There’s no doubt that this update to the iPhone is all about the software, with the hardware seeing no external changes whatsoever. This is exactly the same exterior as the iPhone 4, and you’d struggle to tell them apart. There have been a few changes made internally though…
Available in both white and black from the word ‘go’, the iPhone 4S packs an updated processor, using the same dual-core A5 chip as the iPad 2, clocked at 1GHz. The capacity of the base model is 16GB, and for the first time there is also an option to buy a 64GB version for all of those apps you use.
A big change for the Americans is that there is only one version of the iPhone 4S, which is a ‘world phone’, designed to work with both GSM and CDMA carriers worldwide. Previously, users who wanted to use Verizon’s network in the States were required to buy a separate CDMA version that wasn’t exactly internationally friendly.
This isn’t being billed as a 4G phone, although Apple claims that it does support transmission speeds of up to 14.4Mb/s on HSDPA networks, the same as many so-called ‘4G’ Android devices in the US market. The display in the 4S is the same retina display that was in the iPhone 4, with a resolution of 960 x 640, which adds up to 326-ppi on the 3.5-inch display.
As well as improving the camera’s ability when it comes to still shots, the 4S can also compete with a few more video recorders out there, as you can now record video at a resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080).
Although these improvements are welcome, the big story from today definitely lies in the software. iOS 5 was a good improvement over the previous version, but the iPhone 4S will get an extra feature called Siri.
Siri is the result of a purchase made by Apple not so long ago, and it takes voice control to a whole new level. You can give Siri commands such as “send a text to John saying I’m running a little late and will be there soon”, and it will do just that. Have you got two numbers for John? Siri will ask which to use before sending.
This capability also stretches to questions such as “do I need an umbrella today?”, and Siri will respond based on the current weather in your area. Voice recognition has been around for a long time, but to have a phone not only recognise, but understand what you’re saying, has the potential to be incredible.