Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What's New With Apple's New iPhone 4S

The long awaited announcement from Apple about the newest iteration of the iPhone gave us something new, and something not so new.

What’s not new is that’s it’s not an iPhone  5. Rumors swirled for weeks prior to the announcement that it would be faster, sleeker, have a larger screen, and perhaps even make your bed in the morning. Only one of these is true (and it’s not about your bed!). 

What we did get is the iPhone 4S. Yes, it’s faster than the previous model, the iPhone 4. And it has lots of capabilities that we didn’t know we needed, including a “virtual personal assistant” (is this where making the bed comes in? I don’t think so, but it can remind you to do it yourself.) Read on.

The iPhone 4S looks no different than the earlier version, but what’s inside is seriously different. Here are just a few of the improvements:

When it comes to downloading content from the web and playing games on your smartphone, it’s all about speed. The new iPhone 4S promises to deliver at twice the speed of the iPhone 4, which is faster than the iPhone 3GS.


The camera is better and smarter, and the ability to take videos that have a more stable picture is there too, so if you rely on your iPhone (or any other smartphone for that matter), to take pictures while you’re out and about or on vacation, you’ll love the quality of these images.

The new iOS 5 lets you synch your devices through iCloud

iOS 5
The new Operating System (iOS) allows you to synch your iPhone 4S and other Apple devices with iCloud. While this is new, it’s not limited to the new iPhone; this iOS will be downloadable via iTunes for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch (third and fourth generations), the iPad, and iPad2 on October 14th.

Instead of having to synch your Apple devices (iPhone, Mac, iPad, and Touch,) with a cable, you’ll be able to store content on iCloud and wirelessly push it to your other Apple devices. This means that now everything stays in synch with each other across all your linked devices; photos, music, calendar, address book, mail, documents, apps, iBooks, backups, Find My iPhone, and now, Find My Friends. Most of this could be done before, but we needed to use third party software to accomplish all of it. Now it can be done directly within the iOS 5 and iCloud.

To learn more about the new iOS 5 and iCloud, click HERE. It will take you to Apple’s information page that includes a video about it.

Siri is your new Virtual Personal Assistant

SIRI – Your Virtual Personal Assistant
Siri is voice-activated software that understands your verbal commands and knows what to do about what you’ve said. It responds to you with a voice, so it’s completely hands free to use. It sets reminders, places phone calls, takes dictation, finds what you’re looking for, and more. It just won’t make your bed for you, sorry.

Now you have a greater choice in carriers for your iPhone 4S; in addition to being able to purchase it for use on AT&T and Verizon's networks, it will also be available on Sprint’s network.

If you want to watch a video from Apple that tells you more about the new iPhone 4S, click HERE. On the same page you’ll also find additional information about each of these new functions and abilities.

The iPhone 4S can be purchased in the Apple store from October 14th on, as well as from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. From October 7th you can pre-order it on Apple’s web site.

Do you need to buy a new iPhone to get all these features? Yes and no. The faster processor, camera, Siri, as well as a better antennae are exclusive to the new iPhone 4S, but the new iOS that lets you use iCloud will be available on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 when the new iOS is released on October 12th. You can be sure that I’ll be posting information about it as soon as it’s available, so stay tuned.

What this means is that if you’re still under a contract with your phone carrier and you’ll get dinged (read “charged more”) if you want to upgrade early, then you don’t have to.

You can also still purchase the iPhone 4 and now the iPhone 3GS is free (on AT&T only), so that if you’ve never had an iPhone and want one but don’t want to spend so much, this might be a better option for you. You’ll still need a contract with a phone carrier, so review your options with each before you commit.

To compare the capabilities, carriers, and prices of the three variations of iPhones now available, click HERE for a comparison chart. All the info you’ll need is in it.

I hope this information helps you understand the new iPhone 4S. Will I be getting one? First I'll upgrade to iOS 5 and see if that's sufficient. Of course, I'll be in an Apple store when they're available and try one out. Again, I'll keep you posted.

And if you get one, please let me know how you like it.

As a tribute to Steve Jobs, I am not posting my thoughts about the contribution that he's made to technology and the world on this site, but rather, will continue to devote my time to sharing information about technology with you so you can become smarter and more efficient in how you use it. That would be a truly fitting tribute.

The information contained herein is for guideline purposes only, is not intended as an endorsement of any product, and is no guarantee of the results.

Images courtesy of  Apple. 

Copyright © The B. Hammil Company 2011

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