iPhone 4S Announced!
Today was the long awaited iPhone 5 announcement, and the gathered masses anxiously awaited the introduction of the next Apple iPhone. The announcement was met with a mix of applause and disappointment, because instead of a step forward to the iPhone 5, it was a sidestep to improvement with the release of the iPhone 4S.
First and foremost, the technical specifications of this phone are a step forward by comparison to the iPhone 4. This new phone boasts a dual core processor, the A5, which is one more core than its predecessor, and quite the speed boost. Ram is supposedly doubled from 512mb to 1 gigabyte, which will also bode well for the benchmarks for running applications and games. No doubt the innards of the new iPhone were designed to allow zippy multi-tasking and amazing functionality, but people wanted more. The camera was also upgrade to an 8 mega-pixel beast, which is honestly better than any camera I have ever owned. The dreaded death grip which crippled signal was also said to be fixed. Two antennas are built into the phone, in hopes that one or the other will provide more bars, leading to less dropped calls and better speeds. However, the biggest release today was the new operating system, iOS 5, which is a giant step forward in competing with Android.
iOS 5 was released with Siri voice integration. According to Apple, this will revolutionize the way people use their phones, because they are claiming a beautiful user experience when using the voice activation. The ability to respond to text messages, write emails, open applications, find songs, and surf the web at the sound of my voice is very impressive, but what really blew me away was how Apple and Siri took it a step further. The ability for this program to understand and interpret what you request is met with follow-ups, which helps make sure that what you request is found. For example, if you said 'How many days until Christmas 2011' it would find it. Siri allows you to set alarms with voice commands such as 'Wake up at 6AM,' and allows you to basically use your voice as a bridge to your phone, which in turn is connected to the internet.
Now, is this phone worth upgrading too? That question is tough because I personally have an iPhone 3GS that is on its last legs and will most likely find myself pre-ordering the 4S. However, the leading up to this release, I was salivating at the chance to upgrade my phone, but after the announcement, I found myself wanting more. With the same exterior features, and with only new software and hardware, I find myself wondering where the wow factor was with this announcement.
If any other phone maker released this device today it would have been received with open arms and a giant bear hug. Truthfully, from a technically standpoint, this phone is going to set the bar for the current cell phone market, but instead of setting the bar for years to come, it will probably only hold it for months. Perhaps the Apple crowd, myself included, anticipated a new standard to be set.