October 4, 2011
The iPhone5 did not make its debut today. However, the iPhone 4S did. New Apple CEO Tim Cook called it “the most amazing iPhone ever,” as each new generation of the iPhone should be. Here’s a rundown of the features:
Voice Control. More than just Google voice search, Apple’s “Siri” service looks to be pretty impressive. The Siri voice assistant technology, garnered from the acquisition in 2010, will allow iPhone users to use voice commands to send and answer text messages, make calls, search the web, set up appointments, get answers to questions and presumably much more as the technology is integrated with additional services.
This was the highlight of the show, with impressive live demos asking Siri for directions, restaurant recommendations, reminders and more. It can search Wikipedia for you, as well as find answers via WolframAlpha. Also for those who like to talk, dictation capability is a part of the 4S, with a microphone next to the space bar.
Camera & Video. Start with an eight megapixel sensor for 3264 x 2448 resolution. Add in a backside illuminated CMOS (which means 73% more light), IR filter for more accurate colors, a new Image Signal Processor (designed by Apple) enabling face detection and 26% better white balance, and you’ve got a nice camera. Video recording is 1080p with noise reduction and video image stabilization. Accessing the camera has been made easier as well.
Performance & Battery Life. Introducing the A5 chip and 1GB RAM to make the new iPhone twice as fast as before (theoretically) with dual-core graphics (up to 7 times faster than previous iPhones). The 4S will offer 8 hours of 3G talk time, 6 hours of browsing (9 on WiFi), 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music. Supposedly call quality will be much better, as will download speeds (14.4Mbps versus 7.2 on the iPhone 4).
Operating System. iOS 5 was introduced! Notifications are visible from the top by swiping down. iMessage pushes to all devices. Reminders are location-aware. Twitter integration is tighter. Newstand delivers all your favorite magazines. Game Center delivers updates. Safari has multi-tab browsing and syncing between devices, and there are Mail updates too. The iCloud, which we’ve heard about before, and “PC Free” which means you can get wireless iOS updates – no hardline sync required – are all there. This is exciting! Only available for 3GS and above, October 12.
International Traveling. The 4S is both GSM and CDMA.
Carriers. In the US, you can choose from Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.
Availability and Pricing. In what Apple called “the fastest roll out ever,” they are starting to take pre-orders for the iPhone 4S this Friday, October 7th, but the phones will not be available until October 14th. The iPhone 4S will be available in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Germany and Japan. On October 28th, they’ll roll out in 22 more countries, and they expect to be in 70 countries by the end of the year with more than 100 carriers.
Black and white versions of the 4S, with carrier agreement, are:
- 16GB – $199
- 32GB – $299
- 64GB -$399
While there was no mention of the old 3G, we know the 3GS and iPhone 4 will continue:
- iPhone4 – $99 for 8GB
- iPhone 3GS will be free with a contract
Will you pre-order an iPhone 4S this Friday? Tell us in the comments below.
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