 2,000 people. North America contributes the largest share of revenue to the group of 40% while Europe and Asia respectively bring in 45% and 15% respectively.
India vs China
The pitting of India vs China and which one will emerge as the next economic powerhouse has been the subject of countless debates and studies.
Truth is, both countries have different strengths, and hence, cards to play in this global race towards competitiveness.
But one thing’s for sure – India, not unlike China, offers enormous business opportunities and an incredible talent pool.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

India's new Airport twice the size of KLIA

COME Wednesday passengers landing at the new Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in New Delhi will be in for a big surprise.
Seeing is believing.
This airport is twice the size of our KL International Airport, and the current terminal in Delhi pales in comparison with the new airport.
The new shiny glass and steel Terminal 3 (T3) not only gives Delhi a new landmark, it has become a ‘‘symbol of the country’s aspirations as an emerging global power.’’
T3 sprawls over 4 sq km, has 78 aerobridges (four of which will be used for the A380), has 168 check-in counters, 95 immigration counters, 63 elevators and 35 escalators.
There are 97 automated walkways but you will still have to walk a distance to reach your gate.
People walk inside the newly constructed Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi July 3. The terminal, one of the world's largest, was inaugurated by India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday. - REUTERS
Parking has been a sore point at the airport but all will change with the opening of the new multi-level parking complex that can house 4,300 cars and this is also the largest multi-level car parking facility in India.
T3 can handle 34 million passengers per year and there is enough land to expand the airport to cater up to 100 million passengers. About 30,000 people were hired to build the airport.
You will be spoilt for choices in terms of duty free and eateries, child care area is available and you can even catch a glimpse of the works of famous Indian artist displayed all over the airport.
What catches the eye is the larger than life pictures of people in their traditional garb from the various states and these are used as signages for the washrooms so that you do not miss a beat.
Built in record 37 months at a cost of US$2.6bil, a Malaysian company, Malaysian Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), is part of this mamonth development via a consortium.
The other members of the consortium are India’s infrastructure group GMR (with 56% stake), Airport Authority of India (24%), and both MAHB and Germany’s Fraport have 10% each. They will manage the airport for 30 years.
In India you cut the ribbon before you start operations, unlike here where we start operations and later call in a VIP.
So on July 3, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the airport so that it can open its doors to passengers on July 14. The airport is among the ten biggest in the world. Manmohan is hoping it would be top 5 soon, but warned that safety and maintenance should be the key focus.
The maintenance bids will be out soon and Faber Group Bhd is hoping to bid for that.
Currently, the domestic airport is a distance away from the international airport, but all that will change as both domestic and international are going to be in T3, which has four piers, two each for domestic and international.
Hence, travellers will not have to worry about walking to the aircraft in the hot summers and cold winters.
Connecting the airport to the city is Delhi Metro, and the plan is to complete it before the Commonwealth Games in October.
There will also be a 1,000-room transit hotel on top of the airport. It is an incredible idea given the fact that international arrivals peak at night when domestic flights are scarce. International passengers wanting to fly domestic have to spend a night in Delhi or at the airport.
Now there is a choice with the hotel and the Metro. But whoever that is going to manage the transit hotel should be mindful that there are budget travellers too landing at IGI and should price the rooms accordingly.
Also travellers have found that most duty-free shops at the airport only accept US dollars, hence the need for the option to pay in Indian rupees.

Source: The Star

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Friday, July 9, 2010

9 Important Rules To Follow When You Work From Home

Working from home is always a pain. You get dried out alone and your creativity and productivity sometimes goes down. On the initial stage, you will surely miss the energy of your 9-to-5 job when you start your own office at home. If you hold the energy for atleast one year, you can be successful from home, but you wont be having your colleagues to share your ideas or work fun.

Fun & Info @

So here some important rules that you should follow to be very productive from your home office. I see most these points followed by professional bloggers and also big freelancers. So listing out some points will help you to achieve when you become a full time blogger or start your office at home.

10 Important Rules To Follow If You Want to Become a Professional Blogger/Freelancer Who Work From Their Homes –

1. Maintain Strict office hours

As you have shifted to home office, you should not work as you like. Maintaining a perfect office hour from 9am to 5pm will make your work more productive.

2. Plan your work –
Prefer working at early mornings than late nights. Because early morning gives you a amazing start and no distractions. So prefer mornings. You can also read 10 Benefits of Rising Early, and How to Do It

3. Use to-do list

Fun & Info @

You should use to-do list app and finish off your work according to it. Organizing and working according to it will yeild more productivity. You can get a free desktop based to-do listapplication.

4. Stay off from Distractions –

When you work from home, you get easily distracted because of tv and other stuff. Switch off all your distractions. You have to set boundaries when you work from home. Try to avoid having tv or other distracting things from your home office. Keep what is needed for work.

5. Emails and Social Networks

Fun & Info @

Don’t open your e-mail or check your Facebook account until you’ve accomplished one major task you wanted to complete that day. First complete your work in the early mornings and then later in the night, you can check all your social accounts and connect with people.

6. Dressing –

As you work from home, dont ignore the basic personal habits. Dont sit down for work in your pajamas. Dress properly like what you did when going for a 9-5 job. Sometimes, you may be talking with your client on webcam, and how can you afford to look like that ?

7. Spend some time with family –

When you work from home, you have to put lot of efforts because you’re the owner and take the whole responsibility and you have to look into all the things from start till the end. So, dont forget to spend some time with the family. As i said before, treat your home office as a real job and work from 9-5 and spend rest of the time with family and kids.

8. Take care of your health

I would like to continue the above point, not only spending time with your family, you should also take care of your health. Eat well, exercise, breathe, and try to find time to relax.

9. Setting your work place –

Fun & Info @

All the above tips are related when you sit working on your home office, before that here are some points that you should look into for setting up your home office. Have proper table and chair, use multi-monitor setup for more productivity, have high speed internet connection, avoid disturbing environment etc. 

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Apple sells more than 1.7 million new iPhones in 3 days

This came in the The Star

Published: Tuesday June 29, 2010 MYT 7:16:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday June 29, 2010 MYT 7:18:42 AM

Apple sells more than 1.7 million new iPhones in 3 days

NEW YORK: Apple Inc. said Monday that it sold more than 1.7 million units of its new iPhone model in the first three days, making it the most successful product launch in the company's history from the standpoint of sales.
The iPhone 4 went on sale Thursday in the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Japan. High demand for the model caused shortages and unruly crowds at some stores.
"This is the most successful product launch in Apple's history," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO.
"Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply."
Some stores sold out within hours.
Analysts have said Apple is having a hard time procuring enough parts for the phone, such as its new higher-resolution screen.
Apple has said the white iPhone it plans to produce has been more challenging than expected and won't be available until late July. Only black models went on sale Thursday.
Apple sold more than 1 million units in the first three days when it launched last year's model, the 3GS.
Canada, Italy, Spain and Switzerland were then among the launch countries, but Japan was not.
Apart from the sharper screen, the iPhone 4 features a slimmer body and faster processor than the previous model, among other changes.
Shares of the Cupertino, California-based Apple rose $1.60, or 0.6 percent, to $268.30 in trading Monday.

Friday, July 2, 2010

How to become a more creative leader

An interesting article that I was shared by one of my colleague.. 

How to become a more creative leader
By: Lee Xieli, Singapore
Published: 3 hours 49 min ago
Singapore - Leaders need to develop creativity, more so than other attributes, within the organisation if they want the business to continue thriving in a fast-changing environment.  
In a recent IBM study of 1,500 CEOs across the globe, chief executives have identified creativity as the key attribute a leader has to have in order to ensure future business success. Creativity is needed to adapt organisations and business models to an increasingly complex and uncertain environment, according to Ken Hudson, author of Speed Thinking - How to thrive in a time-poor world. He says, "Leaders have to deal with changes in technology, customer preferences and face often disruptive competition - all happening at a rapid pace."
Here are some starting points, Hudson says, could help leaders become more creative:
1.       Talk about creativity and innovation with the team. Hudson says there are many leaders who list innovation as important and yet never talk about it.
2.       Be open to new ideas. The first thing, says Hudson, that will kill creativity is when a leader asks for new approaches then "beats up" the first person that comes up with an unexpected or left-field idea.
3.       Lead by example. Leaders have to be creative themselves if they want others to follow them. Ask yourself what have you done that is new and different in the past week?
4.       Adopt an experimental mindset but be prepared for most ideas to fail. Creativity means you have to test your ideas over and over again. Understand that creativity is a skill that can be developed with the right training and constant practice.
5.       Recognise creativity. It does not have to a large-scale reward system, says Hudson. A moment of praise for an employee suggesting a new approach works just as well.
6.       Implement good ideas quickly. It is no use being creative if it takes months or years to implement an idea, says Hudson, because the marketplace or customer preference could have changed by then.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Need a new iPhone?

This came in the local newspaper just day before yesterday.. (TheStar)

Published: Tuesday June 29, 2010 MYT 12:27:00 PM

Review: Need a new iPhone? I'll take 4, please

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple CEO Steve Jobs has once again pulled a new iPhone model out of his proverbial magician's hat, leading hordes of gadget-happy consumers to wait in line for hours to snag one.
It may seem like a lot of hullabaloo for a smart phone upgrade that is practically routine in the phone's fourth iteration. This time is different, though.
Apple's iPhone 4, which went on sale last Thursday, isn't simply an upgrade over the previous 3GS model.
It has been significantly redesigned as a skinnier, classier and more covetous smart phone with a slew of new features.
And while owners of the older model can get the new iOS4 software for free without emptying their wallets, a new iPhone 4 will also give you a higher-resolution screen, speedier processor and a second, front-facing camera for video calls.
It costs $199 for a 16-gigabyte model or $299 for 32 gigabytes; both require a two-year contract with AT&T Inc., the phone's exclusive wireless provider in the U.S.
Out of the box, the iPhone 4 practically shrieks "swanky."
The previous iPhone had a rounded, plastic back that eliminated most corners; the iPhone 4 sports a flat, glass-covered back, and its sides are rimmed with a stainless steel band that serves as part of its antenna.
While the 3GS' design seemed friendly approachable, the iPhone 4 appears more serious and businesslike.
If you find the display on the iPhone 3GS awesome, you'll find the iPhone 4's display doubly awesome - literally, because twice as many pixels are packed onto each inch of its shiny 3.5-inch (8.7-centimeter) screen.
Websites, images and videos look crisper and brighter on the iPhone 4. I queued up an episode of "Glee" on both models and was impressed to see sharper images and more radiant colors on the new phone.
The display is also a good canvas for Apple's new video-calling function, FaceTime, which takes advantage of the iPhone 4's front-facing camera.
With FaceTime, you can make video calls to other iPhone 4 users over Wi-Fi.
Once you've connected with the other caller, you can switch between the front and back cameras - the latter if you want to show your surroundings or other people who want to say hello.
I can imagine using FaceTime to keep in touch with distant friends and family, since it's built right in to the phone and is super simple to use.
You'll need to make sure both of you have a great Wi-Fi connection, though, or it will look more like PixelTime.
When introducing the function, Jobs indicated that it will eventually work over cellular networks (He said Apple needs to "work a little bit" with wireless providers to make it "ready for the future."). I really hope this happens - and works well - soon.
Besides adding a lens on the front, Apple has really beefed up the iPhone's main camera.
I was a fan of the relatively no-frills 3-megapixel camera on the iPhone 3GS; it was easy to use and focus shots, and what you saw on the screen was generally what you got in photos.
The iPhone 4 bumps things up several notches.
The camera now has five megapixels, which means you'll get sharper photos.
It has a pretty bright flash and the ability to record high-definition videos, too.
One anticipated feature of the new iOS4 operating system is the ability to multitask. In the past, you could use the iPhone's built-in iPod music player while browsing websites, but you couldn't, say, listen to music through Pandora and switch to doing something else without having the music stop.
Now, you can rock out with music apps and surf the Web, which makes the iPhone much more capable.
The feature is also super convenient: The iPhone 4 can run a bevy of applications in the background without sucking up battery life, and if you want to check what is open you can just tap twice on the home button.
That pulls up a small dock at the bottom of the screen with tiny icons for each open application; holding your finger down on one of the icons allows you to dismiss one or several of them by tapping on them.
It's also easier to switch between apps without going back to the home screen first.
The battery life on the iPhone 4 is rated as slightly better than the 3GS, and I was able to eke out a little more than five hours of serious multitasking on it.
I made plenty of voice and video calls, surfed the Web, took photos, watched videos, checked Facebook and more.
Even more battery life would be better, but you should get a day of more normal use on a full charge.

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