Tuesday, October 4, 2011

iPhone 4S: All You Need To Know!

At last, after 18 months of speculation the iPhone 5 is finally here! Except it's not an iPhone 5 in a sleek tear-drop aluminium case - it's a carry-over design with the A5 dual-processor called the 4S. But what's in a name?

To recap, iOS5 will be available from 12 October. Here are some of the main features:

  • Notifications: Very Androidish - a replacement system for iOS’ otherwise antiquated alerts system.
  • iMessage: A free to use, iOS-to-iOS SMS replacement.
  • Reminders: user creatable time/location based reminders.
  • Twitter integration.
  • Newsstand: Apple’s in-house distribution system for iPad magazines.
  • New and improved camera (One click access from the lock screen, red eye removal, cropping, rotating, etc).
  • Game Center (Recommendation engine, Achievements system).
  • Improved Safari browser (Faster, lighter, tabbed browsing on iPad, and the “Reader” content scraper).
  • Mail app improvements.
  • PC-Free (Activation without iTunes).

But we knew all that. What about the new phone. The iPhone 4S?

  • Externally the same as iPhone 4 - screen size, glass back, etc.
  • A5 Dual-core Processor, dual-core graphics (up to 7x faster)
  • Improved battery life: 8 hours of 3G talk time; 6 hours of browsing; 9 hours on WiFi; 10 hours of video; 40 hours of music.
  • Improved call quality through intelligently switching between the two antennas between transmit and receive. Downloads theoretically 2x faster than iPhone 4.
  • One phone for everyone: GSM + CDMA.
  • Improved camera: 8MP sensor; f/2,4 lens; high speed auto-focus; face detection; auto white balance; 1080p HD video.
  • Airplay mirroring - great for gaming.
  • Voice-controlled personal assistant. You can ask things like “Will it rain in Cupertino?”, or “Can you find me a Greek Restaurant in Palo Alto?”, or “What’s the time in Paris?” and it’ll answer accordingly. This is the culmination of their purchase of Siri back in 2010 - and surprisingly enough, they’re keeping the “Siri” name.
  • Available from launch in black or white.
  • US pricing: 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, or 64GB (new) for $399.
Key for the US market is the addition of Sprint to AT&T and Verizon as official carriers - this should see a nice bump in sales! Add to that the rumored deal with China Mobile, and this could be the best selling iPhone ever!

For the millions of iPhone 4 users out there, myself included, this launch is great news; your phone hasn't been made completely redundant today. I guess time will tell, but after delaying the launch from the typical June timing, I was expecting more. I believed Apple needed the extra time to finalise some awesome new features! I assume that the revised exterior design, 4" screen, LTE, NFC, etc will be kept for the iPhone 5. Let the speculation begin!

Thanks for reading!