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Apple Added an S

October 4, 2011 - Dave Hecei
As predicted, Apple announced the next iPhone and they are calling it the iPhone 4S. Apple will start taking pre-orders on October 7th, and will make them available starting October 14th. Looking at pictures of the new 4S is just like looking at the iPhone 4. Apple didn’t change much at all on the outside, but on the inside, a whole new phone.

The screen is the same high-resolution Retina display found on the iPhone 4. There still is glass on the front and back. Inside, the 4S uses the Apple A5 processor found in the iPad 2. This will give the 4S about twice the performance, but it’s the increase in graphics speed where you will really feel it. Of course we’re really talking about games here.

Apple states that there are other improvements over the iPhone 4 design – the main one being a much improved antenna system. Supposedly the 4S can intelligently switch antennas when transmitting and receiving. The big benefit from this is network speed. The 4S specs list download speeds capable of up to 14.4Mbps and up speeds of 5.8Mbps. The 4S will also be a universal phone. No longer will Apple have to produce a separate GSM (AT&T) model and a CDMA (Verizon) model. The 4S uses a combo chip so one phone fits all.

The other big improvement, according to Apple, is with the built in digital camera. The 4S now has an 8 Megapixel camera that is also capable of shooting 1080p HD video. The 4S is also stated to be one of the fastest to start shooting, compared to other smart phones. It can start shooting in as fast as 1.1 seconds. The improvement in the lens and better sensor should make the 4S a great digital camera.

To go along with the hardware improvements is Apple’s next mobile operating system – iOS5. The iPhone 4S will ship with iOS5 installed and it will be available for other Apple mobile devices starting October 12th. Apple states that these devices will be compatible with iOS5 – iPhone 3S, 4, 4S; iPad and iPad 2, iPod Touch 3rd gen and 4th gen. This update will also be available as a free download.

Some of the new and updated features in iOS5 include – camera App, e-mail, Safari, iMessage, better notification system, reminders, Twitter integration, Newsstand, Game Center, and the ability to run PC-free. That last one is a big one. Before iOS5 you had to connect your iOS device to a Mac or PC running the latest version of iTunes to activate it. This bothersome feature is no more. Now you can take your iOS device out of the box and activate it over a wireless network.

Probably the biggest part of the 4S introduction is Siri. The 4s has a voice activation system. Now you can ask your iPhone 4S a question or give it a command and it will scurry about trying to do you bidding. Voice control has come a long way over the many years that voice recognition has been around. The 4S with Siri brings the iPhone up to par with many of the Android based smart phones out there. Many Android phones have had this technology for over a year now.

The 4S will be available in both black and white models and will come with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage. Pricing will be $199, $299, and $399 respectively. The 4S will also work with networks from AT&T, Verizon, and now Sprint.


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