Apple Event must be the biggest event in the past few weeks in the world of technology, and the rumours have been spinning continuously, and relentlessly.
Apple finally unveiled the iPhone 4S, which comes with a great camera, Siri the digital and personal voice assistant, iOS 5, better processor and graphics. The event was pretty frustrating for many technology reviewers as they waited for an iPhone 5, but ended up looking at an iPhone 4S.
The Basic Features of iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S comes with an A5 chip, retina display and a glass on the back. Apple however assured that inside it is all ‘new’, though it looks almost same as iPhone 4. After announcing iPhone 4S, they also demonstrated various functions of the upgraded version of the smartphone. iPhone 4S will offers 8 hours of 3G talk time and 6 hours of browsing, nine hours on Wi-Fi. It would also offer 10 hours of video and about 40 hours of music which means that your new iPhone 4S is going to be quite a nice gadget, at least in terms of battery.
Apple also revealed new feature, which includes the ‘Wireless System’ that allows your phone to switch between two antennae while transmitting and receiving signals. It is thought to give you better call quality. The iPhone 4S offers high speed HSPDA, and offers both GSM and CDMA.
Camera and Video
The iPhone 4S has an amazing 8MP camera, which is a 60% improvement from the iPhone 4. The press conference also mentioned that there would be a backside illumination CMOS, which uses a novel imagery to give crystal clear images. It offers 30% more sharpness and f/2.4 aperture. The A5 also helps camera to achieve better auto white balance, almost 26% more than its predecessor. The iPhone 4S would also offer 1080p HD video recording, Video Image Stabilizing and Temporal Noise Reduction. AirPlay Mirroring allows you to play video games on the big screen, and you could choose to do it wired or wireless.
Siri the Intelligent Personal and Digital Assistant with Voice Command Function
The Intelligent assistant would function as a personal assistant with the voice command function. The assistant’s name being ‘Siri’, a female voice that tells you what time it is in Paris or in Zagreb, or wherever else apart from doing other digital chores like telling you if it is going to rain or not. You could also ask Siri questions, and she would answer using information from Yelp, and other social networking sites that use location based features. The personal digital assistant would speak English in US, British and Australian dialects and also French and German. It could be used in a conversational manner, and is contextual, personal and works with built-in apps.
Cost and Availability of iPhone 4S
The iPhone 4S would cost $199 for the 16GB version, $299 for the 32Gb version and $399 for 64GB. It would be available in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Germany, France and Japan on the 14th of October. In the U.S., it would run on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint as well. Pre-orders begin this Friday, 7th of October. It would also be available in 22 different countries by the 28th of this month, and 70 other countries by the end of this year. iPhone 4S would be available on over 100 carriers.
Those who were waiting for the iPhone 5 would definitely be disappointed. One may also note that a man has been waiting outside the Covent Garden Apple Store in London since two months for the iPhone 5 and had received a lot of sponsorship from a number of companies. He took this up as a ‘marketing and PR experiment’, without spending any money. Some of the companies that have sponsored him and received considerable coverage themselves are Cadburys, Skype, Mountain Dew, Domino’s Pizza, Kleenex and Gillette. He would be really disappointed.
iOS 5 itself has been touted as the most advanced mobile operating system and there is no reason why that assumption has to be questioned. People were also asked to turn off their devices, which revealed the amount of secrecy that Apple tries to build before launching its products. It is more of a marketing technique than anything else. Google used this too, by giving invites to selected people for Google+ while keeping away the regular users. It creates a mysterious aura and a false demand for a product that may not even exist. Apple did it this time.
Annoyed and Frustrated iPhone 5 Fanboys at the ‘Let’s talk iPhone’ Event
Steve Jobs did not take the stage like he always did, but Tim Cooks did, and that was quite predictable. Tim Cooks compared OS X Lion to Windows 7, and that did not go very well with those who were waiting for the read deal to be announced. Tim Cook also went on talking about how the MacBook Pro and iMac are the best selling computers in the U.S., which only annoyed the eager folks waiting for the iPhone 5. Apple’s Cook continued to talk about Apple’s exploits in the music industry, much of what is quite true anyway. Apple did revolutionize whole music industry and the iPod was rather cannibalized by iPhone which Tim Cook surely would never admit.
Cook also mentioned that iPhone has a share of 5% of the whole mobile market, which he asserted is an enormous opportunity for Apple. After talking about how iPhones could spell the doom to most other cellphone brands, Tim spoke about iPads and how they might be used in schools and Universities. He suggested and hinted towards the educational value of iPad, which suggests that it could be marketed to that group as well. A brief description about iPad’s Cards app was mentioned too, which lets you pick the pic and Apple would print it automatically and you even get a push notification when the person who it is intended to receives it.
iMessenger and Other Apps on iOS 5
Something that really was of interest was the announcement of a new messaging service that might perhaps work like BBM. It might perhaps be called iMessenger, and I assume it would be similar to BlackBerry’s BBM. It is intended to allow iOS users to chat amongst themselves. Of course, he also mentioned that Twitter has been deeply integrated with iOS5 and one would no longer have to sign in multiples of times. The new OS would also include ‘Newsstand’ that would be of great interest to people who read a lot on their mobile devices. It would include applications for GQ, Allure, NY times and others. The Camera app is updated as well. Just a double-tap on the home button is enough to take a glossy pic.
The Game Center is updated to add photos of your friends, recommendations and everything else that you may think of. Tabbed browsing, mail updates, rich formatting, working around with addresses and iOS 5 would be unveiled on the 12th of October. iOS 5 would also include the PC Free Feature, which allows you to activate your device without having to plug in. iOS 5 would work on most Apple devices including iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPod Nano.
iCloud on iOS 5
Eddy Cue began to talk about iCloud, and how it is free to use and is a great way to store and sync your files. He also mentioned that it would wirelessly push your content to all the devices that you have. What could be of particular interest is that your documents too get pushed to the cloud and to all your devices wirelessly, thanks to iCloud. It is something that most business users would appreciate. Another feature announced is ‘Find My Friends’ which allows you to check where your friends are based on the location data. Of course, I hope there is way to switch this feature off sometimes at least. 5GB of mail, documents and backup are being touted as great features, but of course 5GB isn’t enough and you would eventually end up purchasing more.
iPod Nano and iPod Touch
Apple also announced the iPod Nano which costs $129 for an 8GB device and $149 for a 16GB device. The iPod Touch with a few improvements and upgrades would cost $199 for 8GB, $299 for 32Gb and $399 for 64 GB.
If you have never owned an iPhone, you might want to buy the iPhone 4S. Also, if you use your iPhone for taking pictures, the iPhone 4S is a promising device. However, if you already have an iPhone, and you are not much of a camera freak you might want to think about it before making the purchase. Would you discard your iPhone 4 and spend a few hundred dollars again to upgrade to the next version? Let us know in the comments section below!