A Quick Take on the iPhone 4S – Is It Worth the Upgrade

October 19th, 2011

Apple is known for its forward thinking, cutting-edge and revolutionary inventions.  From the Apple IIe to the iPad, Apple has always been at the forefront of computing and communicating.  However, it has set the bar so high that even Apple finds itself hard to beat.  A good example is the recent release of the iPhone 4S – a truly remarkable product using the latest and greatest technology available.  But to its loyal fans, people who are always expecting a revolution instead of an evolution, some might have found the launch of an upgraded/evolved iPhone 4 as opposed to a revamped and brand new iPhone 5, to be less than remarkable.  However, the 4S does present 3 very impressive upgrades, of which should inspire die-hard Apple users to seriously consider buying the iPhone 4S.

Software

Not surprisingly, the 4S is much faster and powerful.  It features the same dual-core A5 chip that's found in the iPad 2 and it makes opening apps, loading the web browser, scrolling through screens and countless other operations super smooth.  Apple states that the 4S is two times as powerful as its predecessor and has 7 times the graphical prowess.

Siri

One remarkable difference between the iPhone 4 and the 4S is the addition of  your very own “personal assistant” named Siri.  When it works, it is an amazing feat of technology. You can just tell Siri to contact an associate and tell her you’re running late.  Tell Siri, “I’m feeling like Indian food,” and she will tell you where the nearest place serving Sag Paneer is located.  However, the caveat is “when it works.”  When Siri cannot understand a particular command, area or specific person, she will tell you humorously, if not annoyingly after a while, that she can’t process the info.  Certainly this will be fixed in the future, but it would be wonderful if it worked flawlessly now.  See this article for another take on Siri.

iCloud

iCloud is Apple’s replacement of MobileMe.  It is available on all new iPhone, iPad and Mac purchases, and automatically and safely stores everything on your device’s hard drive.  Access to music, apps, photos is much easier from any other device.  One downfall, though, is that some MobileMe users are finding that after MobileMe created its own user ID, it has been difficult for them to “sync up.” Equally frustrating is the fact that iCloud doesn’t recognize other mail accounts that don’t contain a me.com email address.  Again, like Siri, one would hope that these issues were hashed out before the launch.

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, always 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 all 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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