Last week, Apple released the iPhone 4S, and it already looks to be a hit, as Apple claims they pre-sold more than a million in the first 24 hours of availability. Should you get one? That depends.
If you’ve already got an iPhone 4, and you’re happy with it, then you might not need to rush out and buy a 4S right away, unless you want its new features, which we’ll explain below. The iPhone 4 and 4S have identical appearances, and the same ultra-high-resolution display.
Further, iOS 5 (the operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) is has just been released, and that alone will already give your iPhone 4 many new capabilities, including iCloud. (Read our newsletters on iOS 5 and iCloud.) However, iOS 5 is brand new, so if you’re considering the update, talk to us first, as there have already been several problems early adopters have seen.
If you have an iPhone 3GS, you can also get iOS 5, but we’d suggest you consider the iPhone 4S, as its speed, display, and other capabilities will be significantly better than what you’ve got. If you’ve got a 3G or original iPhone, Apple has left you behind, and it’s time to get with the program.
If you don’t have an iPhone at all, and you’re not sure if it will make your life better or not, talk to us and we’ll help you figure it out.
So what does the iPhone 4S do that the iPhone 4 can’t? It has:
- A more powerful CPU, which improves performance and makes it possible for developers to write more sophisticated apps
- Faster internet speed (AT&T only)
- Radios for both kinds of digital phone networks, meaning Verizon and Sprint users will be able to use the phone worldwide
- A camera whose picture quality Apple claims competes with standalone point-and-shoot cameras
- HD (1080p/30 fps) video recording
- Siri, which bears further explanation
Siri is an “assistant” whom you instruct to do all kinds of things in natural language, e.g. “Will it be sunny this weekend in Miami?” “Remind me to pick up my dress when I leave work,” “Where’s an ATM?” or “Tell Bronwyn I’m running late,” which causes Siri to send Bronwyn a text message. (These are Apple’s examples, not mine.) Siri also lets you dictate an email. There are several more examples on Apple’s web site. While we don’t know if Siri is better or worse than the voice command methods supported by other smartphone platforms, Siri looks to be pretty cool. We’ll soon know how well it really works for people; Apple’s hedging their bets by labeling Siri as “beta.”
In sum, the 4S looks like a pretty nice, if not earth-shattering, upgrade to the iPhone 4. Siri may prove to be a revolutionary way of interacting with your iPhone, but we don’t really know yet. If you take lots of pictures or video, its improved camera and 1080p HD video will be desirable. If you’re a globetrotting Verizon loyalist, the 4S is the iPhone for you. And, If you have an iPhone 3GS or older, Apple’s new toy certainly can perform many new tricks for you.
The iPhone 4S is available from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint starting at $199, available in white and black.
If you have any questions about the iPhone 4S, please let us know!