The buzz around Apple’s last baby, the iPhone 4S, would appear to be proof that Steve Jobs’ legacy remains intact. The media is mixing eulogies and obituaries with product reviews and comparisons. So what exactly does the iPhone 4S bring to the table? Will the hype match up to the reality? According to Apple’s official press release, “the dual-core A5 chip delivers even more power. The 8MP camera with all-new optics also shoots 1080p HD video. And with Siri, iPhone 4S does what you ask. Talk about amazing.” But reviews in the tech- and blogosphere have been mixed.
The highly-anticipated iPhone 5, it seems, has been turned into the iPhone 4S. The newest version of the phone comes with Siri, iOS 5, 1080p HD video, iCloud, Retina display and FaceTime. Grumbles and rumbles on the internet have surrounded the lack of a re-design that was anticipated with the iPhone 5. However, before we gripe about the lack of a re-design, shouldn’t we be asking whether or not the iPhone needs one? Aside from the problems with signal, the iPhone 4 has warranted the good press it received. The mythical chimera that is the iPhone 5, the product that would catapult us all into the mobile future, must be allowed to die.
What we have to fully grasp is that building on such revolutionary, game-changing technology is a huge success in itself. As Mark Hirst, Managing Director of Best Mobile Contracts, explains, the iPhone is not merely a revolutionary device, rather “it is evolutionary, bringing in important upgrades such as dual core processing, a greatly improved graphics chip and Siri, a new voice recognition that learns with you.” What aspect of the 4S should we be most excited about? “I look forward to seeing how the iPhone 4S works with iCloud, Apples cloud computing offering as well,” concludes Hirst.
What Apple has announced in the combination of iOS 5 and iCloud has the potential to usher in a new era of technology. Granted, iOS and iCloud are not revolutionary in terms of technology, but this is the first time a phone has been able to deliver software that provides the seamless cloud experience iOS 5 delivers. In this way, Apple is bringing the ‘Cloud’ to the masses in a way that Google et al cannot.
Furthermore, this is hardly the first time that voice activation technology, or indeed Siri technology, has been used, but the way Apple has tied it into the core iOS system to integrate everything from finding restaurants to booking calendar events is truly inspired – provided it works of course. Technology experts have also been thrilled to hear that this voice activation technology could open the way for API designers to create intelligent apps. Imagine ordering your groceries on the train home by speaking into your phone? Pretty darn impressive, although your fellow commuters may take a different view.
The camera on the 4S has also been vastly improved, making photos and videos much higher quality. This will enable better FaceTime, the twee name for Apple’s non-Skype method of face-to-face interaction with loved ones. There’s a beefed up battery which was also promised, and they’ve added a friend-finder application. The only thing that hasn’t arrived is an NFC and iPhone-powered digital wallet. Apple’s failure to reshape the handset is receiving much more virtual ink however. You can please some of the people some of the time; the rest are still holding out for the iPhone 5. It had better be good.
Even so, iPhone 4S deals are to go on sale in the UK on October 14th, and Apple is already struggling to keep up with the pre-orders coming through.
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