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iPhone 4S – NOT the Big Step Forward...

Sriram V Iyer
5th Oct 2011
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Iphone 4s

I recently went over some funny survey data that a lot of people who bought iPhone 4 thought that ‘4’ in the name indicated 4G Network support. (Now, don’t tell me you thought so!) – A confusion, for which Apple too was to blame, because, iPhone 3 was called iPhone 3G where 3G meant 3G network.Why am I not talking excited about the big iPhone launched yesterday? Why O rather delve in details of an insignificant survey? Because, iPhone 4S(NOT 5) is a marginal step forward for the hardware, and a small step for Apple.

After hyped up expectations that usually lead up to Apple iPhone launches, iPhone 4S turned out to be just a souped up iPhone 4. Faster processor, better battery, better camera – And yes, they fixed the iPhone 4’s flawed antenna design.

iOS 5, which supports better notification system, iCloud for syncing all iDevices, ability to mirror the phone display onto bigger displays, and some cloud storage will be part of iPhone 4S launch, on Oct 14th. The software is available free for iPhone 4 / iPad 2 users. (The rest (3GS and earlier) have to stick to iOS 4)

One thing that interests me is the much-touted Siri voice recognition. Like Amazon’s Silk browser the computation is split between the device and the cloud, Siri also uses the cloud to perform its computations (That’s what it appears to be, but, I’ll confirm as the day passes!) – When is Microsoft getting this in their Azure for WP7.5 phones?

Apparently, during the demo, following case was demoed – “Ask Siri to "remind me to call my wife when I leave work" and it sets up a reminder to go off when you actually leave work, using your location as a trigger”

That’s cool! Natural language processing is a tough problem, and I am eagerly looking forward to see if they really solved it!

iMessage, Apple’s answer to Blackberry messenger is also part of iOS 5 / iPhone 4S. This should let people communicate using Internet messaging instead of texting. (Force your friends to go iPhone if you want to frequently hit the 100 SMS limit by TRAI! Blackberry was the only option so far!)

Not surprisingly, Apple’s stocks were trading lower after the announcements. I am already beginning to miss Steve Jobs…A good feature is that you can use iPhone 4S directly out of the box (If someone’s wondering, till iPhone 4, you need to download iTunes to your Mac / PC and then connect the phone to get it started!) – They also have OTA (Over the Air) software upgrade built in, to send in upgrades without requiring the user to connect to a computer.

Do follow Sriram’s column regularly on YourStory.in

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