October 4, 2011
Update:If you are looking for what the “S” in 4S stands for, this is not the place. I did some checking, and nobody seems to know. Apple doesn’t tell us much, so it’s up to you to determine what it could mean. This post is about if you should upgrade from an older iPhone to the iPhone 4S.
Today Apple released a new version of their flagship product, the iPhone. It’s called the iPhone 4S, and it has a limited number of improvements from its predecessor, the iPhone 4. So, what does this new phone mean?
The iPhone 4S touts a better rear camera, better battery life, a more powerful processor, a better notification center, and a voice control system. The new 8MP camera isn’t the most impressive, since many other phone models had 8MP cameras for at least a year. The battery certainly is an improvement, since the new processor is a dual-core A5 model. Seriously, eight hours of talk time while on 3G is incredible, at least to me. The processor will be a very-welcomed relief to those that like to multitask, and balance several open apps at once, or gamers that want to continue gaming while away from their consoles or computers. The notification center has been created to reduce the distractions that a new message can cause while using any other app. Literally, any other app. Placing notifications on the lock screen is a nice touch, though. Finally, the voice control system. Named “Siri,” it wants to be a new way to control your phone. This feature, however, has been in the Android system for a while now. What Siri, will do differently, though, is make a fully-functional voice control app. The system in most Android phones right now is okay, but not great. With the support of Apple and the many developers for the iOS platform, Siri should lead the other phones in a race to allow a touch-less phone (a hint at the future, perhaps?).
So, what does this mean?
What does the iPhone 4S mean to the general population? The short answer: not much. The long answer: this only means that Apple is testing a new feature, and will learn to improve for the future generation of iOS devices. And of course, a new device means that one will be rendered completely obsolete, most likely the iPhone 3G. And by obsolete, I mean not capable of supporting newer versions of an iOS operation system.
What does the iPhone 4S mean to the developer community? The short answer: it is something worthy to look at. The long answer: it adds many new features from the iPad to a smaller screen. So, developers will have to focus on making their iPhone apps compatible with AirPlay, the Notification Center, and the Siri system, since the APIs may be different in order to utilize the new features properly. Also, the new processor allows for more intensive apps to be run, and for better graphics to be used. So now there is no excuse for a good game with slow response time or poor graphics. Lastly, developers will most likely be happy with the iPhone’s ability to connect with the Sprint network. This will allow even more users to use their apps, and will allow Sprint the ability to increase their postpaid income.
What would you recommend doing?
In short, the iPhone 4S isn’t greatly important to the general user, but may be of some interest to those involved with the functions and development of the iPhone’s system. I wouldn’t recommend upgrading your phone right now. Instead, I would wait another year for the (hopefully) iPhone 5 to be released, with (hopefully) many new and exciting improvements.