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The iPhone 4S: Revolutionary Or Evolutionary

Business Technology | October 19, 2011

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 wasn’t 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?  Here is a quick look at the 3 most noticeable upgrades found in the iPhone 4S.

Software

Maybe the most noticeable of the iPhone 4S upgrades can be found in its speed and power.  The 4S features a dual-core A5 chip found in the iPad 2, which makes opening apps, loading the browser, scrolling through home screens and countless other procedures much faster and smoother.  Apple states that the iPhone 4S is twice as fast as the iPhone 4, and exhibits seven times its graphical prowess.

Siri

Perhaps the most interesting addition in the 4S is the introduction of Siri, a voice controlled personal assistant that can help you schedule lunch dates, find restaurants or see what the weather is like in Denver just by talking to it in a conversational voice.  “Tell Jodi that I’m running late and need to reschedule my meeting” is a good example of how Siri can parse your information, find a specific person and complete the task for you. A down-side, however, is that it is still a work in progress, and many times Siri can’t handle the information in the question, and simply gives you a comical reply.  Which is amusing at first, but loses the humor after a few weeks.  Here’s another take on the topic: http://www.forbes.com/sites/benzingainsights/2011/10/17/is-siri-seriously-awesome-or-seriously-flawed/

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 seem 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 a huge commercial success. But, are the upgrades worth the wait?  In the end, it depends on who you ask. If you’re a Mac-addict, forever 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 everything 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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