Entries in iPhone (1)

Monday
Oct242011

My perspective on the new Apple iPhone 4S

Unless you live under a rock, I am sure you have heard that Apple released the newest iPhone version this month. After having the opportunity to test it out this past week I have come to some conclusions. The new Apple iPhone 4S certainly has some hardware improvements in comparison to the iPhone 4:

  1. A slight under clocked processor (duo arm core 800MHZ) upgrade.  Slower than the iPad 2 in tests, but faster than most smart phones because how optimized it is.  (http://venturebeat.com/2011/10/11/iphone-4s-cpu-slower-than-ipad-2-still-faster-than-all-android-phones/)
  2. Minor improvement to 3G Wireless speeds (around 23% from ATT versus the iPhone 4).  (http://gizmodo.com/5820965/the-great-iphone-4s-national-network-test)
  3. A noticeable upgrade to the camera from 5MP to 8MP, and an enhanced lens aperture from f/2.8 to f/2.4 which improves pictures taken in low lighting.
  4. The upgrade of HD video to 1080p.
  5. Though not documented, the speakerphone seems clearer and louder.

Based on those improvements, I don’t feel it’s necessarily worth upgrading from an iPhone4 unless you are looking for something else in addition to the hardware upgrades, for instance SIRI.  SIRI is the voice activated virtual intelligent assistant that comes with the iPhone 4S that can interpret what you ask and perform a variety of tasks.  Hungry for mexican food? Need to schedule a calendar appointment? Sending your boss an email or texting your babysitter? Just ask SIRI to perform it for you. Yes the Android has a similar feature from Google Voice Actions, but it is nowhere near as intuitive as SIRI. No more having to memorize specific commands, which is what makes SIRI an artificial intelligence. http://www.limera1n.cc/2011/10/siri-assistant-feature-vs-its-android.html

Now SIRI cannot do everything just yet - it is still in beta (although it can sing the first line of Daisy if you ask for a song), but what SIRI can do is simplify tasks and certain applications/services that we use regularly:

  • Work with your calendar, appointments and reminders
  • Search contact and relationships within those contacts
  • Interact with map app and location services for directions
  • Read and write messages (text and email)
  • Forward search phrases to pre-defined data providers such as Weather, Yahoo! Finance, Yelp, Wolfram Alpha and a few more

This useful set of simplified functions is what makes the AI in SIRI so valuable.  Plus, if SIRI cannot determine an answer to your question or interpret your command, you will be given the option to search the internet or edit your request. Once out of Beta, I guess we will see if SIRI gets released to iPhone 4 users, however since SIRI needs contact with the Apple servers it is questionable how the performance would be (maybe one of the reasons it was not part of IOS 5.)

So while I must say the iPhone 4S has some cool improvements, unless you like to be on the cutting edge of new technology maybe you can hold out for the iPhone 5.