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What the New iPhone Means for You

By Jason Lisnak,
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Today Apple had yet another one of their annual keynotes which began with a 45 minute repeat of the last one – announcing two new services, Cards and Find My Friends.

  • Cards is a new app for creating and sending greeting cards via the mail.

  • Find My Friends is a cool service that allows you to see the location of your friends, if they choose to share such information via their iPhone. This app will be great for those of us with kids who want to know where they are and keep a close eye on them. An added benefit is that it has enough parental controls to prevent iStalking.iCloud image for hedge funds

From there, Apple announced iOS 5, which will be available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on Wednesday, October 12. Some of the more noteworthy new features coming from iOS 5 include Reminders and the updated Safari and Mail apps.

  • The new Safari version allows users to keep a reading list and, if you have an iPad, gain tabbed browsing. The reader feature also allows you to download an article in advance without the ads, which is not only cool but also enhances user productivity by giving them access to articles even when Internet service isn’t available.

  • The new Mail app offers encrypted message support and improved mail formatting, reminder flags and reply/forward indicators. It’s not quite Blackberry-level yet, but it is getting there.

  • The new Reminders feature makes your Outlook task list syncable with your iDevice.

The other big feature discussed (which we already knew about and will also be available on October 12th) was the iCloud. The iCloud allows for syncing devices registered with the same Apple ID over the air providing a new way of automated backups. If it works, it’ll be genius. But be warned – it is NO exception for manual backups. You should always backup! The iCloud is just a supplement.

And the part we’ve all been waiting for… the iPhone 4S (no iPhone 5 yet).iPhone 4S image

iPhone 4S has a faster processor, superior graphics, a much better camera, and looks just like the current iPhone 4. Additional features - the ones that matter - are the new components. They allow for faster speeds (not quite LTE, but still fast) and connections to both GSM and CDMA, which make this a “World Phone.” For those of you that like Verizon and like to travel, you can now do it and stay connected.  Checkout our handy comparison chart on iPhone 4S versus iPhone 4.

These enhancements alone make the iPhone 4S just a toy and not the new device we all need and hoped for. Luckily, Apple added one more big feature – Siri, a “voice assistant.” If the claims are true, in my opinion, the iPhone goes from another high-tech gadget to a must-have. Being able to ask my phone any question and get an accurate answer is like having a personal assistant with me at all times. (Check out: "Tech Talk: Should I trade my BlackBerry for an iPhone)

With Siri, you can ask a question based on info you have on your phone, such as your calendar, or dictate a reply to a text message. You can even ask about the weather, stocks or restaurants – and it replies accurately. That’s pretty awesome – if it works.

And the conclusion…I view the new features as a definite win. I’ve been using the beta developer releases of iOS 5 for a few months now on my iPad and, although definitely buggy at first, iOS 5 has made the iPad much more useful. As for iPhone 4S, while certainly faster and more visually pleasing, I’m holding my opinion until I can play with the voice assistant.

What are your thoughts on Apple’s announcements today?
 

 Comparing iPhone 4S and iPhone 4

Phone

iPhone 4S

iPhone 4

Processor

Dual-core A5 chip

A4 chip

Carriers

AT&T, Verizon & Sprint

AT&T, Verizon & Sprint

Weight/Dimensions

  • Height: 4.5 in
  • Width: 2.31 in
  • Weight: 4.9 oz
  • Height: 4.5 in
  • Width: 2.31 in
  • Weight: 4.8 oz

Built-in Assistant

Siri: Allows you to use voice to send messages, set reminders and more

n/a

Camera

8 Megapixels

  • Autofocus
  • Tap to focus
  • LED flash
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • Five-element lens
  • Face detection
  • Front camera with VGA

5 Megapixels

  • Autofocus
  • Tap to focus
  • LED flash
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • Four-element lens
  • Face detection
  • Front camera with VGA

Video Recording

Improved HD video recording

  • 1080p 30 fps
  • Tap to focus
  • LED light
  • Video stabilization

HD video recording

  • 720p 30 fps
  • Tap to focus
  • LED light
  • n/a

Cellular & Wireless

  • UTMS/HSDPA/HSUPA/GSM/EDGE in 1 phone
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2 separate phones for GSM/CDMA
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

Battery Life

Talk time:

  • Up to 8 hours on 3G
  • Up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM)

Stand by time:

  • Up to 200 hours

Talk time:

  • Up to 7 hours on 3G
  • Up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM)

Stand by time:

  • Up to 300 hours

Price

  • $199 16GB
  • $299 32GB
  • $399 64GB
  • $99 8GB
  • n/a
  • n/a

 

Categorized under: Trends We're Seeing  Communications 



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