Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Quick Take on the iPhone 4S - Is It Worth the Upgrade

The first time we heard the news that Apple was coming out with the next iPhone, we were as giddy as schoolchildren.  We all hoped that that it was going to be a game changing iPhone 5.  But, alas, it was not meant to be.  Instead, and with much fanfare, we got the iPhone 4S and we could only help but ask – is it just an iPhone 4 with a few more bells and whistles? Would it truly be worth the long wait in line?. Was the 4s destined to be revolutionary or evolutionary?  Below is a brief look at the 3 most noticeable upgrades found in the iPhone 4S.

Software


One of the most noticeable areas of improvement can be found in the amount of speed and power that the 4S commands.  Apple announced that the iPhone 4S has seven times the graphical prowess of its predecessor and is twice as powerful. It features the iPad 2’s dual-core A5 chip that makes opening apps, loading the web browser, scrolling through home screens and countless other operations smoother and faster.


Siri

One remarkable distinction between the iPhone 4 and the 4S is the addition of  your very own “personal assistant” named Siri.  When it works, it is an amazing feat of technology. You can just tell Siri to contact a friend and tell her you’re running late.  Tell Siri, “I’m feeling like Indian food,” and she will tell you where the nearest place serving Sag Paneer is located.  Even so, the caveat is “when it works.”  When Siri cannot understand a particular command, area or specific person, she will tell you humorously, if not annoyingly after a while, that she can’t process the info.  Undoubtedly this will be fixed in the future, but it would be wonderful if it worked flawlessly now.  See this article for another take on Siri.

iCloud


Similar to MobileMe, iCloud allows you to access all of your most critical data, pictures, apps, music and photos from any device, whether you access it from the device the content was created on, or if you want to use your iPad to show your friends a picture you took using your iPhone. One downfall, however, is that for users used to MobileMe’s specific syncing procedures, the user id it created doesn’t “play well” with iCloud. At the same time, iCloud doesn’t recognize email accounts like Yahoo or Gmail as they don’t contain a me.com email address.  Although it’s fantastic technology, the reality that it still has what appear to be fairly obvious faults makes it that much more frustrating to Apple enthusiasts.

In the final analysis, the iPhone 4S will of course be an enormous commercial success. But, are the upgrades worth the wait?  In the end, it depends on who you ask. If you’re a Mac-addict, always in need of the most up-to-date and coolest toy, then of course, it’s worth the wait.  With its improvements in power, efficiency, speed, software and upgrades, the 4S is an impressive machine.  However, if you’re able to get all you need from your old 3G(S), there’s really nothing completely revolutionary about the iPhone 4S.  As an evolutionary device, it’s still pretty cool.


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